Dominio IV, The Tango, Tempranillo, Columbia Gorge AVA, Three Sleeps Vineyard, Oregon, US, 2006, 13.8% abv, US$45

DIVO the TangoI’m so confused.

Most who know me would say that’s a permanent state (insert raised eyebrow here).  That aside, herein lies the source of my befuddlement.

This wine is made from Tempranillo, but the winery is based in Oregon’s McMinnville which is in the Yamhill wine region of the Willamette Valley.  Generally speaking this is not renowned Tempranillo terroir.

However, do a little digging and you learn the grapes are from the biodynamically farmed Three Sleeps Vineyard (love it) located northward in Mosier, Oregon – part of the Columbia Gorge AVA that straddles Washington and Oregon states.

This lies on the south side of the Columbia River just east of Portland.  Technically in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains and with an arid climate more akin to that of Yakima, there is much less rain here than in the Willamette, making it possible to grow Tempranillo in addition to Viognier and Syrah, among others.

The wine (The Tango) is an opaque garnet with with deep legs.  The nose is alcoholic but once that blew off, rich aromas of black and some dried fruit and vanilla spice were exposed.  The wine needed some decanting and opened more after 30 minutes to show deeper berry and leather.

The palate is dry with medium plus acidity and dusty ripe tannins with a good amount of grip yet for an 8 year old wine.  The alcohol is medium plus and although it was high at the outset, after aeration the wine had medium plus intense flavours of deep cassis, blackberry, prune, raisin, clove and nutmeg.  Leather, tobacco leaves and soy sauce rounded it out with a strong finish.

This was truly delicious (WSET ‘Very Good +’)- aged for 5 years prior to release and drinking beautifully with adequate acidity and dusty tannins carrying to the finish.

No longer confused by this point, we enjoyed the wine with our fresh pappadelle and bolognaise sauce, local heirloom tomatoes with fresh basil, buffalo mozzarella and a drizzle of Puligian olive oil, Serrano prosciutto and green Castelvetrano olives.

Allan bought this south of the border in Bellingham, WA at a tasting, but you can also drop into their beautiful winery in McMinnville or book at stay at their B&B located in Mosier at the Three Sleeps Vineyard.

About winellama

I love wine...and finally decided to do something about it.
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