Keyways Tempranillo 2011

Keyways Tempranillo 2011Purchased from Keyways Vineyard $34/Bottle

Aaron:  Raspberry balsamic vinegar flooded the nostrils and led to a flavor which felt spicy for a tempranillo.  I was expecting something calmer with mild tannins but much of this is due to the Temecula climate.  This wasn’t harsh but it certainly is on the bold side.  Some bitterness rounds out the subtly sweet cherries making for a nice though somewhat chalky wine.  88 points

Teri: Keyways makes a pleasant Tempranillo with a rich dark cherry smell and a full body but smooth taste. Nice balanced oak blends with fruit on the palate with some raisin and oak on the finish. A good bottle but not too distinctive. 88 points


Castillo Catadau Gran Reserva 2005 Tempranillo

Purchased from Naked Wines, $11.99

Aaron: This had a full bodied nose featuring pepper, strawberry and raspberry.  I noticed a prominent cherry flavor but more importantly a little too many tannins on the finish. These were accompanied by a significant spice which was almost tart but completely different from the flavor.  I felt this was heavy for a Tempranillo and had a starkly different finish and flavor.  88 points

Teri: Aside from the slight tart flavor, this Tempranillo was filled with berry and dark cherry flavors on the smell and taste. It rounds out with full tannins and a strong oak flavor on the finish. 87 points

2 Copas 2011 (Syrah/Tempranillo Blend)

Wine of the Month Club, $21.99

Teri: I tasted a lot of ripe strawberry flavor with berry and a slight smoke and oak finish. The flavor is full and lingers pleasantly on the palate. The tannins are full but smooth. This bottle would be great with full strong meals, pastas, meats, or lamb. The fruit and earthy flavors are balanced well to accompany any occasion. 91 points

Aaron:  There was a potent, intense smell to this Syrah blend.  Raspberry balsamic initiated an open flavor which made me think of a hollow sphere.  Spice and fruit surround a light center, which evaporated.  The flavors honestly seemed like fruity gummy chewies (fruit snacks, not gummy bears).  90 points

Anciano Grand Reserva 2001 Tempranillo Valdepenas

Purchased from Costco, $7.99

Aaron:  I wasn’t as impressed with this wine as Teri was but have to admit, the bottle looked pretty spiffy (please note, the word “spiffy” is put in this post simply for my good friend Robert Tran, the best wedding photographer in Orange County, check out their site at  Back to the wine: I wasn’t impressed with the bitter, spicy smell of under ripe fruits though the mellow, flowing flavor could complement simple dishes.  There was a kick to this tempranillo and it was a bit too spicy on the swallow but had lots of warmth and some berries.  Most notable to me was a distinct red apple flavor.  87 points

Teri: I loved the smell of this wine: a cherry-brown sugar fragrance that was quite pleasant. The wine itself also had unique characteristics with nicely structured tannins, bold notes of oak, mild spice, and raspberry and a flavor that dissipated extremely slowly on the palate. It would stand up to pasta dishes, meats, and BBQ. The 10 years has grown this reserve bottle into a unique, bold, and full flavored experience. 90 points