Stag’s Hollow Has Guts! 2019 Tempranillo Joven

There is an ocean of Tempranillo in Spain and quite a lot in the Douro in Portugal where it is known as Tinta Roriz. But in Beautiful British Columbia? You just may think you are hallucinating when you see “Tempranillo” on a Stag’s Hollow bottle. No dreaming buddy you are staring at bravery and innovation.

Many wine drinkers I bet have no familiarity with Tempranillo unless of course they are savvy customers of Stag’s Hollow nestled in the Okanagan Hills of British Columbia or have travelled to Spain and returned with a love of Tempranillo. So you introduce an unknown on your shelves you are a risk taker. Risks can pay off or explode in your face. So what is the result here?

In this case it is a Stag’s Hollow 2019 Tempranillo Joven (Young Tempranillo) with 3% Dolcetto in the blend. Fermented in both stainless steel and neutral oak and then aged for an additional 9 months sur lees.

The aroma is basically screaming “Black Cherry” at your nose, raspberries, dark chocolate and some pomegranate add to the mix. I think the nose is hinting at a serious wine? On the palate warm and inviting with a certain lightness to it. The technical sheet describes this wine as “zippy and fresh”. “Zippy” makes me nervous as noticeable acids in red wine can be volatile and destructive. No I would call this light and seductive. I am picking up some sour cherry, blueberry pie and loganberry jam. The tannins are light. And at 12.3% alcohol surprisingly robust.

I agree with the technical sheet stating drink through to 2024.

153 cases were produced.

The winery recommends Spanish tapas, robust and spicy lamb dishes, paella, American BBQ, Mexican food, burgers, spicy Indian dishes and Cajun dishes. Right on. Note than in Ribera del Duero in Spain baby lamb is a favourite match with a clone of Tempranillo called Tinto Fino.

To Stag’s Hollow I say your risk has paid off well and if only we could get this wine distributed throughout Canada you’ll need at least 15,000 more cases. Bravo “Braveheart” Stag’s Hollow.

(Stag’s Hollow 2019 Tempranillo Joven, Okanagan Valley, BC VQA, Stag’s Hollow Winery, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, $ 21, 750 mL, 12.3%, Robert K. Stephen Set The Bar Rating 92/100).

If you want to see the Stag’s Hollow line-up see

If you want to order and help a Canadian winery in these COVID times call 250.497.6162.

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