Three Pyrenees @ $4.99: 2011 Tempranillo, 2012 Cabernet & 2012 Merlot

Produced/bottled by Pyrenees Vineyard
Purchased Lebanon OR 3-19-2015

I really appreciated the “heads up” phone call I received on these and I feel rather badly that I don’t have a completely glowing report to make. We decided to do a tasting of them, since some of them came in limited quantities…just to see if we would like to purchase more.

We will start with the Tempranillo, since I believe it has gone off (or is heading that way). ABV 12.9%

FullSizeRenderSRV: $40. I bought two bottles of this. Good thing I did. The first bottle was cloudy red, smelled sour and tasted like under-ripe rhubarb.

Screw-top closure.

The 2nd bottle was not cloudy but it was verging on too tart/almost sour. Still tasted of under ripe fruit (cherry/rhubarb). Dry but missing the nuances (spicy earthiness, layers) I expect in Tempranillo. A bit vegetal as well.

Overall, one of the weakest (the last reviewed Garnacha, Syrah and Merlot all beat this one, IMO) offerings so far. Thumbs down for me. My husband rated it a possible drinkable.

FullSizeRender 2The Cabernet (ABV 13.0%) is listed at $80 SRV. I’m sorry, I do buy expensive wines and there’s no way they could sell this for that price (IMO anyway, perhaps I should have said “there’s no way I’d buy it for $80/bottle). That being said, this is a very stereotypical Southern Oregon Cabernet and if you like that style, then $4.99 is a decent value on this one but be sure you check the tasting notes. If your taste profile tends more towards CA Cabernet, this is not for you.

Color is a good plum/burgundy.
Fragrance: Spice, black pepper
Taste: Black pepper, green pepper, grassy, bing cherry, dry. My husband said that it had a slight medicinal aftertaste.
Body: A bit thin for Cabernet but still acceptable.
Cork closure.
Drinkable. Some might list this as a thumbs up, but I’m not a huge fan of Oregon Cab. It’s too peppery for me and rather lacking in the way of rich (vs tart) fruit or body.

FullSizeRender 3The Merlot (ABV 13.2%) is also a typical southern Oregon Merlot as well. SRV is $50 and as a Napa fan, who can get a decent Napa Merlot for $30 or under, this also is not a valid SRV in my opinion.
Color: burgundy
Fragrance: plum, spices
Taste:  nicely dry, plum, black pepper, slight candy-like taste of watermelon or cherry, a bit of alcohol heat. This wine was better with food and out of all the wine we tasted, the one I actually decided to have a glass of. It was best with the scones that we had after dinner. Drinkable+

None of these came close to the Garnacha previously reviewed, in my opinion and none were really to my personal taste. However, if you are a fan of a lot of black pepper (or green pepper) taste in your Merlot or Cabernet (or in general very much prefer the Southern Oregon style vs. a heavier bodied, more rich CA style) then the Merlot or Cabernet might interest you.


8 thoughts on “Three Pyrenees @ $4.99: 2011 Tempranillo, 2012 Cabernet & 2012 Merlot

  1. permiesworld Post author

    I stopped by one of the local GO’s today to see what was available for the wine sale. So far, here in Oregon at least, it’s the same wine we’ve been looking at over the last several months.

    The interesting tidbit I found out today, when I saw that there were only 3 bottles of the Pyrenees Merlot left on the shelf (and none of the others)…apparently customers bought these buy the case (and sometimes 2x) full.

  2. lim13

    I’ve made my feelings known regarding the Pyrenees wines on a number of occasions. This does nothing to change my mind. You’re a brave soul, PW. But sorry it had to be you. To me, it’s absolutely disgusting to think the winery is trying to sell any of these wines on their web page for the ridiculous prices they’re asking.

    1. permiesworld Post author

      Well I was hopeful. I still have some of that Grenache. I’m going to open it tonight. lol I just figured with these, given 2012’s bounty, that it was my best chance for finding another one that I loved. Ah well. It wasn’t that expensive to give them a test drive.

    1. permiesworld Post author

      At this point, you will get no disagreement from me, re: that statement. Too many wines support your theory. Although, in this case, the worst one was the 2011 (imo), at least the others were drinkable.

  3. lapd16756

    I have purchased Pyrenees wines at GO also, they are never very good, sour tasting, obviously turned. I contacted the winery on one occasion and was told that the wines didn’t reach the winery’s standard and were wholesaled to GO.

    1. permiesworld Post author

      That’s just frustrating and unfortunately part of the gamble re: buying wine from GO. You never know if you are getting something dumped as sub-standard or just overstock.

      One year, the Pyrenees Syrah was quite good. Last year, the Grenache was excellent. But it really is a crap-shoot.


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