The Wine Idiot Reviews: Terrenal Tempranillo, 2015 ($3.99)
I hope I'm not just kidding myself, but I think working on this blog is refining my palate. I mean, when I started out, the only thing I used my "palate" for was to determine whether the milk in the fridge had gone bad, so it can only get better from there, right?
Anyway. The Terrenal wines are, like the Grifone wines I'm such a fan of, a family of wines that can be had at Trader Joe's for usually under $5 a pop. The Grifone wines consistently delight me, so I thought I'd give this one a shot.
I was, in fact, delighted. I don't think this is the greatest tempranillo anyone has ever made, but I do think it's probably on par with that La Finca Tempranillo, an Argentinian wine (the Terrenal is Spanish). It's absolutely worth $4. Maybe even $5!!
I'm gonna quote directly from my tasting notes here, because sometimes I really amuse myself: "Oh, that's feisty. Whoa calm down, wine. Tsunami of earthy peppery spice."
LOL. I am nothing if not brutally honest about my experiences. So yeah, it's pretty intense from the get-go. I think it's quite tannic--there's a lot of mouth-puckery-ness if you don't know what you're getting into. But it's not astringent like some cheap big red wines can be. Weirdly, I actually didn't taste grape until long after I'd swallowed this, which led me to write in all caps "I ACTUALLY REALLY DIG THIS FINISH."
I ate this with some toscano cheese on those amazing TJ's Everything Crackers. First, this is a great combo with this wine. Second, it could have been because of this pairing, but I swear I started tasting poppyseed in the wine? Whatever. Maybe I'm just always expecting a $4 wine to depress me like that Roustabout Meritage (which was $8 and I'm still super bitter about paying that), and then when it doesn't I just perceive it to taste a lot better than it is? But I liked this wine. Definitely worth the money, at least.
What the bottle says: "Origin: This wine is made from grapes harvested in Yecla. The unique combination of excellent weather and soil characteristics of this area allows grapes to achieve ideal ripening conditions."
What the Wine Idiot says: I think this bottle knows I won't be traveling to Yecla on a fact-checking mission any time soon. Carry on, bottle.
Who's responsible for this? "Imported by D'Aquino I.I. Co., Duarte, CA, Produced and Bottled by R.E. 6315 MU-ES"
Do I need a corkscrew? Yes.
What do smarter people say about it? The Wine Musings Blog reviews kosher wines, and apparently all the Terrenal wines are kosher! They had some really good things to say about it (and obviously have a better palate than I): "The 2015 Cab from Yecla is a great PQR and the Tempranillo is not far behind with a lovely QPR non mevushal wine. It improves on the 2014 vintage. While this wine does hail from Spain, it is not a Rioja by place or style. It is far more blue and earthy than black/red and dusty. The nose on this wine is vibrant with black cherry, strawberry, blue fruit, and earthy aromas. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is a nice wine indeed, with great acid and tannin, showing spicy fruit, blackberry, ripe boysenberry, nice round and appealing and capable of handling many a food. The finish is spicy and long with nice spice, along with a dollop of vanilla, great root beer, and more spiced blue fruit. Nice!!"
Should I bring it to a friend's house? Sure! In fact, at this price point, it might be fun to bring one of each of the Terrenal wines they have in stock to do a little taste test. No one will hate you.