When you think of Spain’s wines the first one to come to mind is the noble Tempranillo grape!

If you think about Oregon’s wines, it has to be Pinot Noir off the top of your head!

But, when you mix the two what do you get? Lange Estate Winery and Vineyard’s Tempranillo.

When I visited Lange in 2009 I was purchasing a case of wine and threw in a bottle of the Tempranillo to round out the case. I tasted it in the tasting room and thought it was “okay.” I’ve tasted enough through recent years to know when I really like them.

I opened the 2007 Tempranillo last night to walk down to my neighbors for dinner. They serving a roasted pork loin and it sounded like a good match. I snuck a sip when I opened it and was frankly unimpressed – but wait!

As the wine opened up it really lived up to the Lange name. I got some chocolate, spice, and those earthy tones I love from Oregon Pinot Noir and France’s Cotes du Rhone wines.

Two wine drinking friends at the dinner were singing Lange’s praise before dessert was served. It was a little lighter than some Tempranillo you’ll have from Spain but Lange’s masterful touch which results in balanced wines makes it worth the price.

Lange buys these grapes from Umpqua Valley in Southern Oregon. It sees a combination of American and French oak. The alcohol is 14 percent on the ’07. The other thing I like, which is so true with Lange and other Oregon wineries, is this is a small batch wine.

It isn’t inexpensive is the catch, especially for a Tempranillo. The ’08 is listed at $35 on the Lange website. Frankly, I don’t remember what I paid but I recall full retail being just over $30 when I bought this one.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com