Both of the Winey Children have been to Spain. The Winey Mom and Hubby: nope. It may be because we took French in our high school days. Stay with me here.. Both the Winey Kids are Spanish students and have been since middle school. When you get to a certain level at their high school, the fearless Spanish teachers there lead a bunch of students on a spring break trip to Spain. Both offspring have made this trip, leaving the Winey Hubby and I back in the US of A. I am thrilled that our children get to travel and see new countries and cultures. And in this case, yes, I was a teeny bit jealous. But I can do something about this: I can drink Spanish wine, something the Winey children cannot do (at least until next summer, when the Winey Son will be of age to sip legally).
I have recently learned, however, that I don't need to head to the Spanish wine section of the store to taste some wonderful Spanish grapes. Seems that the climate of Lodi, California, is perfect for growing Spain's Tempranillo (they call it the "noble grape" over there). The good folks of the Lodi Winegrape Commission featured this wine in a tasting recently to prove this fact to some of us. To make their point, they sent us a bottle of m2 Winery's Tempranillo (2010, 14.5%, Lodi, CA).
This wine is a dark red color and has a nose of sour cherry and fresh cut oak. (I'm told that Spanish winemakers LOVE their oak aging, and these days it's a bit more new world. This wine was aged in new and old barrels, giving it a lovely finish.) It tastes of cherries with a tang at the end - and a hint of mocha in the middle of the taste. For a wine that's 14.5% alcohol, the finish I mentioned before is very well behaved - not overly tannic, a little spicy. You feel the tannins, but they don't last long enough to bite. Again, despite the high alcohol level, you just get a little warmth with it - a great balance here.
This would be wonderful with rich, meaty dishes. Stews, steaks, burgers - all those wonderful cold weather foods would be great pairings. They didn't make a lot of it, so if you find some - snap it up!
And it would be worth your while to explore some other wineries in Lodi. I feel like they get overshadowed sometimes by their neighbors, but if you get the chance, search out some other offerings from this area. Admittedly, I've been focusing on Lodi because of the tasting class I participated in...but it's such a great wine producing area. (You can see my other Lodi wine reviews at Kidder Family Duet and Dinner With Friends and Lodi Wine.
If you want more information on the Lodi Wine area, including maps and tours and events, head on over to Lodi Wines web page.
I was sent this wine for review purposes. The opinions are my own.