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2013 Tempranillo
Tasting Notes

2013 Tempranillo

Tempranillo is arguably the most famous of Spain’s native grapes. Its name translates as “little early one,” referring to its early ripening. Wine lore has it that Tempranillo vines are actually variants of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc, originally brought to Spain from monasteries in northern France by French travelers on the medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James, to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Ampelographers (a wine geek word if ever there was one) have not found the botanical link between Tempranillo and these classic French varietals but we wine folk have certainly never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Today, Tempranillo is indeed one of the noble red wine varieties in the world, as important to the Spanish as Cabernet and Pinot Noir are to the French. Our 2013 has aromas of red and black berries with plum, baking spice and a hint of dusty earth on the nose. Layers of juicy red fruit on the palate are followed by notes of bittersweet chocolate. 

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/ Case of 12
We grow Tempranillo on two teeny-tiny blocks on our estate San Lucas and Hames Valley Vineyards. The sunshine-filled days of these two vineyard sites are tempered by the cooling maritime influence of Monterey Bay, giving the grapes time to ripen slowly and evenly. Tempranillo can be an early ripener so the ideal growing conditions for atop-notch Tempranillo are fairly cool, allowing it some additional hang time to gain depth and complexity. The 2013 farm year was perfection for our Tempranillo—mild temperatures throughout the spring, a warm but not overly hot summer, and sunny conditions that held until the last grape was picked. On the heels of an excellent 2012 vintage, it exceeded our expectations in every way.
The grapes were handpicked into half-ton bins, destemmed and fermented by select yeast in small 1-ton fermentation bins for 10 days. During fermentation, we gently punched down the cap three times per day. The must was then drained and pressed to a stainless steel tank for settling. After settling the heavy solids, the juice was racked clean to small oak barrels for secondary fermentation and aged for 20 months before bottling unfiltered. After bottling, the wine was laid down for an additional 10 months prior to release.
Varietal Composition
100% Tempranillo
79% San Lucas, 21% Hames Valley
Harvest Date
September 27, 2013
Harvest Brix
Alcohol %
20 months in 63% Hungarian and 37% French oak
Cases Produced
Bottling Date
July 6, 2015