Saturday, July 15, 2006

2003 Opolo Vineyards Nebranillo

The more I discover unique flavors in my beer, the more I appreciate the amazing jobs that vintners perform when blending grapes into wine. It is one thing to blend two grapes from the Bordeaux region, becuase lets be honest, Merlot and Cab were made for eachother. Its quite another to blend two grapes that are traditionally from very different parts of the world, and create a suprisingly good wine.
The Winery: Opolo Vineyards is located in Paso Robles, off of Peachy Canion road. All of Opolo's wines are estate grown, giving the opportunity to gain more control over the final product. When a winery chooses to have estate grown grapes, it allows them to truly have total control on what grapes are grown where, pruning methods, harvesting methods, and of course, when to harvest.
The Wine: A unique blend of two very different grapes. The Tempranillo, a tradiational Spanish grape from the Rioja region and Nebbiolo a traditional Italian variety. Blended 48% to 52%. Both variatals were fermented sperately, then aged 20 monhtes in 30% new American Oak. Finally just prior to botteling the two wines were blended. The wine weighs in at a hefty 14.8%. In the glass it pours a nice bright red cherry color. In the nose there is cherries, vanilla, oak, and a slight white pepper note. In the mouth there is that nice sharp cherry vanilla with toasty hints of oak. There is a sharp dryness here with a residual warmth from the alcohol. Plummy afternotes. There are some tannins, either from the grapes or the oak I can't tell, but it does dry out the mouth a bit. Still a very nice wine I'd grade a B.

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