Pagor 2001 Tempranillo (California)

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Those of you living outside California might have some difficulty finding this wine, but I've included it because it's rare to find good California Tempranillo at any price. This one's made by winemaker Ed Pagor, who says most of these grapes are grown in the Sierra Foothills, despite the California appellation. The wine is somewhat austere out of the starting block, but it comes around in the glass, sporting cherry, raspberry, spice and blackberry flavors. The tannins are robust but not out of line, giving it a firm, full texture.

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