Well Happy International Tempranillo DayNovember 8, 2012. I really did not time this post originally to go along with Tempranillo day however what better way to open it up than with some Texas Tempranillo!
Our last wine club pickup party for Landon Winery brought unexpected surprises. This round was a back-to-back Tempranillotasting from their 2010 and 2011 vintages. I was excited to make the drive up to McKinney for the weekend to get a chance to taste the two side by side. For most folks that really know me and my taste, it has been a long road for me to get to the dry bold wines in the Cab and even Merlot range, in addition to the dry red side of which I always refer as the “Dark Side” of wine. I think I threw off my wife by even saying that I think Tempranillo is a good enough varietal to play with the Cabernet grapes.
As always in classy fashion, Landon’s club pick up has food to pair with. Since my wife and I started a no carbohydrate / low carbohydrate diet a little over a month ago and she cut out red meat this might be a challenge to get over. The food pairing menu was Salisbury steak with rice and some kind of angel food cake with a thick sweet cream sauce and diced fruit. Red meat and rice (aka starch) OH my!
Both the 2011 and the 2010 Tempranillo grapes are from the High Plains region of Texas from Bingham family vineyards.
Before we left for McKinney I posted in a group on FaceBook that I am a member of: “Texas Wine Drinkers”. If you are on FaceBook and are not a member I would suggest you get on the group. My statement was that I was looking forward to doing a comparison tasting between the two vintages from Landon. Russell Kane (aka WineSlinger and on twitter @VintageTexas) stated “My bet is that 2011 will be riper (heat) and more concentrated (drought) with better color and tannic structure from small berries and brown seeds. Let’s see if my viticulture/enology learning’s are right/wrong.” Well Russell, Yes and then some.
As this is the season my allergies are in full force and my nose and pallet were all out of whack, my wife pretty much had to be my pallet on this tasting and she is pretty much right on when we do tastings together. That said I will give full credit to this post and a shout out for Kelli Mallory.
Our first tasting was the 2010 Tempranillo: Spicy nose with a hint of smoke and raspberry hints. Boldly complex with black pepper, green peppers. The wine was not very full in the palate of fruit but rather contained hints of minerals; more earthy than fruity. With the food we paired with more of the fruit comes forward and the vegetable of the green pepper. Tempranillo 2010
With steak we got more of the dark fruits in the very front with the peppery finish. It does have a bite. We also tried it with spinach dip and that was the negative pairing.
Next up was the 2011 Tempranillo: This one is a little darker ruby red than the 2010. This wine had more fruit on the nose with the cherry and blackberry and a hint of smoke. This wine comes off drier than the 2010 and the taste is more fruit pronounced. It’s bold, almost all fruit, with more lingering pepper finish without as much acidity. This one seemed to be less fruit forward with the food pairing bringing earthiness and green pepper and the smoky hints. This one was creamier with the spinach dip and bread and seemed to blend better. It still isn’t the idea pairing but does blend better with the wine.
My good friend and fellow Texas wine blogger visited Landon Winery back in July of 2011. He has a good write up on the McKinney location along with some history on the winery. Here is the link TX Wine Lover. Feel free to browses his site for extensive post on Texas Winery’s and a few Texas tasting bars that proudly serve and sell Texas made wine.
Special thanks to Mandy Schroder Manager at McKinney for supplying the photos. We had both bottles and had good intentions of taking photos of them. However we opened the 2010 before thinking about it. Yes it was that good! So which will be your favorite? I guess it depends on whether you prefer a Tempranillo dark and fruity or spicy and down to earth. Either way you can’t lose!