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North Bar Cellars

North Bar Cellars 2019 Tempranillo

Tried & True Tempranillo

North Bar Cellars specializes in small-batch southern Oregon wines. Located in southern Oregon, the Rogue Valley American Viticultural Area is home to 29 wine grape varieties grown at elevations ranging from 1,200 to 2,000 feet. The valley is 70 miles wide by 60 miles long, encompassing three river valleys and three mountain ranges. This wide range of topography creates a multitude of different micro-climates, each with their own unique terroir. (French for “my dirt is better than your dirt.”)

Each year I select one ton (two barrels) of the best fruit I can find that expresses the place where it is grown. My goal: to make the best wine possible with the least amount of intervention.

Committed to the sustainability of the vineyards that grow the grapes for my wines and the winery where I produce them. Since 2019, I have sourced my grapes from the organically farmed Steelhead Run Vineyard. Barrel 42, where I make North Bar Cellars’ wine, is organically managed. And in a small effort to reduce my winemaking carbon footprint, I have chosen lighter weight bottles and beginning with the 2020 vintage eliminated foil capsules.

North Bar Cellars

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

North Bar Cellars, , Oregon
2019 Tempranillo

Introducing retired lawyer turned winemaker Kevin Breck makes less than 50 cases a year. In 2022 he debuted his brand by entering both his 2017 and 2018 North Bar Cellars Tempranillo into the Oregon Wine Competition, where they both promptly took Double Gold and sold out. I found the 2019 to be spectacular so we bought it all before the competition results could be announced.

The 2019 vintage represents the third step in our ongoing exploration of this classic Spanish varietal. The fruit comes from the Steelhead Run vineyard located on the banks of the Applegate River. Long, hot days and cool nights provide the ideal terroir for growing beautiful Tempranillo.

This medium-bodied wine offers blue stone fruits, leather, warm spices, vanilla, moderate tannins, and a long lingering finish. Compared to the previous two vintages, the 2019 throws a slightly softer punch. Think Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Joe Louis!

Wine Dork Stats

VINEYARD: Steelhead Run

HARVESTED: October 3, 2019

CLONES: 1, 2, Duero

BRIX: 23.8

pH: 3.49

TA: 6.2 g/L

ALC: 14.0%

AGING: 22 months in French oak barrels; 24 months in bottle


A Cellar 503 selection in July 2023, Tributes & Training Wheels Applegate Valley | Tempranillo