2010 Matchbook Dunnigan Hills Tempranillo

SKU #1144638 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 *Featured In Robert Parker's Best Buys of California Article* The 2010 Tempranillo ranks alongside some of Spain's great values made from this grape, not an easy achievement when this varietal is grown in California. A blend of 83% Tempranillo, 10% Tannat and 7% Graciano that was aged 22 months in a combination of American, French and Hungarian oak, it exhibits copious notes of spice box, cedarwood, black and red fruits, licorice and a hint of graphite. With a voluptuous texture, medium body and a layered mouthfeel, it should be enjoyed over the next 2-3 years. Matchbook Wines, which is part of the Crew Wine Co., has produced some thrilling value-priced wines under the capable hands of winemaker Dan Cedarquist. I was knocked out by two of the red wines.  (8/2013)

K&L Notes

Matchbook's 2010 Tempranillo is sourced from a single vineyard in the Dunningan Hills AVA in the northern end of California's Central Valley. The vineyard was planted with cuttings of Tempranillo and Graciano from the Pesquera region of Spain. The 2010 vintage was slightly cooler than usual for the region, and it yielded a concentrated wine with a spicy and brambly profile.

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Price: $12.99
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Staff Image By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/13/2013 | Send Email
Why the heck are we sending you an e-mail on a domestic Tempranillo from vineyards that are close to Highway 5? Because it may just be one of the sneakiest values of the year from California, even Robert Parker says so. A blend of 83% Tempranillo, 10% Tannat and 7% Graciano this is not to be confused with Spanish Rioja or Ribera del Duero (where the Tempranillo cutting for this vineyard came from, coincidentially) but a truly Californian take on what we can do with the noble Tempranillo grape. Aged in oak barrels, not on chips or staves, for 26 months in a mixture of American, French and Hungarian 15% of which was new this wine has a lovely sweet tinged and opulent nose full of friendly pencil lead, dried wild berries, coffee grounds and fresh blackberries. Ripe and lush on the palate with a deep set core of black fruits, sagebrush, cola and bakers cocoa this just wildly over delivers for the paltry $13 price tag. Bright and sassy on the finish much like great Rioja, but totally different, this shocked me with its varietal honesty and superb balance. A must try wine for lovers of the varietal or great bargains.

Additional Information:



- A very important red grape varietal that's native to Northern Spain, grown across the north and central regions of the country. Low in acid and alcohol, with subtle strawberry, leather and tobacco notes, the grape responds well to oak aging and plays particularly well with others. Tempranillo is an important component, when combined with Garnacha, Mazuelo, Viura and Graciano, of Rioja, with the best examples coming for the cooler, higher-elevation regions like Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. It is also grown in significant quantities in the Ribera del Duero where it is called Tinto Fino and Penèdes where it is called Ull de Llebre o Ojo de Llebre. Tempranillo hasn't gained a particularly strong foothold outside of Spain, achieving some success under the name Tinto Roriz in Portugal. There it is used as a component of Port and in the table wines of the Ribera del Duero and the Dão.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Central Valley/Lodi

- With a reputation for bulk wine and table grapes, little to no quality wine has emerged from the expansive Central Valley since companies like Franzia and Gallo staked their claim here. The exception are new wine ventures in sub-AVAs Lodi and Clarksburg, home to jammy zinfandels and surprisingly distinguished chenin blancs respectively.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.9