Home | Recent Tastings | Wine Touring | Cellars | What's New

by Tom Hill

A self-admitted wine geek, Tom lives in Northern New Mexico and works as a computational physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory doing numerical neutron transport & large scale code development. He has been tasting wines since 1971, participates locally with a couple of large tasting groups in his area, and is practically a fixture at most California wine festivals, such as the Hospice du Rhône, Rhône Rangers, and ZAP. Other interests: Tom is heavily into competitive sport fencing (foil & epee), biking, cooking, basketball, skiing, backpacking, mountain climbing.

Some Zinfandel/Charbono/Tempranillo - May 21, 2008


We tasted last week (5/21/08) some Zinfandel/Charbono/Tempranillo:

  1. IlPodere dell'Olivos Calif Barbera Riserva RagazzuLegnoso (13%) 1995: Med.light color
    w/ slight browning; some canned/stewed/tomatoes light cedary/pencilly some earthy/old
    Italian somewhat complex nose; tart/thin metallic/tinney earthy/stewed tomatoes slightly
    tired/oxidized some old Italian Barbera bit herbal/stewed fruit flavor; med.short metallic bit tired/oxidized stewed tomatoes/herbal finish w/ some dried-out tannins; interesting wine but some tired out and just clinging on.
  2. IlPodere dell'Olivos SBC Barbera Riserva BuonNatale (BienNacidoVnyd; 13%) 1995: Med.dark color; rather spicy/Barbera light licorice/dusty/earthy slight pungent/charred/oak some
    complex nose; tart juicy/spicy/Barbera slight tangy rather black cherry/licorice some pungent/ pencilly/oak complex flavor; long black cherry/licorice rather pencilly/charred/pungent/oak finish w/ light tannins; an interesting mature Calif red and in very goodshape.
  3. EdenStuart NapaVlly Zin 100 yr old KorteRanch (14.7%;www.FourWaterGreen.com) 2005: Very dark color; lovely very spicy/raspberry/blackberry perfumed/fragrant light oak nose; tart
    very bright/vibrant/raspberry/black berry/Zin very spicy/bit peppery fairly light oak flavor; med.long bright/vibrant/raspberry/blackberry/Zin finish w/ light tannins; a lovely bright/vibrant/zippy Zin for the short haul but pretty pricey at $36.00
  4. Tsharke TheCurse LateHrvst BarossaVlly Zin (15.5%) 2006: Very dark color; deep blackberry/
    boysenberry/Zin rather Am.oaked classic Oz framboise/liquer nose; soft/fat slight chile/spicy very strong blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/framboise strong Am.oak/vanilla flavor; med. long framboise/
    liquer/boysenberry/blackberry/Zin rather vanilla/oak finish w/ light tannins; much like a BarossaShiraz; classic Oz wine; quite good for the price. $24.00
  5. Fortitude FredianiFieldBlend/Calistoga/NapaVlly (12.8%; 58% Charbono,32% Carignane,
    5% PS, 5% Valdiguie) 2005:
    Very dark color; rather earthy/dusty/old vines licorice/berry slight floral/violets some toasty/oak nose; tart earthy/dusty/old-vines licorice/blackberry rather clunky/ orangatangy some root beer/sasparilla interesting flavor; med.long rough/tannic earthy/dusty/old-vines somewhat licorice/root beer/DrPepper/cola interesting finish; a rather interesting red that rides roughshod across the palate; can use some 3-6 yrs of age. Fairly priced at $24.00
  6. Turley TofanelliVnyd/NapaVlly Charbono (14.3%) 2004: Very dark/black color; strong licorice/
    pungent bit blackberry some perfumed/aromatic nose; tart rather perfumed licorice/blackberry some toasty/oak fairly bright flavor; very long/lush rich licorice/pungent/blackberry lighttoasty/ oak finish w/ some tannins; needs several yrs; not developed much complexity yet; very fair price at $32.50
  7. Turley TofanelliVnyd/NapaVlly Charbono (14.1%) 2005: Very dark/black color; rather earthy/
    dusty slight funky/dirty feet some licorice/pungent/used foreworks slight black cherry interesting nose; slight minty/menthol rather dusty/earthy/old vine slight black cherry/licorice bit clunky flavor; med.long black cherry/licorice/pungent dusty/earthy/old vine finish w/ some tannins; a kind of chunky/blocky wine that needs some age. $32.50
  8. Turley NapaVlly Charbono TofanelliVnyd (14.4%) 2006: Black color; rather perfumed/aromatic
    slight VA/fumey light licorice/blackberry bit closed nose; soft/light some perfumed/volatile/fumey/hot light blackberry/Zin-like light toasty/oak flavor; med.long rather perfumed/aromatic slight volatile/fumey/hot light blackberry finish w/ light tannins; more Zin-like and not as big & chunkey as the previous two. $33.00
  9. Kennedy Shah Tempranillo RattlesnakeHills (13.7%) 2005: Med.light color; rather green walnutty/spicy light toasty/vanilla/oak bit peppery interesting nose; tart green walnutty/spicy/black
    cherry rather toasty/oak slight peppery/spicy flavor; med.long very spicy/green walnutty/black cherry finish w/ light tannins; quite a nice WashState red at a good price. $20.00
  10. AmbythEstate Sangiovese/Tempranillo Mark'sVnyd/PasoRobles (Biodynamic/
    DemeterCertified; U/U; 11.9%; www.AmbythEstate.com) 2006
    : Med.color; rather ripe/jammy
    rather toasty/oak/charred some black cherry bit simple nose; soft very ripe/jammy quite toasty/ charred/oak bit black cherry/boysenberry flavor w/ slight herbal/underripe undertones; med.long
    very ripe/jammy slight herbal rather toasty/charrend/burnt/oak finish w/ light tannins; lots of very ripe/overripe/jammy character but only 11.9%?? A rather peculiar wine and pretty pricey at $45.00
  11. DaveCorey X Melanie Corey-Ferrini X Sherri Corey Pinero = C**3 Tempranillo/
    SantaBarbaraCnty (14.0%; www.CxCxCWine.com) 2005
    : Very dark/black color; lovely/
    perfumey black cherry/licorice very peppery/spicy complex nose; soft rather toasty/oak very spicy/peppery/licorice/cola complex flavor; very long quite spicy/peppery licorice/blackberry/ boysenberry finish w/ some tannins; needs several yrs; not a lot of usual Tempranillo character but a lovely red at a very good price. $18.00
  12. VillaCreek Mas de Maha PasoRobles (60% Tempranillo, 25% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre; 15%; www.VillaCreek.com) 2005: Med.dark color; big/ripe boysenberry/blackberry/black cherry
    some toasty/oak classic WestSide/Paso/Rhonish nose; tart somewhat toasty/charred/oak
    black cherry/blackberry slight minty bit tannic flavor; long slight tannic strong toasty/charred/oak quite blackberry/black cherry lush/ripe finish; needs several yrs yet; good structure and quite Paso/Rhonish in character. $35.00
  13. Tscharke OnlySon LateHrvsted BarossaVlly 75% Tempranilla/25% Graciano (15.5%) 2006: Very dark/black color; very strong blackberry/boysenberry/Zin rather Am.oaked classic Oz Shiraz
    little Tempranillo nose; soft light black cherry/Tempranillo maybe off-dry very ripe/lush some Am.oak flavor; long soft/lush black cherry/Temp/boysenberry some Am.oak finish w/modest tannins; interesting wine but speaks more of Oz Shiraz than Tempranillo. $21.00

