Two of the wine varietals which thrive in the Sierra Foothills are Tempranillo and Grenache. Gossamer Cellars through the creative genius of Gary Grant, combined these two grapes to form their 2018 Mariposa Roja. The growing climate (diurnal temperature swings) are more akin in Calaveras County to Spain, Portugal, southern France and Italy. If you think of those areas (but not next to the seaside), you will find some impressive varietals being made into excellent wine.
Gary combined these two grapes, Grenache and Tempranillo to formulate this intriguing red blend. The Grenache represents your typical strawberry and raspberry fruits, with soft tobacco, cinnamon and medium oak characteristics. Grenache is lighter in color and has a soft finish. Coupled with Tempranillo having characteristics of cherry, plum and dry fig fruits with additional hints of leather, vanilla and sweet tobacco, with a tad more oak. Soft earthy notes and a full body wine are dominate in Tempranillo. The combination of two provided a dark reddish wine with purple hues on the eyes and a finish that provided a wide range of expressions of both wines!
The food pairing last night was baked chicken enchiladas. The enchiladas were made with chicken, flour tortillas, cream cheese, corn, salsa and spices. A homemade red enchilada sauce was prepared using tomato sauce, lime juice, crushed red pepper flakes, mesquite seasoning, chili powder, ground cumin, Sriracha, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, ground Himalayan salt and ground black pepper. Served with fresh purple onion slices and topped with salsa. Muy caliente (very hot) for sure, but the with the fruit profiles of the both Tempranillo and Grenache, it was a soothing influence of the spiciness of the enchiladas and sauce.
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This wine could be enjoyed with so many different foods as it flavor profile range is large and all encompassing. This food and wine were made for each other and their warm embrace served for an enjoyable dinner!