Sure a lot of people buy wine at the grocery store. I’m not usually one of them, though. Here’s what happened when I recently purchased a bottle of 2015 Ahtanum Ridge Tempranillo at a local PCC store in Seattle.
I wasn’t intending to buy any wine. Typically, we have an ample supply at home from purchases made during visits to wineries. However, my curiosity does tend to compel me to browse the wine aisles at grocery stores. That’s when I saw the unfamiliar label. The shelf talker claimed the wine was perfect with tacos. It just so happened that tacos were on our menu that night. Coupled with a $12.99 price tag, this Ahtanum Ridge Tempranillo kept begging me to pick it up.
A closer look revealed that Phil Cline of Naches Heights Vineyard was behind the bottle. Phil, a viticulturist in Washington State’s Yakima Valley, is known for farming with organic and biodynamic practices whenever possible. Since this Tempranillo is a collaboration between Phil and PCC and isn’t available anywhere else, I consider that maybe it’s worth giving it a try.
Ahtanum Ridge Tempranillo Revealed
At home as I remove the foil and twist the corkscrew into the closure on the bottle I wonder, “At this price point is the wine going to be a dud?” After all, red wines from Naches Heights Vineyard usually run $20-38 a bottle. I pour and sniff. The bright ruby liquid gives off whiffs of dark chocolate, toffee, butter. I swirl the glass, then detect some mint and eucalyptus. At first sip I am pleasantly surprised. This wine is quite an easy drinker! It’s fruity and fresh, definitely a new world expression of the Spanish variety. The splash of Mourvèdre blends in seamlessly. In the words of the hubby, “That’s the best $12.99 wine I’ve had all week!” Thankfully, this Ahtanum Ridge Tempranillo is a winner of a weeknight wine.