I got up early and spent the morning picking up and dropping off picking bins are a couple of vineyards around the valley. There was some light rain overnight, but that should be the last precipitation for about a week, possibly longer. Forecast temps aren't quite as high as a few days ago, so we look to be getting the perfect mild weather anybody wants at harvest time.
Dropping bins is the necessary task that most growers require, meaning you need to provide the bins the fruit will be delivered in. Sometimes growers provide their own, but often you reciprocate by returning them. One way or another, it means lots of transport time in the middle of busy harvest work in the winery. This morning was beautiful, the fall colors beginning to come on, the drive a nice chance to see lots of vineyards, who's picked, who hasn't, how do canopies look, like that.
Tonight, in memory of where I worked the 2005 harvest, I opened my lone bottle of 2005 Evesham Wood Tempranillo Willamette Valley. This fruit came from the Illahe vineyard near Dallas, in the area as the well known Freedom Hill vineyard. 2005 was the first year Evesham Wood produced tempranillo, and the first time I had even heard of tempranillo being grown in the Willamette Valley. It's not common, but there are vines here and there.
I was a little afraid to open this wine, honestly. When I tried it on release, it seemed pretty reduced. I bought one anyway to see how it would turn out. The fruit came in moderately ripe, perhaps seeming a little less than optimal. That young wine didn't impress me much. Now? This is beautiful. I should have bought more. Nice dark but translucent color, with a varietal aroma of tobacco and mixed fruit and maybe some toasty oak. There's no shortage of tannin here, but they're ripe and the juicy fruit and tobacco flavors are really nice. What a great testament to locally grown tempranillo from a moderately ripe vintage. 2005 saw some good rain at harvest, but so many wines turned out wonderfully, this being no exception. There's no trace of underripeness, just nice balance. Evesham Wood does it again. I have a bottle of the 06 Tempranillo that I'll save a while yet. I may have missed out on '07, but I'll be on the look out for '08 when it's released. Can this producer do no wrong?