Fantastic fruits. Mouthwatering acids. And just enough tannin to be complex while not overwhelming a good meal. That’s what puts our 2016 Clarksburg Tempranillo on our Top Ten list for great food wines. Tempranillo (pronounced, “tem prah NEE yoh”) is known as Spain’s “noble grape”. It is the mainstay of Spain’s Rioja wines, but a relative newcomer to California.
This vibrant, aromatic varietal leads with red-fruit aromas and flavors of red raspberry and cherry. A hint of herbs and a spicy note of pepper follow on the nose. On the palate, red plum leads to an elegant finish with hints of pepper and cocoa. You might even find the essence of tobacco.
California returned to more typical weather for 2016 with adequate rain. February was, however, warm and dry, encouraging early bud break; temperate summer conditions led to early harvest in many locations. Dry farming practices, however, moderate year-to-year weather differences for more consistent ripening.
Clarksburg, vineyard certified sustainable
0.55 g/100 mL
10% 1 year old American oak; 85% 2-3 year old French oak
August 29, 2016
Brix at Harvest
April 4, 2019
August 1, 2019
Brothers Steve, and Mike Heringer grow our Tempranillo in Clarksburg, good stewards of their land for going on seven generations. While close to Sacramento, Clarksburg’s climate could be a continent away. The unique micro-climate of the sixteen-mile-long, eight-mile-wide appellation has cool afternoon breezes and even a little night fog. The vineyard is certified sustainable, which speaks to the Heringers' meticulous viticultural practices that include dry farming instead of routine irrigation.
Think Spain and tapas. We love Tempranillo with savory, rich sausages. Its smoky flavors are a great match for pork, beef, lamb or chicken that has been grilled over coals or a la plancha. Try wild mushrooms—they share an earthiness with the wine. Stews and braises, even if they’re shellfish-based, are an ideal match. And dill makes a perfect bridge ingredient, complementing the herbs on the wine's nose.