2018 Mineral Wines Tempranillo – A Mouthful of Flavor

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The Winery

Brett Keller and his wife Andrea own Mineral Wines in Murphys, California. Brett started out in Hospitality Management but eventually went back to school earning his degree in Viticulture and Enology in 2003. When Brett and Andrea moved back to Angels Camp (Calaveras County), Brett took over management of Andrea’s family 4 acre Cherokee Creek Vineyard. Initially this property grew exclusively Merlot, but subsequently Brett grafted three acres of vineyard to Roussanne, Viognier and Petite Sirah. These are the main stay and define Mineral Wines today. In addition, they produce a Zinfandel, Malbec, and various Meritage blends, Tempranillo, Barbera, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Their tasting room is located at 419 B Main St. Murphys, CA.

The Wine – 2018 Tempranillo

(Photo ©Michael Kelly

First, on the label, it is Wulfenite stone, from the Red Cloud Mine, La Paz County, Arizona. Brett has various stone, gemstone and mineral pictures on each of his labels. It adds a nice touch to have “gemstones” representing his valued wines. This wine won Double Gold Medal, Best of Show at the 2022 Sierra Foothills Wine Competition.

First on the eyes an enticing purple hue lures your interest with a medium body viscosity. On the nose, aromas of raspberries and blackberries swell up to greet you. On the palate, the berries are ripe and delicious followed by red cherries. On the finish a hint of vanilla and cinnamon make it a delightful treat. At $38/bottle an excellent wine and it will make my annual Best Wines Tasted in the year report (December 2023) for wines up to $50.

The Food and Wine Pairing

(Photo ©Michael Kelly)

Chose this wine to have with our dinner of Carne Asada. With a short break in the weather, BBQ’ed the marinated flank steak. The marinade ingredients included, fresh chopped cilantro, olive oil, soy sauce, fresh squeezed orange and lime juice, minced garlic cloves, a diced jalapeno, ground cumin, Kosher salt, ground black pepper, marinated for 24 hours. The steak was seared for about 3-4 minutes a side along with jalapeno peppers roasting on top of the steak. Topped off with fresh minced cilantro and a modicum of fresh squeezed lime juice. Accompanying the meal was sautéed asparagus and mushrooms, along with a fresh garden salad.

The Carne Asada was flavorful and spicy without being too red-hot! This fruit forward, but not a “fruit bomb” wine, coated the mouth and made a totally enjoyable meal.






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