Last February during a Sonoma wine tasting event I discovered Enriquez Estate Wines. By chance owner/winemaker Cecilia Enriquez was serving wines for Petaluma Gap Winegrowers Association. I happened upon Cecilia’s table because it was not crowded like others. During my discussion, Cecilia mentioned that she makes a Tempranillo Rosé. Knowing I like trying something different, I was intrigued and wanted to know more. It is not just the Tempranillo Rosé but also the Tempranillo itself that are spectacular wines.
Enriquez Estate Wines, a boutique family run winery is located in the Petuluma Gap section of the Sonoma Coast. This area is known for its cool climate due to the wind, fog and diurnal temperatures. The winery specializes in Pinot Noir and Tempranillo.
The Enriquez’s bought an existing winery consisting of 33 acres in 2011. Interesting enough as part of the purchase agreement, they were allowed to use of the grapes prior to the close of the transaction. The first vintage of Enriquez Estate Wines was actually in 2009. Currently there are 29 acres planted with grapes at the vineyard and includes one acre of Tempranillo.
Cecilia came from a family that strove to make their dreams come true through dedication and perseverance. Her grandfather immigrated to the United States from Mexico and established a medical practice. Her father followed those footsteps. This quality was installed in Cecilia at an early age. She started her career in business and finance but soon grew bored with the path she was taking and sought to find something she truly loved and was passionate about. Cecilia and her father shared a love of wine especially Pinot Noir. She decided to pursue this interest by striving to make a hobby become her profession. Cecilia is self-taught but you would not know by the wine she produces. I sensed immediately a love, passion and enthusiasm for the wines she creates and what she has achieved.
As life takes it twists and turns, the family headed for Napa but as destiny came into play, they went the wrong way and ended up in Sonoma. This unexpected deviation drove them to discover the property that is now Enriquez Estate Wines. In Mexican tradition, the family is very important; therefore the winery’s name is a tribute to the Cecilia’s family heritage.
The winery began with emphasis on Pinot Noir since that is what brought Cecilia and her father together on this wine adventure. At the Sonoma event I sampled the 2010 Pinot Noir, which is a light beautifully balance and finishes with hints of spice. It is elegantly smooth.
Producing Tempranillo was accidental. Being there was an existing acre of Tempranillo vines; Cecilia decided to try her luck at making a wine with this varietal. The Tempranillo grape is the last to harvest, as it takes longer to ripen. The 2012 Tempranillo Rosé is a light ruby red color, which is darker than most Rosés. The aroma is that of Maraschino cherries, raspberries and cocoa. There is a thick texture for Rosé that brings forth the flavors of cherries cinnamon and stone fruit. The wine is refreshing with a nice sweetness on the finish.
It was the 2010 Tempranillo that really enthralled me. With aromas of licorice and anise there is an earthy quality to this wine. The alcohol is on the lower side making for a very balanced and smooth wine that displays flavors of Bing cherry, licorice currents and a hint of vanilla. The color is a red purple and the wine is medium bodied. It is a marvelous wine to savor on its own or with a meal.
For Cecilia Enriquez the winery is a dream come true allowing her passion for fine wines to shine through. Combining her Mexican heritage and her love of wine elevates that passion into as Cecilia says, “creating wines worthy of sharing with family and friends.” You will find this true when you discover the wines of Enriquez Estate Winery.
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