TAPAS (Tempranillo Advocates Producers and Amigos Society) hosted the annual Grand Wine Tasting at the Golden Gate Club at the Presidio on Sunday, June 23. 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 35 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:
Bokisch Vineyards – Markus Bokisch has been a leading advocate of Spanish varietals for years, producing a wide range of grapes at his vineyards in the Lodi area. He brought two Albariño wines to the event, a 2012 from his Terra Alta vineyard in Clements Hills and a 2012 from the Las Cerezas Vineyard in Mokelumne River area. Both wines were very aromatic and had great acidity. The Terra Alta tended to bring in a juicy fruity excitement to the palate, while the Las Cerezas had a more Spanish quality to it with the briny quality expected of Albariño from the Rias Baixas region of Spain. The Bokisch 2010 Graciano has always been a very popular wine from Bokisch and this vintage continued to provide the dark purple color, dark fruit aromas and the flavors of blackberry jam, black cherry, anise and even a touch of cocoa.
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 2010 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 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.
Turkovich Family Wines – This family run winery from Winters, California was a pleasant find. Christopher Turkovich is the winemaker and a third-generation farmer who learned to make wine during his worldwide travels. His 2012 Albariño from Yolo County has some very nice acidity, tropical aromas and flavors and citrus. It is an easy-drinking wine for a hot summer afternoon. The 2011 Grenache is a blend of grapes from his estate vineyards in Yolo County plus grapes from the Tierra Alta Vineyard in Lodi. It delivers bright tasty fruit, soft tannins and a long finish.
Inner Sanctum Cellars – This small Tuolumne County winery has a great Tempranillo called Torro. The 2011 Torro has 90% Tempranillo combined with 10% Graciano crafted in much the same style that his counterparts in Spain would do. It is a joy to drink with dark fruit flavors of blackberry and blueberry combined with licorice, coffee and a nice complex mixture of spices. It is very pleasant to drink and would do well with a roasted beef dinner.
Matchbook Wines - This winery from the Dunnigan Hills region in Yolo County brought their 2009 Tinto Rey, “The Red King”, a blend of Tempranillo, Syrah, Graciano, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat. It is very aromatic with dark fruit and tobacco aromas, followed up on the palate with flavors of blackberry, black cherry, blueberry, vanilla, leather and oak. It has a bit of an earthiness to it and a very nice long finish.
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