Upper Five 2012 Tempranillo, One for the Cellar.

How does magic happen? Is it the perfect balance of place, care and luck or is it the fact that it's fermented with wild yeasts straight from the field?

How does magic happen? Is it the perfect balance of place, care and luck or is it the fact that it’s fermented with wild yeasts straight from the field?

Upper Five’s 2012 Tempranillo is one of those rare sensory experiences that reminds you how awesome it is to be alive, also to have a tongue and working olfactory nerve. With notes of cinnamon, cherry and blueberry framed by a perfect balance of silky tannins and vibrant acidity, this vintage showcases the best new world Tempranillo has to offer. It’s an amazing wine grown right here in the Rogue Valley, and i’m not the only one who thinks so, it won a Gold medal at the 2014 Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition.

“The best fertilizer is a farmer’s footsteps” and “wine is made in the field” are the theories that Terry Sullivan, owner of Upper Five lives by. However, it seems more likely that his use of Biodynamic growing practices, careful vine cultivation and attention to soil health probably have more of an effect on the final product. Though he employs the preparations he is not a Biodynamic certified grower but his meticulous “hands-on organic farming practices and hands-off natural winemaking philosophy” definitely produces great wine.

Resiliency: 7/10 Dynamic and balanced but still big, hard to drink for the entire day.

Affordability: 5/10 Unfortunately very limited.

Cannabis Pairability: 9/10 The blueberry flavor with solid tannic structure begs to be paired with the strong berry/sweet/earth profile of a strain like Grandaddy Purple.

Dopeness: 7/10

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