Dark purple color; cherry, blackberry, smoke on the nose; sour cherry, plum, blackberry, strawberry, leather on the palate.
Dusty tannin with some grip, low acidity, oak and vanilla, big fruitiness, bold wine and additional proof that Spain’s noble red wine grape thrives in Texas. The name translates into “little early” grape (“tamprano” means early, and “illo” is the Spanish diminutive for little), a reference to fact tempranillo is a small grape that ripens several weeks earlier than most grapes. It’s thick, vivid skin color creates its signature dark purple wine color. Unlike other major reds, it is somewhat neutral in aroma, but this delivers smoke and red fruits.
Tempranillo typically has some blend grapes—mourvedre and grenache are favorites—to add complexity and fill in flavor niches tempranillo sometimes requires. Judging by bottle label and winery website, this is pure tempranillo play with the blend coming from various vineyards in Texas. If so, a nice statement about how well tempranillo performs in Texas soil and climate.
Pedernales Cellars is a premier Texas maker with admirable commitment to sustainable viticulture and ecological reverence. The sixth generation Texans who own and run the operation have particular focus on tempranillo and viognier—grapes that appear destined to be signature Texas varieties.
This is seriously good serious red wine at a fair price (which doesn’t always happen with Texas bottlings). Enjoy. $17-20
Second photo: Pedernales Cellars winery and tasting room