Tarantas Tempranillo 2012

The Tarantas Tempranillo 2012 is 100% Tempranillo sourced from certified organic vineyards in the Utiel-Requena DO of Valencia in eastern Spain (not far from the Mediterranean). Tarantas is made by Bodegas Iranzo one of the oldest wine estates in Spain, records show an estate on this site since the 1300s and the current estate dates to the late 1700s. The Utiel-Requena DO (named after 2 villages in the area) has temperatures that can go below zero in the winter and above 100 in the summer, so the grape vines need to be very hardy. This is a Crianza wine (Spain has different categories based on length of oak aging) and this Tempranillo was aged in American oak barrels for 6 months. The alcohol content is 13% and this wine should be found for around ten bucks.

The color is a barely see-thru cranberry red. The nose is vanilla, extracted black cherry, coffee, a little smoke off the BBQ grill, and exotic spices. This Tempranillo has a large, smooth mouth-feel with a solid dose of acidity. It tastes of a mix of blackberry and blueberry, tart cherry and a touch of tobacco. The mid-palate shows some earthy flavors, along with pepper and cocoa powder. The tannins are well hidden by the body of the wine and the acidity allows this wine to work well with food. The finish is full and reasonably long.

The Tarantas Tempranillo 2012 is a very solid, certified organic $10 wine. Most people may think of Rioja when they think of Spanish Tempranillo, but the Tarantas is definitely a Tempranillo worth trying. This is a wine that tastes of Spain, often, producers from other countries when importing wine to the US make wine in a style they think will appeal to American wine drinkers that do not necessarily reflectthe wines they sell locally. The Tarantas Tempranillo is a well-priced, certified organic (Vegan-friendly and Non-GMO, too), with a real sense of place.

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Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.