22 Aug

Wine & Spirits Magazine Loves 2011 Longoria Tempranillo

Longoria 2011 Santa Ynez Valley Tempranillo 93 Points
While tempranillo in California has a spotty track record, this captures the grape’s nobility in its dark, meaty fruit and its cool density of structure, mouthwatering acidity stitching the wine tight. The fruit comes mostly from the Clover Creek Vineyard, a cool alluvial site near the Santa Ynez River, where Richard Longoria has sourced tempranillo since 2003. This bottling includes some syrah and merlot and—like many Riojas—was raised in American oak (45 percent new). It lasts on thick-skinned fruit tannins rather than oak, carrying refreshing tones of blueberry and mint into a long, clean, vivid finish. Bring on the lamb chops, and stash a bottle or two away to see how this might age. (240 cases)