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Nicole Reese Wines

Nicole Reese Wines 2016 Tempranillo

Who is that mystery woman?

I kept hearing rumors of this amazing new winemaker in Southern Oregon who had won a silver medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition with her very first wine. But I couldn’t find her anywhere.


Nicole Reese doesn’t exist. At least, not outside of the bottle. Winemaker Elisabeth Grunwald named it after her children– Sierra Nicole and Braedon Reese.

Once I tracked down a bottle, I learned that Nicole Reese may be a new venture, but Elisabeth had been working as an up-and-coming assistant winemaker in for years. She had a hand in many of Southern Oregon’s most-beloved wines.

Of course, by the time I found her, her award-winning first vintage had sold out. The even worse news? She hadn’t produced a second vintage, unsure about whether the first would be well received. Well, lucky for us, Nicole Reese is back – and it’s so, so good.

Nicole Reese Wines

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Nicole Reese Wines, Medford, Oregon
2016 Tempranillo

Ah, Tempranillo. If there’s a wine in Oregon that shouts out loud, “we can make big, bold wines in Oregon too!”, it’s Tempranillo.

Southern Oregon is a perfect spot for growing Tempranillo, just about at the same 42-43° latitude as its native home in Rioja, Spain. (For comparison’s sake, Rioja is about the same size as Oregon’s Clackamas County, with much of the same rural character – farmland abutting a mountain.)

This wine from Nicole Reese is a perfect illustration of why folks are falling in love with Southern Oregon Tempranillo. Rich and velvety, this full-bodied wine is complex and deeply flavored. But in a nice twist, it is relatively low in alcohol – just 12.3% which is similar to lighter bodied wines.

Bursting with flavors of purple plums, black cherries and dark cocoa, it is rich and earthy with lovely smooth tannins. With hints of tobacco and vanilla, this is an elegant wine with a long finish and will pair well with wild mushrooms, sausages on the grill or paella!

A Cellar 503 selection in May 2019, Women Winemakers Rogue Valley | Tempranillo