Abacela 2013 Barrel Select Tempranillo, Umpqua Valley, $33

As the maturity of the Fault Line Vineyards settles in, Abacela’s amigos benefit. Founding winemaker Earl Jones describes Tempranillo as akin to a Cabernet Sauvignon in its youth, and here are classic notes of Bing cherry, pomegranate and cherry pipe tobacco with the variety’s magisterial tannins. While it spent less time in new barrels (31% down from 44% the prior vintage), this release still offers dark toast, vanilla and milk chocolate. At this point, the finish carries the muscularity of a Petit Verdot with a trail of Montmorency cherry juiciness and white pepper. In a decade, it will begin to drinking more like a Pinot Noir, but in the meantime, enjoy with lamb or pork. There are 27 acres devoted to this grape at Abacela, and production of this flagship Tempranillo increased by nearly 25 percent from the 2012 vintage.

Rating: Recommended

Production: 747 cases

Alcohol: 14.2%

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