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May 09

Spanish California

GunbunWe had a Tempranillo last week. On May 1, actually. I know, we should have been drinking a Riesling on May 1 and saved the Tempranillo for May 5. But come May 5, we were ready for Derby, which is a non-wine day for us.

The Tempranillo was a 1999 Gundlach-Bundschu, Rhinefarm Vineyard, Sonoma County.
For a while, we were members of the Gun-Bun wine club, and truly we miss it. The monthly missives were fun and we always enjoy their wine. As soon as we fulfill our commitment with another club, we’ll probably return to Gun-Bun for a while. We received this wine back in April of 2005, if my notes are accurate, and the cost was around $26.

We drank the Tempranillo as a standalone wine, although in retrospect, I wish we’d tried it with food. I searched for some sort of snack or cheese to accompany it, but we didn’t have the right stuff in our pantry.

The color was a dark garnet shade and the aromas fairly wafted out of the glass. I love it when that happens. I was immediately hit by cherries (black cherries?) and tobacco. These scents receded as the bottle breathed and I noticed some anise.

The wine tasted of dark cherry and tobacco as well. It was a well balanced wine. Kevin (that’s the husband) mentioned the good use of the tannins and how well blended the tannins seemed. This conversation spawned the Glossary post from a few days back. The wine had a consistent finish as well, which is nice. It seemed to be at a nice point, and the peppers weren’t too overwhelming. (I’m not big on a lot pepper in my wine.) For me, I tasted a mouthful of tobacco at first, followed up by the cherries. I preferred the wine after it had been open an hour or two as opposed to on the first pour.

On Day 2, we finished the bottle. I love stretching wine out over a day or two, because I like to taste the differences in the same bottle of wine. On Day 2, the cherries sort of went into hiding, leaving vanilla flavors. The wine was softer and easier to drink at this point. In addition to the vanilla, there was a small kick of spices and pepper.

This was more of a fireplace wine than a wine for a spring evening on May Day. (What can I say? We have a surplus of reds.) I enjoyed this wine a lot, but it didn’t knock me off my feet or make me think of bull fighting in Barcelona or the Spanish in Sonoma Square. It was simply pleasant. I suspect, had we paired it with food, we would have identified more flavors and oomph than we did. I hope I come across this wine again, as I’d like another shot at it.

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Posted by Michelle at 9:11 am in Tastings | Permalink | Comments ()

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