Winery: Europa Village
Product/Varietal: 100% Tempranillo
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley
Winemaker: George Bursick
How They Describe It
Tempranillo flourishes here in Temecula Valley, with a climate so similar to its native Rioja. This complex wine keeps evolving in the glass, aromas moving silkily from white pepper to coffee and lavender. The flavors keep you riveted with raspberry jam and rose petal partnering with a smooth and creamy acidity.
Tempranillo is the most famous of the indigenous Spanish grape varieties and, thanks to the ‘conquistadores’, it has found another warm and sunny home right here in the Temecula Valley. Tempranillo means “little early one” in reference to its early ripening character and its thick skin ensures wines with depth of color and character, full body and earthly charm.
Food Pairing Notes
A natural accompaniment for the Bolero Matador Burger!
How I Describe It
Shimmering with a lightening gradient as the wine approaches the glass’s rim, the Bolero Cellars 2017 Tempranillo has a medium-pale ruby base, though a touch of garneting shows.
The most prominent aromas are cranberry, raspberry, plum, dust, and smoke. A fig undercurrent joins blackberry, vanilla, and black pepper. These are accompanied by whispers of strawberry, nutmeg, fennel, orange peel, and lavender.
The Bolero Cellars 2017 Tempranillo begins with a bright burst of raspberry, kirsch and strawberry, cloaked in campfire smoke. Grippy tannins integrate with cloves and asparagus. Eucalyptus and black pepper endure through the finish.
The 2017 Tempranillo is dry, with high alcohol (14.6% ABV). High tannins and high acid give the wine an interestingly medium-plus (bordering on full) body, with pronounced flavor intensity and a medium-plus finish.
Why is This Wine Special?
While skilled winemakers can make nearly any grape varietal grow well in the Temecula Valley AVA, there are a handful of varietals which are naturally suited the appellation’s sunny, Southern California climate. Broadly speaking, among black grapes those include — but are not limited to — varietals native to Southern France (e.g., Grenache, Syrah), mid- and southern Italy (e.g., Sangiovese, Negroamaro, Montepulciano), and Spain (e.g., Tempranillo, Monastrell).
Note — and I can’t stress this enough — Temecula is by no means limited to the varietals listed above. To clarify, the wineries in the region consistently produce delicious, award-winning wines using myriad red and white grapes originating from nearly every wine region. The varietals in the last paragraph simply began in climates similar to Temecula’s.
Tempranillo, arguable Spain’s flagship red wine grape, has made itself home in Temecula. Much like the local Syrahs, it is so widely grown here that individual winemakers can incorporate their own interpretations of how to best take Tempranillo from grape to glass.
As we’ve mentioned in previous reviews, Bolero Cellars is Europa Village’s brand for its Spanish-style wines, as well as its brand new resort. In the case of Bolero Cellars’ 2017 Tempranillo, the wine comes across a tad fuller bodied than some of its local and Old World cousins. Make no mistake, though, everything about it lines up with what we can typically expect from high-quality Tempranillo. And, personally, I see the body as a positive. It makes the wine better positioned to pair with food.
In full disclosure, Europa Village donated the bottle described here. Other than providing the wine itself, there was no exchange of anything which would have influenced or unfairly biased this review.
When & How I Would Drink It
The Bolero Cellars 2017 Tempranillo is perfectly suited for food pairing. That is to say, the body and smokiness makes it ideal with anything grilled (e.g, steak, burgers, lamb).
Burgers, particularly with sauteéd vegetables and/or aged cheeses, are outstanding. However, there are far more expansive options. For instance, grilled ribeye with Argentinian chimichurri, or carne asada dishes would complement the 2017 Tempranillo superbly.
Moreover, since it’s still a somewhat younger wine, you could also pour a glass next to lasagna, baked ziti, or stuffed bell peppers.
How to Get It
Bottle Price: $40.00 ($32.00 for wine club members)
Cases Produced: 714 cases
Have you tried the Bolero Cellars 2017 Tempranillo? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.