Monte de Oro 2016 Tempranillo

Monte de Oro 2016 Tempranillo

Winery/Vineyard: Monte de Oro, Monte de Oro Vineyard
Product/Varietal: 100% Tempranillo
Vintage: 2016
AVA on Bottle: Temecula Valley

Rating: 92

88/100 from Wine Enthusiast.
3.8 of 5 stars on Vivino (all vintages).

How They Describe It

Monte de Oro Vineyard contains 2,246 Tempranillo vines on 2.8 vineyard acres. The 2016 Tempranillo was harvested August 25, 2016 producing 13.25 tons (3.5 tons per acre) — 20% more than anticipated. Monte de Oro retained all of these grapes for our own production.

The 2016 Tempranillo is 100% Tempranillo. 48% of this wine was aged in new French and European Oak barrels with the remaining 52% aged in 3-4 year old neutral French Oak. After barrel aging for 32 months, this wine was bottled in August 2019 producing 450 cases.

We hope you enjoy this seventh addition offering of our estate grown Tempranillo!

How I Describe It

The Monte de Oro 2016 Tempranillo is on the deeper side of medium intensity. In other words, while the stem is still visible through the top of the glass, you need to squint. The color, though, is a gemstone-like ruby red. It almost glistens. The hue is fairly consistent through the entirety of the liquid, through the bulb up to the rim.

Four aromas make up the bulk of the Monte de Oro 2016 Tempranillo: raspberry, currants, vanilla, and smoke. Undertones of cranberry, plum flesh, chamomile, rose, and butter cream create a very interesting, enticing bouquet.

Juicy, concentrated raspberry, strawberry, and cassis lead on the flavor palate. Not far behind are layers of charcoal, a touch of oregano, cloves, French pastry, and a bit of flint. Tannic cranberry lingers through to the finish.

This is a dry wine with medium alcohol (13.6% ABV). Medium-plus tannins provide texture, while medium-plus acid lends crisp balance. Body is medium-plus, as is flavor intensity. The finish is long.

Why is This Wine Special?

Monte de Oro does a great job leveraging the Temecula Valley AVA’s terroir to craft a really nice wine portfolio. What strikes me is how wide-ranging their red wines are, and how nicely they call back to Old World styles.

The 2016 Tempranillo harkens to Spanish winemaking, though Monte de Oro certainly imparted their own style. This wine would meet the requirements to be called Reserva if it was produced in Spain. In fact, it was oaked long enough that if the winery had delayed releasing their inventory only an extra 15 months, it would have fit the Gran Reserva criteria.

And if you can withstand temptation, the Monte de Oro 2016 Tempranillo is very well positioned for aging. It will be very interesting to revisit this bottle in 15 months, when the wine actually does meet the Gran Reserva criteria.

When & How I Would Drink It

When I sipped the 2016 Tempranillo, my imagination went straight to a juicy burger topped with bleu cheese. The fat would complement the grippy tannins well, and the savory meat and cheese would contrast perfectly with the fruit and smoke.

Then again, herb crusted rack of lamb with a bit of mint jelly would be scrumptious alongside this wine.

In addition, for those looking to minimize their meat consumption, vegetable lasagna would go amazingly well. The tomato sauce and cheese have the right kind of body to pair with the 2016 Tempranillo, and vegetables commonly used for roasting build on the wine’s herbaceousness and savoriness.

How to Get It


Bottle Price: $32.00 ($25.60 for wine club members)

Cases Produced: 450 cases


Have you tried the Monte de Oro 2016 Tempranillo? How did the tasting notes compare with your experience? Leave a comment below.

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