Thursday, September 8, 2011

Battle of the Grapes (Cabernet and Tempranillo Days)

Last Thursday was proclaimed Cabernet Day by Rick Bakas and Tempranillo Day by the Tempranillo Advocates, Producers and Amigos Society (TAPAS). The goal of the concurrent events was to encourage people to open a bottle, enjoy the fun, and share their experiences online with their respective hashtags. While I understand the objectives, I fell that both events are contrived and fail to achieve any real benefits, especially Cabernet Day.

First, cabernet does not need the recognition, it is the king of wines. However, tempranillo is an underappreciated grape in the U.S. that might just benefit from this type of exposure. But how much exposure was really gained from a handful of wine aficionados talking to each other? Rick Bakas claimed that 4,200 unique Twitter users combined to tweet 17,000 times and create 60 million impressions for Cabernet Day. Sounds impressive, but how many of those impressions were limited to just those 4,200 individuals? A group of people can stand around and pat each other on the back hundreds of times and say they received millions felicitations.While a few non-industry people might have participated, on one of the biggest online wine forums, Wineberskers.com, few enophiles had even heard of the virtual event. And, I saw no mention of Tempranillo Day on the forum.

Although, these virtual tweetups may have salience for specific regions or minor cultivars, cabernet does not qualify on either account. I was going to boycott the competing days all together, but had to support the Colorado Wine industry by retweeting a few of the local bloggers' and wineries' Cabernet Day tweets and I even popped the cork on a Colorado tempranillo. I tend to root for the underdog and I figured that a Colorado tempranillo fit the bill.

2008 Woody Creek Cellars Tempranillo

This naturally produced (I'm not jumping into that shark tank) wine is dark purplish red in color. Kirsch is prominent on the nose with hints of tobacco. It tastes jammy with gobs of cherries and blackberries but is a bit grapey, but hey isn't wine fermented grapes? This easily compares to a modern-style Rioja at about the crianza quality level. It is very smooth with very fine tannins and a spicy cigar finish. 13.8% abv Sample $30. Good/Very Good


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