Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Wine:Abacela Vineyards and Winery 2004 Tempranillo

Abacela Vineyards and Winery

2004 Tempranillo "Estate", Estate Grown
(Southern Oregon)

Abacela’s Estate Tempranillo is their signature wine. It is the wine that Earl and Hilda Jones came to Oregon to make.

When smitten by the charms of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera Del Duero wines, the Joneses decided to move their family 2700 miles from Florida to Oregon in order to grow Tempranillo grapes and make an American version of their favorite wine. And when their Estate Tempranillo proved to be so good, they ignited a mini-renaissance of viticulture in Southern Oregon, with a dedicated coterie of other winemakers soon following in their footsteps by planting Tempranillo. Today, Tempranillo is almost de rigueur among Southern Oregon winegrowers who want to keep up with the Joneses!

The 2004 Estate Tempranillo comes from Abacela’s Fault Line Vineyard, a complex set of soils along a unique juncture of three mountain ranges (Klamath, Coast Range, and the Cascades) on a hillside with a mean elevation of 616-ft.

The wine shows complex aromas of plum and wood smoke, dried herbs and espresso, and a fragrant herbiness reminiscent of dried anise. Deep and rich in the mouth, the predominant flavors are black cherry and blackberry fruit, ringed with distinct minerality, a sense of warm earth, and subtle dried herbs. Though big and tannic in its current youthful state, this wine—like the best of Abacela’s previous Tempranillos—will merit medium-term cellaring (I still have some of their first, 1997 release, and when tasted two years ago it was lively and luscious).

Of note is the admirable alcohol level of 13.4%—a lower, and for me, more appealing, level than the vast majority of recent Oregon wines. This no doubt helps give the wine an appealing austerity that not only bodes well for a long life, it also makes the wine an even more appealing food accompaniment than the majority of other 14.5%-plus behemoths. (Only 398 cases made.)

Reviewed April 26, 2007 by Cole Danehower.

The Wine

Winery: Abacela Vineyards and Winery
Vineyard: Estate Grown
Vintage: 2004
Wine: Tempranillo "Estate"
Appellation: Southern Oregon
Grape: Tempranillo / Valdepenas
Price: 750ml $32.00

Review Date: 4/26/2007

The Reviewer

Cole Danehower

Cole Danehower is the creator of the Oregon Wine Report. A frequent judge and a member of Northwest Palate magazine’s review panel, Cole's palate is particularly attuned to Northwest wines. He believes numerical scoring is inadequate in conveying the character of a wine, preferring to communicate his experience and evaluation of a wine through words. A believer in terroir (especially in Oregon's cooler growing regions) he also pays attention to the impact of winemaking style and vintage variation on a wine. He views balance, flavor purity, and a sense of character as key vinous virtues.