Tempranillo is Spain’s noble grape. But grow it in California? John and Lane Giguiere pioneered winemaking in the Dunnigan Hills 30 miles east of Napa and found the Mediterranean climate with 40-degree day to night temperature swings worked well for this grape variety. The varietal is the focus of their Matcbook wines. The 2009 Matchbook Tempranillo, $15, delivers a punch of bright blueberries, cherries, and spicy pepper, capped off with brown cooking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg) and cocoa powder. It’s Tempranillo powered by the California sun. A portion of the wine was fermented on natural yeasts, which showcases the fruit. The Tempranillo was enhanced with dabs of Graciano and Cabernet Sauvignon for depth and richness. It’s a nice summer wine — not too heavy but well-flavored and constructed.
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