And a bit of a BloodyPulpit:

1. IlPodere: This is the label JimClendenan uses for his Italian varietal program. He's made
some pretty interesting wines over the yrs under this label. His Teroldego is one of the best around. The Ragazza was made from old-vine CentralVlly fruit as I recall. The BuonNatale was about the first one he took off BienNacido. Pretty impressive wine for an old Calif Barbera.
2. EdenStuart: This is, I believe, the former Scheutz-Oles wnry. Label sure looks the same.
A very attractive/bright Zin but too pricey. I presume they also make a KorteRanch Petite
as well.
3. Tsharke: This is a new wnry for me that BobWesley (WineHound/SantaBarbara) turned me onto. I liked both of these wines quite a bit and quite reasonably priced.
4. Fortitude: This is the alternate label for some interesting stuff from Etude wines.
5. Charbono: A fairly rare grape in Calif. Originally thought to be or related to Charbonneau
of France or Dolcetto of Italy. CaroleMeredith has identified it as Corbeau, a minor variety in the Savoie. I've had some very good Charbonos over the yrs, particularly the Inglenooks...
back when Inglenook actually meant something. I think Turley does about as good a Charbono as is made in Calif these days. Interesting how so many interesting grape varieties seem to evolve in the Savoie region. Wonder why that is??
6. Tempranillo: I've been pretty impressed by many of the Tempranillos coming out of Calif.
It seems particularly well-suited for some of the warmer areas of the state. Don't think I've seen any truly cold-climate versions. My favorite is easily the Verdad, made by Louisa
Lindquist, from SantaYnezVlly grapes. A variety that should be pursued more in Calif.


<< back to TomHill archive

Home | Top of page | Recent Tastings

Copyright © 1996 - 2008, Tom Hill - All rights reserved
No original material may be reproduced without written consent
Mail & Comments
- Grape-Nutz