Longoria Santa Ynez Valley Tempranillo Clover Creek Vineyard 2004 ($~35) - Winemaker Rick Longoria indicates that this wine is made in the 'Old World Spanish' style. To admitted California cynics like myself, this might seem to be so much marketing hoo-ha. However, I doff my cap to the Longorians - they have created a wine that offers the essence of Spanish Tempranillo - a la Rioja or Ribera del Duero - whilst adding a very subtle New World twist.
Longoria's Tempranillo is deep ruby red in color with scents of fresh 'forest berries' (wild blue-, rasp- and strawberries), tobacco and a touch of cedar. In the mouth, this wine is right chewy with hearty American Oak-derived tannins. To get the most from this wine, let it breathe for an hour or more before serving, or, better yet, lay it down for 3 years or so. It is extraordinarily age-worthy. A fine wine at a very fair price. Sip it with grilled sirloin or spicy sausage and you'll certainly agree this wine is better still than Eva!>>