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The robust yet sweet tannins of this earthy Tempranillo will seduce even the most devout Spanish red wine lover. Mature berries, marmalades and spicy aromas promise the fruit-driven experience to come. Elegant flavors of strawberries and fresh tobacco then bathe the palate contributing to its appeal as a round pleasurable wine.
In 1996, Wine Spectator magazine called Argentina a “sleeping giant.” Today, the Wine Enthusiast Magazine remarks that her Mendoza region is “on par with many of the best in the world” and recently named it "Wine Region of the Year". Noted as one of the best areas for grape-growing in the country, Mendoza sits at the foothills of the Andes. Here, Tempranillo may have found its ideal environment where, surprisingly, grapevines have the ability to thrive in the region's high-altitude vineyards, if grown for low yield and high quality.
We actually tripped over this Mendoza Tempranillo while we were in search of Malbec and Malbec blends from South America. It’s standard practice for us to ask every producer to provide other sample wines they are proud of, in addition to the specific wines we are looking for. Fortunately, we discovered this wine at a time when the dollar goes far in Argentina.
This favorable exchange rate relative to the U.S. dollar and relatively low land and labor cost mean that her performance is likely to continue. An influx of passionate international winemaking talent and big-money investment make the Mendoza region in particular ripe for success meaning that the momentum of the wine wave is likely to continue.
In the 1950s, many decided to leave their native Spain and seek a future in Argentina, as so many other European immigrants did. They chose this area because of its similarity to his native Andalucia. Therefore, it’s no surprise that a grape indigenous to Spain would take root here and do extremely well in the climate given that the latitude of both regions is equidistant from the equator.
Tempranillo often gets no respect outside of Spain. As an off the beaten path varietal, it’s undervalued in the U.S. But this tempting treat could push even some of our finer Spanish wines off the table. And, it’s a bargain hunter’s dream.