A grape originally hailing from Spain, our 5 acres of Rhinefarm Tempranillo offer lush, chewy tannins and lively acidity, creating an excellent food wine. It ages well, up to ten years after vintage. Only available through the Bacchus Club and direct from the winery.
Our love for Tempranillo red wine has plenty of history. There is even lore surrounding the five acres of Tempranillo grown on Rhinefarm – the original cuttings came over in Jim Bundschu’s suitcase from Rioja. Shhh… don’t tell anyone. He won’t confirm or deny this rumor but it’s a fun story. Coincidence or not, we do have a mixture of Spanish clones and U.C. Davis Tempranillo clones in the 5-acre plot, with each sporting its own personality. Some years, the fiesty Spanish does its own thing, giving us super spicy, earthy notes (but not always) while the Davis clone is generally more straightforward and structured each growing season. Both have dynamic aromatics and offer up a soft finish. Depending on the vintage, we either ferment these two clones together or separate, then blend together. But the outcome is always a surprise – good fun since you don’t know what to expect.
The five acres of Tempranillo on Rhinefarm were planted in 1993 in the lower portion of the vineyard, a section that literally sits across the street from the Carneros appellation border and shares the cooling benefits of the fog from the San Pablo Bay to the south and the Petaluma Gap to the east. The topsoil is only 18” to 30” deep, consisting of Huichica clay loam. Beneath, the compacted Carneros Bay sediment subsoil naturally restricts vigor. Vineyard practices ensure healthy grapes and intensity of fruit, with yields averaging 4.5 ton/acre.
To make the wine, we hand-harvest in the cool morning hours, the fruit gets destemmed and delivered to stainless steel fermenters. The must is inoculated with a prepared yeast and receives gentle pumpovers until it is pressed out. The wine ages an average of 14 months in 50 % French and 50% American oak barrels, 35% new.
Not sure who would win a Rioja vs Tempranillo face off, but we think we’d have a chance. Do your own taste to find out who wins the Tempranillo wine taste test. To spur ideas, here are some Tempranillo food pairings as well as alternative ways to enjoy this unique wine:
- Pedro Almovar movie marathon
- Eating tapas and pretending you’re in Spain
- Grilled and roasted red meats, especially lamb
- Mexican dishes
- Cured meats
- Manchego, Mahon, Cheddar
- Wine Type:
- Red Wine
- Varietal Composition:
- 90% Tempranillo
- 6% Malbec
- 1% Petit Verdot
- Sonoma Valley
- TA: 0.69 g/100mL
- Barrel Aging:
- 14 months
50% French oak, 50% American Oak, 30% new
- 14 months
- Alcohol %: