Raptor Ridge Winery 2016 Folin Vineyard Tempranillo Reserva, Rogue Valley
During this stellar vintage for Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, the Shulls added to their string of fascinating work with the bold Spanish red Tempranillo and Folin Vineyard near the Southern Oregon town of Medford. And the timing of this harvest — two days after Labor Day — showcases one of the reasons why early-ripening Tempranillo is favored by both growers and winemakers. The berries, picked at 23 Brix on Sept. 7, would ultimately spend 23 months in French oak, leading to consumer-friendly aromas of black cherry punch and Jolly Rancher grape candy, backed by complex secondary notes of forest floor and leather. There’s a follow through on the palate, which is loaded with rich, dark fruit and resolved tannins for a Tempranillo this young – making it very approachable and drinkable. Meanwhile, its bright acidity and lower alcohol profile bode well for age-worthiness, too.