Let's Look at these Yummy Tempranillo Finds

Last week, I showed you some of the key points on why I love Tempranillo.  This is a versatile grape variety that can be paired with a variety of items.  It’s not too tannic due to the ageing requirements in Spain but has enough balance and structure to give it body.  What I love most about this variety is the price in most areas.  I’m able to find deals all the time if you know what to look for.

My plan today was to present two great wines for you to review and make choices.  However, I realized something important.  Again, the goal is to drink a bottle of tempranillo quickly.  As I stated in the last article, tempranillo dies in the glass almost faster than any other grape variety.  Generally, consuming a bottle over an evening is not an issue.  Especially when the wine is good.  Until you get sick for the last few weeks with some type of crud. 

Therefore, I’m going to list one review this week and post another one later to save the bottle and the winemaker’s work instead of gassing it and watching it die.

Paton Clemente Tempranillo Crianza 2020

This is a wine that I picked up again at Trader Joes (I’ll list the price at the end).  While Trader Joes does not have a big or extensive selection, I’m liking the opportunity to try a variety of wines for a low price.  Are they all good?  I can say that they all do not meet my taste profile.  Anyone who has ever taken a class with me knows what that means.

  • It means that I do not consider the wine to be good even though is not faulty as you may like the wine.

In a nutshell, I don’t care for all of them.  However, this one I love.

Brian – Why do you Like it?

For me, the best part of any wine is the overall package of how everything blends together.  You can like the aroma, the flavors, or the tannin levels.  I look at all wines as a package of everything blended.  For example, if a wine is tannic but I like everything else, I may purchase it and place it in storage for it to age and hope the tannins drop. 

A great wine for me tells a story on the palate.  I always like to say that it talks to me by showing parts of itself and then telling me to drink it.  This tempranillo does that as it’s a good wine.  However, it also talks to my chef side and tells a story of what I can pair with it.  Let me go through the profile and then I’ll suggest some pairings.

Aromas – This wine opens in the glass showing red plums, black and red cherries, some dried fruit (a hint of raisins but more currants), smoky oak, lavender, dried thyme leaves, dried meats (Like Charcuterie) and small hints of wet gravel, cocoa, and orange zest.

Flavors – This wine shows slightly unripe red cherry, blueberry, black plum with dried currants, mushrooms, and the dried meat.  It has hints of gravel, oranges, charred oak, and something herbal (hard to make out distinctive).

Sweetness – Its’ right between dry and off dry.  The fruit makes you think it’s sweeter than it is

Acidity – this wine has great medium + acidity that helps keep the palate fresh.

Tannin – This wine surprised me with its medium + tannins.  These are well integrated in the structure, so they are not pronounced.

Texture/Mouthfeel – Juicy mouthfeel like eating ripe fruit is the best description.

Body – Surprisingly, this wine is just a bit stronger than a medium body.  Everything leads you to think otherwise but the fruit lightens the load.

My Opinion

My overall opinion is that this is a much bigger tannic wine than I was expecting.  THAT IS NOT A BAD THING!!  As a Crianza, I was expecting a lower level.  These tannins are great blended with the juicy acidity and almost dry sugar levels.  Add in the unripe fruit in the aromas and flavors and this wine excels.  I classify this as a food wine.  That means while the wine is good, pairing it with food will make this wine much better.

My Chef Side starts Pairing

The chef’s side is something that I do not talk about much.  Just because it’s so hard for me to explain.  I equate it to a whiteboard that I’m staring at that’s blank.  When I taste a wine, once the profile has been completed, items just magically appear on the board.  I just let it flow.  I have to because if I try to interject, it disappears, and I have to start again.

Today’s board has:

  • An appetizer of fresh cherries in a sparkling off dry Cava.
  • A beautiful herb roasted chicken (with that crisp skin) that when you cut into it flows juices. I’d pair this with roasted small potatoes stuck on a skewer made from rosemary stems served with tarragon cream. 
  • Manchego Cheese that has been diced and marinated in great Olive oil with roasted peppers and onions.
  • Focaccia for the above marinated cheese but just because it’s also tasty.
  • I’d finish with gently sauteed black and red plums, a splash of fresh tangerines served with a hint of sweetened whipped cream

I know…I should be making this now for you. 😊

Final Thoughts

Today’s wine is a great find.  Yes, I have had better Tempranillos.  I’ve had the honor of having Tempranillos from the 1970’s that are full of life itself.  However, this is still a great find and one worth trying. 

I failed to mention its price of under $6.  I did that on purpose as price always changes the mindset of people one way or another.  If I had said that this wine was $30, you would have a different opinion of it.  No matter what the price is, this is a good wine.  I can’t wait to share the other review of the tempranillo as I look for a Gran Reserva to share as well.

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