Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Wine Competitions- good or bad

Tis the season for wine competitions- newspapers, fairs, magazines. Making the decision what is the right competition or whether to compete is difficult. And for good reason. You never know what the outcome will be. One taster loves you, the next thinks you are not worthy of mentioning. Then, if you have a varietal that is not mainstream, well, you never know what you are going to be compared to. For example, Tempranillo. The standards are from Spain and even there they are going through a major evolution- so I say standard somewhat loosely. There are not that many of us making Tempranillo yet, so these wines get lumped in as Miscellaneous Red. That can make coming up with a fair evaluation a challenge even for the most experienced of tasters. So, I am challenged- any comments, recommendations- how do you look at competitions?

Take a look at Tempranillo wineries and vineyards @ www.tapasociety.org/ - this is an organization that is growing and gaining some momentum. When I started with this group there was just a handful, now there are four. A recruitment drive is on, so I expect we will see this list grow.

I also wanted to share a couple of sites that are promoting varietals and appellations : www.avawine.com and www.appellationamerica.com - another good source for domestic Tempranillo as well as other fun varietals.

Well, it is time for a glass of wine and watch the rain- Cheers from the Mustang Winemaker


Steven Tolliver said...

Hi Penelope,

Its interesting to see the growth of Tempranillo in California. How's the consumer reaction been?

The Mustang Winemaker said...

Hi Steven,

Consumer reaction has been great provided you can do a little education and taste the wines. It seems that a lot people, and I am one of those people, are looking for something different. But the varietal is looked at as a 'novelty', which I hope will change soon! Tempranillo is gaining ground, but is still widely unknown in the US-Spanish wines generally do not say that they are Tempranillo based. Though that is changing some as they are doing some heavy marketing to the US.
I belong to an organization called TAPAS- Tempranillo Advocates, Producers, and Amigos Society-made up of Tempranillo producers and growers. We are starting to get involved in more events to get the education out to people about how this grape and its wine.
Any trends that you have seen?

ryan said...

Over at Catavino, we've interviewed Parador Cellars and Twisted Oak, mainly because we wanted to know more about Tempranillo from around the world. In our podcast Tapas came up, and I'm also in touch with a Tempranillo producer in Texas. Seems to be a popular Varietal.

BTW you should get on the Wine Blog Atlas Map when you have a chance. Just feel out the form on the "contribute" page.

I look forward to trying some of your wines in the future!

Cheers, Ryan

The Mustang Winemaker said...

Hi Ryan,

It does seem that Tempranillo is gaining some ground- slower than I would like to see since that is all I produce!
I will look into the Wine Blog Atlas Map when I return.

I like your site and noticed you are doing your part to give Rose' a boost- I do a Tempranillo Rose' and know a couple of others close by that are doing this as well. A great varietal IMHO.

I am on my way to Portugal tomorrow. I will do what I can to deplete as much Vinho Verde as possible.

Thank you and let me know if I can help on the wine front,

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