We had no idea what to expect from a wine made by a couple of prison guards. Who would, right? So we were pleasantly surprised by this bottle of Solitary Cellars Tempranillo (get it?). To add to the irony, they’re using fruit from a Lodi, California vineyard called Liberty Oak… boy do these winemakers have a sense of humor, and good taste too it turns out.
Ruby red in color, we found a lovely bouquet of ripe summer blueberries, raspberries and red plums along with dessert-type aromas of toasted almonds, mocha chocolate and toffee. At this point, Winerabble Michele was practically swooning!
And when we sipped, we tasted abundant fruit flavors of red and black plums as well as red cherries. Past the initial fruit, we then began to taste chocolate covered blueberries and spicy, earthy cinnamon on the finish. As the wine lingered on our palates, we found this Tempranillo was crafted in a less robust style with a medium mouthfeel and weight.
Not familiar with wines from the Lodi region, we are now intrigued to try more.
This Solitary Tempranillo is nicely structured and would pair beautifully with barbecued brisket, a hearty black lentil stew or an Italian lamb casserole.
Michele Francisco, a founder and regular contributor to Winerabble, a blog primarily about Pacific Northwest wines, is living the dream in Portland, Oregon. Her passion leads some to believe she's got wine running through her veins. Contact Michele at email@example.com & be sure to visit her online portfolio at www.michelefrancisco.com.