2008 Hacienda Lopez de Haro Tempranillo

Hacienda Lopez de Haro is one of several projects by the innovative Spanish wine company Vintae. Focusing on 6 different Designations of Origin(D.O.) throughout Spain, Jose Miguel Arambarri Terrero, his sons Ricardo and Jose Miguel and their team offer unique wines showcasing their passion and progressive thinking in wine making.

Aged for only 3-4 months in new oak barrels the 2008 Hacienda Lopez shows Riojas traditional Tempranillo grape and its elegance and complexity. Grapes come from 50-70 year old vines and are hand picked in mid October. During the 3-4 months of aging the barrel are kept in underground caves. Good fruit and medium tannins make this wine drinkable in the short term. Red fruits and licorice make for pleasant taste while the wine lingers on your palate for a lasting finish.This wine should retail for under $15. http://vintae.com/en

The wines of Pierce Ranch Vineyards

The southern part of Monterey County is where you will find the 30 acres of vineyards of Pierce Ranch Vineyards, where it’s planted to such grapes of Petite Sirah, Grenache, Syrah and Spain and Portugal influenced Tempranillo and Touriga amongst others. These wines and others produced are very limited with some bottling as little as 60 cases. The vineyards are 1,000 ft. above sea level and are in one of California’s newest AVA’s of San Antonio Valley and are situated 14 miles from the Pacific. With very little wine produced, they are only available through the winery. I recently had the chance to taste a few of their wines and these are my thoughts. www.piercevineyards.com

2007 Tempranillo is a medium bodied wine with good fruit of cherries and plums and is well balanced. Aged for 18 months in American, French and Hungarian oak there are only 160 cases of this wine produced.

The 2007 Touriga is a blend of 70% Touriga Nacional and 30% Touriga Francesa  and has good tannins, medium body and good complexity. Black currant and spices are just some of the flavors you will find in this wine along with a long finish. Aged for 18 months in oak, some that are new, this 125 case production is an interesting take on the Portugese grapes.

2007 Petite Sirah see’s 18 months in French oak and is a full bodied wine that is soft and spicy and gets bigger on the mid palate. Dark fruits and hints of black and white pepper are present nuances. A long finish is had from this 275 case wine.

The 2007 Tourbillon is a blend of 43% Grenache, 37% Syrah and 20% Petite Sirah that is dry and soft with cherry, lavender and sage notes. It’s medium bodied and has medium tannins from being aged for 18 months in French oak. This is a good balanced wine with a nice finish. With 460 cases produced it is one of the more widely produced wines.

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