While I love a bargain on wines, I get bored with factory-made wines that while not offensive just have no excitement to them. So many wines on the market today are manipulated in an attempt to “standardize” the flavor. And it’s not just the cheap ones. A lot of this is done in order to make while appealing to drink right off the shelf. But I appreciate it when I come across producers who create wines the old way. Wines that should sit in the cellar for a few years before you drink them. Sure, it’s a little more work as a wine consumer. But the wine tends to have a little more character, at least that’s been my experience.
Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard is one such producer. They’ve been creating European-style, cellar-worthy wines since the 1970’s. In 2008 they launched a new brand called Quinta Cruz, which includes only varietals that are native to the Iberian peninsula.
While their prices tend to be toward the upper-end of our bargain-hunter price limits (and some over), sometimes a splurge is in order for a special wine.
I had an opportunity to check out their tempranillo from Pierce Ranch in San Antonio Valley, California. And while I would have liked to tuck this one into the cellar for a few years, I had no complaints.
The nose on this wine is absolutely beautiful, with aromas of blackberry, cherry, coffee, cured meats and brown sugar. The palate is equally delightful, offering ripe blackberry and cherry flavors complemented by hints of chocolate. The concentration on the palate is perfect, as are the acidity and balance. The tannins are dense enough to give a little structure, but I wouldn’t complain with a little more tannin. The finish is nice and long, and adds a touch of tobacco. All told, this is an outstanding wine.
Wine: Quinta Cruz Pierce Ranch
Find Quinta Cruz Pierce Ranch Tempranillo with Snooth
Disclosure: This wine was received as a media sample.