Ron Yates Friesen Vineyards Tempranillo, Texas High Plains 2017

Deep ruby color; cherry, plum, blueberry, blackberry, oak, caramel, tobacco on the nose and palate.

Ron Yates Friesen Vineyards Tempranillo, Texas High Plains 2017

Dry; medium tannins and acidity. Very ripe, juicy fruit forward, illusion of sweetness from the grape ripeness. Medium-plus body. Delightful experience that will even please folks who shy away from red wines. Enjoyably long and delicious finish. 15.2% ABV

Ron Yates is the owner or Ron Yates Wines and Spicewood Vineyards labels. Ron has Texas wine roots. He was raised in Kingsland, Texas, down the road from Fall Creek Vineyards in Tow, Texas, owned by cousins Ed and Susan Auler. Ron planed on a career in communications and decided to spend a summer in Spain to touch up his Spanish-speaking skills. He worked on his Spanish, fell in love with wine and the culture of Spanish wine.

Spicewood Vineyards-Ron Yates Wines owner and president Ron Yates and family

Returning to Texas, Ron realized the vineyard landscape in Ribera del Duero closely resembled his native Texas Hill Country with its limestone bedrock and hot days. He instinctively knew Spanish tempranillo would do well in Texas. And he was right. Although he had earned a law degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, in 2007 he approached the original Spicewood Winery owners, Edward and Madeleine Manigold, and convinced them he could be a suitable successor owner of the vineyard and winery. He made good on his word.

Ron Yates-Spicewood Vineyards tasting venue

The 100% tempranillo grapes for this effort were sourced from Friesen Vineyards, operated by John W. Friesen on the Texas High Plains near Lamesa, in the southern end of the Texas High Plains AVA. This 2017 vintage won the Top Texas Wine at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo competition. The winery is located in Hye, Texas, a tiny community between Stonewall and Johnson City in the Texas—that’s east of Fredericksburg, west of Austin, north of San Antonio in the Texas Hill Country AVA. This is the Texas formula: vineyards on the High Plains with excellent terroir for grapes. Wineries and tasting room in the Hill Country AVA.

Ron Yates Friesen Vineyards Tempranillo, Texas High Plains 2017 is delicious, rich, almost jammy iteration of tempranillo. Very easy drinker. Sweetness from ripe grapes, not from residual sugar. Grape ripeness reflects in the 15.1% alcohol. Pair with rich beef dishes, grilled, braised, barbecue; lamb; pork; grilled, barbecue chicken; sausage; wild game—venison, boar; tapas; pasta dishes; spicy food. Cheese—medium and long-cured cheeses; brie and camembert with rind; cantal; aged cheddar; goat cheese—fresh chèvre. $40-45

Ron Yates Wines website

Spicewood Vineyards website