Who would have thought? It turns out Tempranillo, when grown on the right site with the right clones, has an affinity for California. Parador Cellars in Napa Valley makes a fine Tempranillo from cuttings and plants originating from Spain's Ribera del Duero and Rioja regions. Planted on a stony slope not unlike those in Spain, the Rancho Chimiles Vineyard produces a supple and juicy red. Dark and chewy, tasting of plums and spice, the 2003, the third vintage from this vineyard site, has the bright acidity and dusty tannins that make it a terrific match for charcuterie, roast pork, ribs and lusty bean soups.
Region: Napa Valley
Price: About $28
Style: Rich and spicy
Food it goes with: Bean soup, charcuterie, country ham, lamb, pork chops
Where you find it: The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, (310) 278-2855, (800) 547-1515; Greenblatt's Deli & Fines Wine in West Hollywood, (323) 656-0606; Silver Lake Wine in Los Angeles (323) 662-9024; Wally's Wines & Spirits in West Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606. Also available from Parador Cellars at www.paradorcellars.com; (707) 256-1770.
-- S. Irene Virbila