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Olivia Brion Tempranillo Shake Ridge Ranch
OLIVIA BRION Tempranillo
"Shake Ridge Ranch" Amador County 2016
$36/bottle*, 91 DDWA: "Great Value"  
Review

*20% off for DDWA Readers (that's YOU!)
Use discount code DAWSON20 at check-out.
Shipping included on 12 bottle purchase and subsidized on less.
Shipping details here


Purchase at Olivia Brion Wines

With almost three decades (shit) of wine selling under my belt, I have a museum full of “Dan turned me onto X” testimonials. Now, I’m not one to put on the “get on board while there’s time” power play, but there’s something about today’s featured grape in California. Maybe, just maybe, in 2030 you’ll tell me how I was the one who turned you onto California Tempranillo.

As California winegrowers look to the future in the face of climate change, “discovering” the best grapes to grow in changing conditions is a necessity. Tempranillo makes perfect sense. The grape of Spain, if you will, it shines in the hot, arid Spanish climate – Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Toro most notably. It’s more versatile than you may think as cooler spots make a lovely yet different style. Compare it to the style spectrum of Syrah: jammy black fruits to peppery bright reds.
Read Jancis Robinson’s Tempranillo lesson for a greater understanding.

Napa Valley winery Olivia Brion acquires its Tempranillo from “Shake Ridge Ranch” in California’s Sierra Foothills. This is a special spot for grapes with varying aspects and soils throughout. Quoting winemaker Steve Edmunds, Shake Ridge Owner Ann Kraemer “farms the blocks at Shake Ridge with the devotion of a monk and the hand of an artist.” To me, the wines from Shake Ridge offer California's truest expressions of their respective varietal. The Olivia Brion Tempranillo is the right wine to taste what I mean.

Olivia Brion co-Owner/Winemaker Kira Ballotta brings captures the essence of the grape in her 2016 Tempranillo. The wine smells and tastes of black pepper, new leather, cocoa, cigar wrapper (tobacco) and intense raspberry, red plum and pomegranate. It has sturdy, fine, not-drying tannins and an elephant’s heartbeat of acidity :-). Robinson describes Tempranillo’s flavor as “savory not sweet,” which implies not fruity. In the case of Olivia Brion Tempranillo, the savory and fruity are partners. They’re Wonder Twins, not Batman & Robin. I’ve enjoyed multiple bottles of this wine over the last year so I have more food pairing ideas than you can shake (ridge) a stick at. If you buy, let me know and I’ll share with you my food pairing successes.


I don't take payment nor commission from the wineries I promote. Except wine, that is, which is perfect because I only recommend wines I like to drink

Speaking of food & wine pairings, Olivia Brion Tempranillo on my St Paddy's Day table:
Olivia Brion Tempranillo at the dinner table
OLIVIA BRION Tempranillo
"Shake Ridge Ranch" Amador County 2016
$36/bottle*, 91 DDWA: "Great Value"  
Review

*20% off for DDWA Readers (that's YOU!)
Use discount code DAWSON20 at check-out.
Shipping included on 12 bottle purchase and subsidized on less. 
Shipping details here


Purchase at Olivia Brion Wines
Lend me 2 minutes to watch my Olivia Brion Tempranillo tasting video? 
"Dan The Wine Man" Returns to Napa Valley Register
I stopped writing my wine column for The Napa Valley Register during the teeth of Covid. My writing mojo couldn’t hold up to the topsy-turvy life served up by the pandemic.I feel that mojo coming back along with the spring, vaccinations and expanded classtime for my daughter. 

I've taken a unique food & wine angle to my columns. "Dan The Wine Man" is a joint with Ken Morris' "Cooking For Comfort" column in The Register's Tuesday food section. Cook Ken's recipe, get my wine recommendation, have a ball.

Help a struggling newspaper out and subscribe to The Napa Valley Register for access to my article and all the paper provides. They have a $3 for 3 month special for online access. 

I've posted my column with Ken Morris' recipes on my Food & Wine Blog at FlavorMountain.com. Three columns posted. Have a look.  
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