Wherein we ask local wine notables to make our weeknight drinking decisions for us.
A native of the Northwest, Jackson Rohrbaugh discovered his passion for wine during a year abroad in Italy. He has worked in restaurants throughout his adult life and finds Seattle’s food scene to be one of the most professional and exciting. Formerly a sommelier and lead server at Canlis, Rohrbaugh now holds the very European-sounding title of vice-director of wine and service at Aragona.
And when he’s not working? “A perfect day would be coffee at Slate, lunch at Salumi, and a walk up the waterfront to Zig Zag for a cocktail before hopping a cab or walking to Mamnoon for dinner.”
So Jackson, what should I drink tonight?
2011 Idilico Tempranillo. I’m excited about the wines coming from Pomum Cellars’ side project, Idilico. Here in Washington, we have an expat Spanish rocket scientist turned winemaker producing some delicious wines from Iberian grapes. Idilico’s Tempranillo comes from the Columbia Valley, but many of their vineyards are in the new Ancient Lakes AVA, where the summer heat is tame enough to produce balanced wines. Like Central Spain, Eastern Washington is dry with a large diurnal shift—cool nights and hot days. This brings the flavor and color into focus in both the grapes and the finished wine.
This Tempranillo is a pleasant wine for early spring, when the weather is still cold. We need fresh, medium-bodied reds without too much extra weight, and this fits the bill. It shows classic tempranillo characteristics of sour cherry, leather, spice, and sweet tobacco, and is an absolute steal for $20. This is great with roast chicken and root vegetables, grilled pork chops, or pan-cooked rice dishes.
Find It: Wine World and Spirits, Pike and Western, Esquin (by special order)