Tannat

2007

Rocosa Loma Vineyard

Estate Bottled

 

Vineyards: We planted our small Tannat vineyard in the rocky and well drained soils of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The cool growing region means we can harvest grapes that are fully ripe yet still retain the appropriate amount of natural acidity.

 

Winemaking: The challenge with Tannat is balancing the wine’s fruit and its aggressive tannins. During fermentation we try to accentuate the soft tannins with aerobic pump overs and long macerations.  Because Tannat loves oxygen, it took over 24 months of barrel aging before this wine was ready for bottling.

 

Tasting Notes: When Tannat is made properly, it is bold yet refined, thought provoking and rousing - an experience that extends beyond the last glass.  It has a rich fragrance of violets and brush, like Santa Ana winds over a field of sage.  The tannins immediately fill your mouth (and for the uninitiated this might cause a moment of concern) but you’ll see they are knitted and structured and form the matrix that begins to fill with a thick, surging wave of viscous blackberry and licorice fruit. Take another sip alongside a savory roast and you’ll see how the aggressive components in Tannat work to release and accentuate the rich flavors of your meal.  For Cambiata Tannat, break out your aged beef, ripest cheese and a contemplative state of mind; the wine’s intensely concentrated flavors, quintessentially indigo red profile and forthright but balanced tannins will reward all three.

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2009 Albariño

Estate Bottled

TA: 0.65

pH: 3.30

Alcohol: 13.5

Residual Sugar: zero

What you need to know: this wine is pleasantly floral, reminiscent of ripe peaches, pears and nectarines. The wine is dry and crisp but with enough body to be substantial and rich in the mouth. The floral qualities bring a cool sweetness to the wine so it will match well with hot and spicy food. The crispness is right for most fresh fish and the rich viscosity lends itself well to bold seafood like crustaceans or shellfish.

Material of possible interest: This is the fourth vintage of Cambiata Albariño and over the years the production has doubled from almost nothing to slightly more than zero. The hillside vineyard is settling down and dialing the crop size for extra super fine wine has becoming easier. The oldest vines are already producing concentrated wine so the future looks bright for Albariño from cool, coastal Monterey.

Cambiata Albariño is fermented cold to capture a fair amount fruit and I’ve always found that yeast kept cold produce a wine with greater depth. This wine is made anaerobically from harvest through bottling which means I take extreme care in making sure the wine never sees oxygen until it reaches your glass. This method, sometimes referred to as the anaerobic New Zealand style, not only keeps the wine fresh but averts the destruction of many flavor precursors that the yeast will later turn into some of the highly enjoyable complexities liberated only after the wine swirls around your tongue.

The ulterior motive: We don’t cook or eat like we did 20 years ago. With the Cambiata project, I am positioning the wines for ultimate survival in our culinary evolution. Since we are pumping up the flavor of our food, making fusions of fusion cooking, employing ingredients from around world, we need new wines that hold up their end of the food and wine tango. Fish with lemon and butter is a staple but start adding toppings like poblano peppers, mangos and cilantro or shakes of paprika, cumin and red pepper and now you’re in the realm where the Cambiata Albariño really shines.  Please enjoy this cultural favorite of western Spain, now grown on a hillside in Monterey.

Complimentary notes:  Awarded Best of Show, Premium White Wine, 2009 Orange County Wine Competition

                                                  Awarded Best of Class, 2009 Central Coast Wine Competition