2011 Salida Tempranillo

Hello friends. Washington Tempranillo can be an exciting category. What has traditionally been less exciting is the price.

I was thrilled, then, to see this lovely wine offered to our list at a tariff considerably lower than its normal $20-$24 tag.

I had to spelunk through the Full Pull archives to see if we’ve ever offered a Washington Tempranillo at a tariff this low. The answer: negative.

In fact, the only sub-$20 bottles we’ve offered are Javier Alfonso’s outstanding Tempranillos under his Idilico label. Otherwise, it’s all $20 and up.

I’m hoping this is a leading indicator of a trend, where as more Tempranillo vines come online in Washington, more value bottlings become possible. This particular value bottling comes from Doug McCrea, whose eponymous label (McCrea Cellars) helped launch the Rhone movement in Washington. Perhaps Salida will do the same with Tempranillo. These are still early days when it comes to Spanish varietals in the northwest.

Regardless, this is a little marvel (from Two Coyote Vineyard outside of Zillah) that could easily be confused with a Rioja Crianza from one of the more modern houses. It starts with a good leafy Tempranillo nose, mixed with black cherry, earth tones, and leather spice. The palate is a crepuscular stew of tea leaves, black cherry, blood orange, and more insistent earthy chew. I love the combinations here, of fruit and earth, of richness and vibrancy. This packs a lot of pleasure into a modestly-priced package.

This label has rarely been reviewed by traditional media. Paul Gregutt reviewed some of the early vintages for Wine Enthusiast (including a 93pt review for the 2006 and 92pt review for the 2007), but that’s about it. I should also note that I’m not sure if we’ll be able to fulfill reorders at this reduced price or at something closer to $20. But for now, it’s first come first served up to 24 bottles, and the wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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