Deep garnet with clear edges. Big round ripe plum, slate, intense smoke and eucalyptus carry a bit of heat. Such a beautiful nose–pecan meats and sweaty tennis-shoe make for a perfect balance of ripe and funk. Over-all, oak and licorice mingle with pepper and sagebrush on dry open hi-desert drenched by summer torrents.
OK, so I know I am coming dangerously close to wonking hard for this winery… Their Cab-Sang super-Tuscan blend is in the running for WOTY and you need to do whatever it takes to get yourself some of that. As is usually the case, I narrow a winery down to a short list based on things I have read (with Paso, this is an EXTREMELY short list and gets weeded out drastically) and the flagship Bella Luna passed the test with flying colors. So I went back to get some other varieties. This Tempranillo easily ranks up there with some of the best I have tasted on the Central Coast. Spicy and generous, but reserving an edge of mystery, thin and bright, showing concentrated guts above and beyond the bouquet.
In the mouth, the spicy acidic edge requires you to search for the fruit a bit for a split second and then there are no worries. Green and fabulous, packed with mint, the jammy beauty of this thing overpowers all the structure, blasting through on walnut-shell wings through peppercorn channels. Gripping and intense, mouth-wrackingly tannic, blind, I might reminisce to Petite Sirahs of the 80’s. The prefect meeting of Old- and New-world. Brilliant and ripe, sweet, oaky and fruit-driven, but oh so perfectly structured. I might start a special section of *Tempranillos of 2016* just so this thing can trounce all comers. I guessed 14-1, which shows you how ripe and jam-packed this thing is. Turns out to be far more balanced.
2011 BELLA LUNA Tempranillo Siletto San Benito Co. 13.4