Cellar Notes: April 2010

Can we interest you in the noble, thick–skinned Spanish grape varietal called tempranillo?

By Condé Cox March 16, 2010 Published in the April 2010 issue of Portland Monthly

Wine being poured in a glass rnem0f

Located just beneath the protective veil of northern Spain’s Cantabrian Mountains, the La Rioja wine–making region is situated on what Spaniards call a mesa, or plateau. The high peaks temper the climate, shielding the area from fierce winds and allowing its vineyards to thrive. Much of the resulting wine, known as rioja, is derived from a noble, thick–skinned Spanish grape varietal called tempranillo.

The hallmark scents and flavors of tempranillo grapes are derived from finely grained tannins reminiscent of tea leaves. This herbal, earthy scent, combined with the grape’s low levels of acidity, make tempranillo a soft yet sturdy, full–bodied wine.—Condé Cox

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