Tasting and Contemplation

RoxyAnn 2011 TempranilloPalate fatigue is a common experience in the tasting room. After several tastes, even when spitting, it becomes more difficult to define each wine clearly on its own merits. But, palate fatigue aside, there is something else missing when tasting wines by the dozens. A brief few minutes with one wine among 30 or more can’t do most wines the justice they deserve.

RoxyAnn’s 2011 Rogue Valley Tempranillo in the tasting room had aromas of leather and oak with undertones of cherry and blueberry. It felt full-bodied and rich. At home, over the course of the evening with a plate of chorizo and tomatoes, and later, on its own, the Tempranillo presented aromas of leather, mineral, and dark cherries with a coffee aftertaste. The wine felt deep and rich with soft smooth tannins and a crisp acidity. But something I noticed while spending time with this wine that wasn’t as clear to me in the tasting room was how well integrated the wine is. The elements of the wine, the alcohol, acidity and tannins are all well balanced. But beyond that, the flavors of the wine are in perfect harmony with each other, as if leather, mineral, dark cherry and coffee were all holding hands and leaning backwards with equal amounts of tension, each flavor offering perfect balance to the others.

Many things in our environment can effect how we taste and experience wine; music, mood, the people we are with, the weather. But many wines demand and deserve more than a quick sip. Some wines’ complexity can’t be appreciated in the fleeting minutes we give them in a tasting room. There are some wines that deserve and are worth an evening of contemplation.


Roxyann Winery is located at 3285 Hillcrest Road in Medford Oregon.  Their website is http://www.roxyann.com



8 comments on “Tasting and Contemplation

  1. thewineyenta says:

    Thanks for your thoughtful post – exactly why I believe in mindfulness in wine tasting.!

  2. Did not know that tempranillo was grown in Oregon. How does it measure to the Spanish standard. Totally agree with you on palate fatigue. Sometimes is good to step back and take the time with some wines.

    • foxress says:

      Tempranillo does really well in the warmer southern regions of Oregon. Compared to a Rioja I would say Oregon’s Temp is rounder and smoother, generally. Thanks for reading.

  3. Josh says:

    Very well said! That’s why I very rarely take tasting notes in a tasting room. Getting to know a wine well usually takes time.

  4. The term “palate fatigue” explains it so well. I’ve tried extensive note taking, no note taking to better concentrate on the wine itself but either way palate fatigue sets in. The things we must suffer for our love of vino. Seriously though it’s amazing at times to see how wine changes when given time to contemplate. Salud!

    • foxress says:

      Ernest! ‘The things we must suffer for our love of vino,’ I’m pretty sure falls into the realm of ‘first world problems!’ You are absolutely right. Good wines do change over time. They present different aromas from one minute to the next. The better they are, the more slowly they unfold. Thank you as always for stopping by. It is always nice to ‘see’ you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s