Wine Review: 2004 Twisted Oak Tempranillo

16½ winehiker points*

Here’s that post I promised y’all way back on September 20th. After the novelty of the rubber chicken came the novelty of opening the wine and instantly smelling the herbal muskiness of cat pee.

Cat pee is good, mind you, as long as you’re smelling it in something you’re about to drink and not hosing it off your patio. Fortunately, this aromatic aspect of the 2004 Tempranillo from Twisted Oak Winery of Calaveras County, California, is fleeting, and the wine that follows is worthy of tasting.

Upon my first swirl, sniff and resultantly halting sip, I chose to decant the entire bottle into my glass duck, the most pungent fragrance of this wine plus the tannic notes characteristic of the Tempranillo grape dictating my decision. I returned in a little over an hour to a fruity sweetness on the nose and a balanced acidity on the palate.

2004 Twisted Oak Tempranillo

The tannins are not low in this wine, but are not so high as to be a turn-off; astringency is lower than I expected. With a moderate mouthfeel (medium body), moderately powerful cherry flavors and a medium-long finish — about a minute — I feel this wine is a well-balanced accompaniment to food.

In fact, after my initial sips, I savored this wine with a hot plate of liver and onions with potatoes and gravy, and found the combination fabulous. But even without food, quite possibly this wine is light enough on body and heat (13.9%) for warm-weather slurping.

“OK fine,” you lament, “but what about the rubber chicken?”

Oh yes — the rubber chicken. Suffice to say that a rubber chicken actually did arrive inside my shipment of wine from the twisted folks at Twisted Oak. I won’t tell you what I’m doing with mine, but you can read about what Dr. Fermento is doing with his up in Vallecito.

But even if you consider yourself to be twisted, too, don’t order this wine for the rubber chicken — order it for what’s waiting for you inside the bottle.

$24.00 at Twisted Oak Winery.
Disclosure: This wine was sent to me for review courtesy of Twisted Oak Winery.

*Rated on the 20-point Davis scale.



5 thoughts on “Wine Review: 2004 Twisted Oak Tempranillo

  1. Hi Russ – thanks for the good words on the Temp! I just hope everyone realizes that a 16.5 doesn’t equate to an 83 on the WS scale…! Actually, I think the WS equivalent would be 91, I’ll leave the math as an exercise…

    Also, to be honest, having had cats around most of my life I guess my sniffer for cat pee is gone – I know other people refer to it, but I have never smelled that in any wine! Are you sure it wasn’t the liver and onions?

    Keep it twisted! – j

  2. Jeff, I can’t claim it to be the gospel Truth, but I believe the scholars who get ultra-wiggy about this stuff apply a “fluff factor” multiple of 1.0957218 to wines rated on the Davis scale.

    There’s no accountin’ for eggheads. But if there was, then let’s see — sixteen and a half multiplied by the quantity one hundred (WS) divided by twenty (Davis) times a few sips of this, a plate of that, and two glassfuls of the other over the course of an evening multiplied by the U.W.F.F. and, well, close enough.

    I swear it wasn’t the liver and onions — honest! I microwaved the wine before I poured the dinner.

  3. Pingback: Wine Review: 2005 Twisted Oak Viognier | Winehiker Witiculture

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