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Abacela 2015 Estate Fiesta Tempranillo, Umpqua Valley, $23
A recent study by Wine Business Monthly magazine pointed out that while the Spanish red variety Tempranillo is the world’s fourth-most planted grape, only 5 percent of the 9,091 wineries in the U.S. produce a Tempranillo. That includes 76 in Oregon, 54 in Washington and six in Idaho. Southern Oregon’s Earl Jones of Abacela pioneered Tempranillo in the Pacific Northwest, and his development of clone 2, both in the vineyard and the cellar, has been critical to the success of Abacela’s largest production Tempranillo — the approachable and ready-to-enjoy Fiesta. His latest release shows great balance of tart fruit and juicy ripeness, featuring ripe plums, blackberry and a hint of mocha lingering in the background of tannins presented akin to plum skin. This won a gold medal at the sixth annual Cascadia International Wine Competition.
Production: 2,363 cases