Abacela Winery 2007 Cuvee tempranillo (Oregon)

Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on February 2, 2010:

51 years ago at 1am Iowa time on February 3, someone saw alive, for the final time, Buddy Holly, JP “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and Ritchie Valens leave Mason City Municipal Airport in Iowa, after a rousing concert for their “Winter Dance Party” tour before their Bonanza plane struck the frozen ground in Albert Juhl’s cornfield at 170 mph a few minutes after take-off. Don McLean’s “American Pie” song would further immortalize that day as “The Day The Music Died.”

To the “kids” today who listen to Ke$ha, LMFAO, Taylor Swift, David Guetta, etc., I can only say this—you don’t know jack about really good music! Charles H. “Buddy” Holly was the original “nerd” rocker. “The Big Bopper” was the original pop-stud. And, Ritchie Valens, even at the tender age of 17 when he died, is still known as “the Father of Tex-Mex (Chicano/Latin)” rock. Challenge me? Buddy Holly (1986) and Ritchie Valens (2001) are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And, “Chantilly Lace” was the third most played song in 1958, after spending 22 weeks in the national Top 40, peaking at number 6. It’s one of my all-time favorite songs that always brings a smile.

Tonight’s music pairing is to reflect the memory of, perhaps, the most promising of the three talented singers, the song: “Donna” by Ritchie Valens. “Donna” was released a couple months earlier and climbed to number 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100. That single was about Ritchie’s girlfriend, Donna Ludwig, who still sports a license plate of “ODONNA” to this day. No one since, good as some have been, who has covered “Donna” has been able to adequately recapture the emotion and soul of the original. The 1987 film, “La Bamba”, starring Lou Diamond Phillips and featured the most famous version (so far) of the movie title’s hit song (by Los Lobos), was the “B” side to “Donna” on the 45-rpm by Del-Fi Records.

What’s all this nostalgia got to do with wine? Wine, at its best, is all about enjoyment, of which I am the master of. And, to separate it from all other ethanol-containing beverages, wine has the innate ability to capture a moment in time and allow the brain to file it deep in its cortex for later retrieval with sensory triggers. Tonight’s wine pairing is in response to that event. Furthermore, I searched for food to make this a pure “love triangle” by driving out to Taqueria el Rinconsito for some Chicano grinds.

If you want to know more about Abacela’s brilliant history, see my earlier post crooning over its Albarino. If you want to know more about Tempranillo, find my post on Washington State Tempranillo. I don’t like to repeat myself as I think it’s insulting to you readers. If I have to remind folks that this is thee grape of Spain, I will hurl chunks. And, mind you, expect Tempranillo to be a major player down the road as wines that appeal to those of Spanish-descent and the Chinese nationals will overtake our current populars. Quote me on that.

Color: reddish-bluish-violet. Nose: soft notes of blueberries, plum, thyme, and blackberry. Mouthfeel: quiet but with a medium-presence. Tail trail: 6 seconds. Flavors: blueberry liqueur, velvety blackberries, worn leather, electric-red cherry. Balance: classic Tempranillo from pour to ingestion. Power: low, due to naturally low acids and early ripening. Depth: a couple layers deep. Finesse: smooth, quiet, fulfilling.

Vineyards: 85% Fault Line (estate), 15% McCorquodale and Delfino. pH 3.69. TA 0.6%. Oak: 85% French, 15% USA, 10% new, 24% 2-yrs. old. (Winery: correct your harvest year). Bottled May 27-29, 2009. 1876 cases. Alcohol: 14.1%. Released June 22, 2009. Rated: 90. Value: $25. Paid: $20. This is WAwineman…reflective, uncorked, uneducated, but not uncouth.

Oh baby, hope this is what you like!

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