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2019 WineSmith Cellars Tempranillo, Tejada Vineyard, Lake County
Top Pick, Slow Wine Guide 2021-
Everything about this wine shouts “I’m alive!” Color is brilliant, almost luminescent ruby. The nose presents intense spiced cherries and complex droughty mountain herbs: sage, rosemary and bay laurel, the signature “air-oir” of a place where nature thrives. The texture is wonderfully silky and elegant, with plump, medium-bodied tannins and a vibrant mineral energy in the finish that testifies to the vineyard’s living soil.
This wine is from fruit grown on the Tejada Ranch in Lake County, just north of Napa. Ibo Tejada is a sort of buddha – fun to be around. His deep roots in the culture of his native Spain inform his choices as a man of the Earth. It requires great attention to detail to grow grapes of this quality organically, and he is committed to fine-tuning his few acres nestled in a mountain glen. He employs no herbicides or pesticides, and his vines’ deep roots and the living soil he nurtures allow him to avoid irrigation.
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