Visited this winery over the weekend, and: though you’re all conditioned to influencer, wine-writer–and even critic–mouthing the constant and nauseating refrain of “ALL THE WINES WERE WONDERFUL!”, you understand not to expect the same from me. A few of things DID stand out, however–and I grabbed a couple bottles to share. Here’s the first of those: a gorgeous estate Temp I found rather compelling.
Dark, nearly impenetrable black ruby in the glass, a nose churning with fire and brimstone, glorious etchy fruit and wonderful oak treatment. This wine is on par with some of your most-blingy of Rioja Reserva offerings: the bouquet all deep cherry, black and writhing, peppered with ridiculous spice, healthy briar and *just* the right amount of funk. Earthy on a granular scale, the caramel, tobacco and leather a perfect polish to the gob-stopping fruit.
And then you taste it! Does it have the cellary-petrichor-peat Spain manages to pack into the wines? Not quite. Is it riven with acid to near un-drinkability at this young age? No again. This is California, baby! I mean… you can hate all you want on it for those reasons, but I’m not gonna. It’s beautiful stuff: not too ripe, never cloying, no overt instances of alcohol or un-balanced fruitiness. On Paso stages, one could almost call this *demure*, but the absolute concentration of flavors, the prickly asphalt and vegetal shrubbery, the achingly dry bite the finish reveals as the last gasps of sweet blackberry tingle the throat, ALL point to a Tempranillo I can solidly get behind. And so should you. This is a wine you can just sit and drink for hours and hours. And it never gets boring.
2019 RED SOLES Tempranillo Willow Creek District Paso Robles 15.1