TAPAS (Tempranillo Advocates Producers and Amigos Society) hosted the annual Grand Wine Tasting at the Golden Gate Club at the Presidio on Sunday, April 27. TAPAS is an association of domestic wine producers who focus on wines utilizing Spanish and Portuguese varietals such as Tempranillo, Albariño, Graciano, Garnacha and Verdelho.
At the TAPAS Grand Wine Tasting consumers had the opportunity to sample wines from 39 participating wineries from California, Arizona, Oregon and Washington. Many of these wineries are limited-production, family-owned wineries so this was a rare opportunity to try some very unique wines.
A few examples of the great selection of Iberian varietal wines available are as follows:
Kenneth Volk Vineyards – Kenneth Volk was there with a wide selection of his wines from vineyards ranging from Santa Barbara County to Monterey and San Benito. His 2012 Verdelho from Pomar Junction Vineyard in Paso Robles was an excellent example of this fine white wine. This medium-bodied wine delivers a great selection of tropical fruits such as guava, grapefruit and mango on the nose and the palate. This combined with citrus and apple qualities and a great acidity and good minerality makes it a wonderful wine to pair with food.
Vina Castellano Estate Vineyard & Winery – This family run winery from Auburn, California was a great find. Teena Wilkins who operates the winery is the youngest of Gabe and Carolyn Mendez children and brings together her dad’s love for the wines of Spain. They brought the 2009 Monastrell (Mourvedre) which was a pleasant surprise with an enticing aroma followed by the flavors of dark fruit and a touch of earthiness on the palate. The 2008 Tempranillo won Best in Class at the recent 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and from tasting this wine you can tell that it deserved it. It has a great balance of smoke, cherry and earthiness with a nice blend of tannin and fruit
Bodegas Paso Robles – This small Paso Robles winery that focuses wines made from grapes that are native to Spain and Portugal. The wines are hand-crafted and aged in premium French and American barrels. In fact they believe strongly in aging most of their red wines in barrels for two years. Some outstanding wines were the 2009 Solea, a blend of 86% Tempranillo and 14% Graciano delivering a very complete wine with a great balance of dark fruit, texture, earthiness, and depth. The 2009 Pimenteiro is a blend of 67% Trousseau (Bastardo) and 33% Tempranillo. It is a beautiful complex wine delivering both a great blend of plum and cherry fruits but also a wonderful pepper, both white and black and spices. The aroma very much matches the palate delivering great taste from beginning to end.
Gordian Knot Winery - This relatively new winery in Healdsburg is operated by an experienced winemaking family and brought along a nice selection of their Iberian style wines. The Gordian Knot is from the legend of Phrygian Gordium from ancient Greece and is a metaphor for the intractable problem or thinking outside the box. Their 2012 and 2013 Albarino from Russian River Valley had many of the slight saltiness qualities that you often find in Spanish Albarino from Rias Baxias region, home of Albarino.
There were many other excellent wines at the event but the best way to learn about these Spanish and Portuguese varietal wines tis to taste them. Check out the TAPAS website and fine the winery near you or look for them at your local wine shop.
For more information: TAPAS Society