Above the Rush Wines – 2019 Tempranillo
It was by happenstance I noticed a new (for me) winery called Above the Rush in village of Vallecito on Highway 4 on my way to Murphys in the Sierra foothills. On the return trip, I took a gander to see what Above the Rush Wines was about. I was greeted by a welcoming Sheri Hendriks who owns the winery with Rob, her husband. It turns out it is a second label from Aloria Vineyards located in Murphys. I briefly tasted a couple of Aloria wines about 2-3 years ago but have never participated in an in depth review of the wines. So this turned out to an excellent opportunity to get some background for Above the Rush as well as Aloria Vineyards.
Sheri provided the detailed background on their property of 120 acres with 52 acres being planted. It is on a valley and hillside with magnificent views of New Melones Lake. The property is at 2200 foot elevation. They started the second label to show case some of their newer additions to the lineup of wines. I only had time to taste two wines. The first being their 2021 Albariño and their 2019 Tempranillo. I was extremely impressed with the 2019 Tempranillo and purchased one bottle on the spot for a dinner coming up. The label is looking upward through the trees to the night time sky verses a crowded city. Their tasting include small bites to enhance and showcase the wines.
The Wine: Above the Rush 2019 Tempranillo
The color was an amazing deep enticing purple, so unique and almost solid in coloring except the beautiful edges. The viscosity was medium to medium heavy. On the nose, aromas of black plums and leather are just the leading edge of flavor that awaits one. Once on the palate, the fresh lively fruit of cherry meets an earthly red soil to formulate a quintessential Tempranillo of “old world” taste. On the finish, cedar and pipe tobacco provided a long and hearty finish in the mouth. The acidity was bright and tannins were noticeable and correctly angular for a Tempranillo with surprising layers of enjoyment. The alcohol level is 15.8%. The wine was aged in barrel for 22 months with American oak, 50% being new. It is listed at $48/bottle.
The Food and Wine Pairing
This evening’s meal was baked chicken cheese enchiladas. Ingredients consisted of shredded cooked chicken, cream cheese, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, fresh roasted corn kernels off the cob, cumin, dried oregano, cayenne and onions. Then topped off with a tangy salsa, cheddar cheese and green onions. Together this was a spectacular food pairing with the cherry and plum flavors of the wine softening the spicy enchiladas.
I will now need to go back and taste some of the other wines offered by Above The Rush Wines.