Agent for Change Tempranillo 4-Pack
$65.99 $̶1̶1̶3̶.̶0̶0̶ 42% off List Price
2010 Agent for Change Tempranillo, Santa Ynez Valley
CT link above
You know how the Stork delivers babies to all of the parents in the world? Well, this bottle of wine was dropped off to me by FedEx and not Stork, but I signed for the unexpected package with the excitement of a father welcoming home his first child. And given that tempranillo is the officially unofficial grape of the great state of Texas, this Houstonian was simply bursting with joy.
Here’s how it went down: The wine is a really pretty ruby red color in the glass—so much so that my wife commented on the nice color. On PNP, I got strong hints of alcohol/heat and a little bit of bramble or mushroom on the nose. I was a bit surprised by this, as tempranillo is usually pretty fruity. SWMBO noted dark berries and green pepper on her first whiff. My first taste had an odd rush of heat, right off the bat. That subsided into a really rich, fruity taste. I noted strong, ripe hints of cherry, in a very savory way. SWMBO noticed dark chocolate flavors that continued from her initial taste through the finish.
We left the wine alone in the decanter for a bit, then came back to it. Apparently, it just needed some time to itself, because it was a whole different ballgame, when we re-poured the wine. The brambly, mushroom taste was still present, but had moved to the background. In its place were notes of the same ripe fruit that were present on my initial tasting. The taste had greatly improved, as well. The initial heat blew off and what was left was a very mild, but ripe, red-fruity taste. My wife noted cherry flavors and continued to taste the dark chocolate.
And the finish to this wine is a bit odd: It is full of big, savory flavors. I don’t know how better to describe it, but we all noted just how salty or savory the finish was. SWMBO described it as, “It doesn’t taste like I just got done eating French fries. But it does taste like I just got done swimming in the ocean.”
All in all, this was a really nice wine. Notably, I loved the lack of oakiness. Oak is the most prominent red-wine killer in my book, and this wine skirts gently by that dilemma. We hypothesized that this wine would be a very good value at around $15 or $16/bottle. This offering comes in, after tax and shipping, right around this amount (or maybe a smidge higher). But given the cause that you’re also supporting, this bouncing bundle of joy seems like a pretty solid deal.
Moderate alcohol, nice TA, but pH above 4…I’d like to hear more about how that works and whether the wine ends up being flabby.
RAT REPORT - Funny how old friends “drop” by to say hello and let me know they are thinking of me. Thursday afternoon I was surprised by a delivery that I wasn’t expecting…sadly, this hello was bittersweet, but I knew I couldn’t let my fellow wooters down as a rat, so I “delegated” my duties to some friends, but was also able to participate by applied science.
My first reaction upon holding the bottle was to turn it over and see what info the label held. What a pleasant surprise to see a full outline of the numbers. 13.6% alcohol, 4.0pH, 0.15 RS (and a number of others). Just by the numbers alone, I could tell that this was an interesting Tempranillo…one with great potential.
Color/Appearance - Cranberry and polished rust; clear and bright with a subdued richness.
Aroma - Pomegranate and craisins with raspberry and sweet cheery.
Taste/Texture - Soft start, with a subtle and warm mouth feel. Juicy and ripe cherry with undertones of earthiness and a slight hint of cedar and black pepper. Acidity kicked in at the end, providing a mouth-watering finish.
Overall - While the pH might seem a little high, take into consideration the RS, TA and VA. Together, this wine is the best of both worlds. While not overly complex, there are some great things going on here. I see this wine being served with a slight chill on a warm summer evening with some spicy grilled fish tacos and fresh salsa. Way to go Martellotto Wines…great work for a great cause.
Shameless plug - Some of you know my history with Scott and Jana Harvey and Scott Harvey Wines and I wanted to share an article I wrote for them a while back. In doing the research for this article, I taught myself a lot about paying attention to the numbers…and I hope it helps you.
Wow! How’s that new biz coming along?
How wonderful to see you back, even if you delegated your lab duties!
Looking over the cited mostly dimensionless numbers, and trying to relate them to your linked piece (thanks), I’m having a bit of difficulty.
pH is easy, on the high side, but you help explain that one.
TA, Total or Titratable Acidity;
you use % that I believe is equal to g/100ml. Here we have 6.2 listed. Perhaps as g/l? That would put this at 0.62% TA, and pretty average.
VA, Volatile Acidity; isn’t this generally accepted as Acetic acid? The dimensionless 1.0 must again be in g/l and give us 0.1% and seems high for what is generally considered an undesirable acid component, no?
So the acidity kicking in at the end must be due to the VA and not TA, but just isn’t being perceived as vinegar and keeping this out of the ‘flabby’ regime one might expect given the pH, interesting.
Pretty much still undecided, do we get a third opinion?
PM for ya MM79
I’ve been exposed to both Spanish and Cali temps in the last couple of years and really enjoy how it goes so well with a huge variety of food. I drink wine with dinner and so it’s become a no brainier to pick it off of a restraunt wine list. Curious about these but don’t really have room for a single bottle.
So nice to see your name! Hope all is well
Clark Smith is a big proponent of high pH winemaking. HERE are his thoughts on the subject.