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Below is the February, 2008 Featured Wine for the Wines by Jennifer Cellar Club:

2005 Six Sigma

Christian's Vineyard Tempranillo

Lake County, California


Six Sigma TempranilloTempranillo, the "King of Spanish red grapes" is to Spain what Cabernet Sauvignon is to Bordeaux and Napa Valley wines.

This wine is opaque purple in color and boasts charming black fruit flavors including sweet black cherries, blackberries and mission figs. It is full-bodied and mouth-filling with excellent depth and rich, intense, dark chocolate-covered candied orange peel and spicy flavors of cinnamon, vanilla, licorice and mocha. This wine embodies elegance combined with power, dense, ripe tannins and a creamy texture. It can be appreciated now or cellared for many years.

Recipes with lamb and pork, more generally Mediterranean or Spanish dishes, work very well with this 2005 Tempranillo. Also, traditional Tapas, Spanish Serrano ham, Manchego cheese, and all kinds of grilled or roasted white meat pair well with this wine.

This Tempranillo is sourced from a very low-yield single vineyard, Christian's Diamond Mine Vineyard. Grapes were hand-sorted, destemmed and crushed prior to a 5-day cold-soak at 40*F. The fermentation then took place in new, perfectly temperature-controlled five-ton fermenters for 12 days with pump-overs twice a day.

Following the alcoholic fermentation and a 12-day extended maceration, the wine was barreled. The aging occurred in 100% French oak barrels and malolactic fermentation took place in barrels. The wine was not fined nor filtered prior to bottling in order to keep its incredible expression and balance.

Plentiful springtime rainfall and cool temperatures slowed growth and the average bloom occurred one month later than in 2004. Temperatures were very warm in July, with a few heat spikes, not quite 100*F at the top of our Diamond Mine Vineyard. From August to harvest, nearly perfect conditions arrived, with cool and pleasant temperatures; an Indian summer made for a later than average harvest, providing marvelous typical aromas, soft tannins and great balance.

Six Sigma Ranch & Vineyard in Lake County, CAThe wine is 100% Lake County appellation. Lake County was formed in 1861 from parts of Napa and Mendocino counties and takes its name from Clear Lake, the largest natural lake wholly within California.

Lake County has long been known as a farming community. Vineyards were planted in the 1870s; by the early 1900ís the area was earning a reputation for producing some of the world's greatest wines. However, in 1920 Prohibition forced an end to Lake County wine production. Most of the vineyards were ripped out and replanted with walnut and pear farms.

Re-emergence of the wine industry began in the 1960's when a few growers rediscovered the area's grape growing potential and began planting vineyards. The area went from less than 100 acres of grapevines in 1965 to over 8,800 acres of vineyards today, and has seen the recent establishment of several American Viticultural Areas such as High Valley AVA and Red Hills Lake County AVA.

Many of the vineyards in Lake County today support sustainable farming practices.


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