Llaneros Wine Club

News Archives

Wine Spectator

Dec. 31, 2008-Jan. 15, 2009
Abacela receives an 88 on our 2006 Tempranillo Umpqua Cuvee

Albarino shines as versatile white

By Eleanor & Ray Heald, HometownLife.com, October 23, 2008  more...

TAPAS Takes Root in Oregon

By Christina Kelly, Oregon Wine Press, October 2008
Tempranillo pioneer Earl Jones organizes advocacy group more...

Hilda & Earl JonesSF Chronicle

New World conquers Tempranillo

By Christina Kelly, San Francisco Chronicle, October 3, 2008
New World conquers Tempranillo: The noble grape of Spain is finally achieving its potential on the West Coast of America more...


TAPAS in Napa

By Adam Pearson, News Review, October 6, 2008
President Earl Jones, owner of Abacela Winery in Winston, said the first-ever TAPAS event was a success. more...

Wine & Spirits

Spanish Vines on the West Coast

By Patrick J. Comiskey, Wine & Spirits Magazine, October 2008 PDF


Albarino:  Spanish white gains U.S. foothold

By Eleanor & Ray Heald, Practical Winery & Vineyard Magazine, Sept/Oct 2008 PDF


Hey, amigo, try my tempranillo

By Bill Daley, Chicago Tribune, October 1, 2008
American growers hope to lure buyers with their take on wines from Iberian grapes more...


The Insider's Guide to Oregon Wine Country

By Camas Davis and Condé Cox, Portland Monthly Magazine
Earl Jones, who was the first to plant tempranillo in the area, may do for Southern Oregon what pinot pioneer David Lett did for the Willamette Valley. Article pg 9-12


Recession special: bargains are few and far between.

By Liza Zimmerman, San Francisco Examiner, August 5, 2008
One of Oregon's greatest producers is not located in the Willamette with the rest of the gang but in Southern Oregon in Roseburg. Spanish wine varietal specialist Abacela makes great tempranillos and a super rosé, with bright cherry fruit, made from garnacha (grenache) with a little tempranillo. It is priced at $14. Full article


White fish and pinot blanc

By Annette Solomon, Statesman Journal, June 25, 2008
Seasonal white fish, such as halibut or sturgeon, pairs best with crisp, floral wines, such as a pinot blanc from St. Innocent or an albariño from Abacela Winery. Some of the nicest cooking techniques to allow these types of fish to maintain their subtle nuances without being significantly altered, are poaching, broiling or baking in parchment. Web


Katherine Cole counts the credits due albarino, a zippy thirst-quencher

By Katherine Cole, The Oregonian, Thursday, June 24, 2008
2007 Abacela Estate Grown Umpqua Valley Albarino: This Oregon albarino has attracted the praise of world-class wine critics, and for good reason: It combines Old World backbone with New World verve. The zippy bright fruit notes include tart lemon, ripe peach, guava and sweet lime, with white pepper and ginger on the spicy finish. Pair with ceviche or salsa. Full article


Wine with Cajun food

By Annette Solomon, Statesman Journal, June 4, 2008
Hot and spicy Cajun dishes such as blackened fish, jambalaya or dirty rice pair best with lighter style Spanish or Italian wine varietals such as Tempranillo or Sangiovese. The two best examples of these wines from Oregon are Abacela Winery's tempranillo and Cana's Feast (formerly Cuneo Cellars) Sangiovese. Web


The Oregonian, Matt Kramer April 20, 2008

"This is benchmark viognier." Abacela's 2007 viognier has just been released and, once again, it's mighty fine. It's fragrant with intense yet restrained notes of honeysuckle, lime and tropical fruits -- and just the right degree of viognier's signature spiciness on the palate. Full article


The Wild Bunch

by Paul Gregutt, Wine Enthusiast April 2008
Excerpt: "The result: A Tempranillo that, year in and year out, achieves real varietal distinction." Read full article, pick up the April 2008 issue today!


Statesman Journal, Robert Mayfield March 5, 2008

As for tempranillo, the main red grape of most of Spain, the secret has long been out that Abacela winery in the Roseburg area may be making the best domestic version of this grape. 

And the latest, the Abacela, 2005 Umpqua Cuvée Tempranillo, $20 is stellar.  It's a full, rich wine, with black plum and spice aromas and deep flavors of plum and black pepper. The leathery tannins and good acidity make for a formidable wine, excellent with hearty fare. Tasted alongside the ubiquitous Marques de Caceres, 2004 Rioja, $15, the Abacela was clearly a winner, but don't dismiss this longtime favorite. It's so wonderfully old world, with a whiff of mustiness and beef. A lean, hard wine, with plum and spice flavors and good tannins, this feels like you're sitting in a botega in a small village outside Barcelona munching tapas. It's simple and classic. 


My Wines of the Year

by Matt Kramer, Wine Spectator, Dec. 31, 2007-Jan. 15, 2008 The Top 100
Abacela Tempranillo Southern Oregon "Estate" 2004
- The wine of the year from Oregon is not Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley but Tempranillo, of all grapes, from Abacela Vineyards and Winery in southern Oregon (really, the Umpqua Valley). Never heard of it? You should and, over time, you will. The reason is simple: This is stunning Tempranillo. Mind you, I'm not talking about how it's a good-for-an-American Tempranillo - this is Tempranillo that can take on all the high-ranking Spanish Tempranillos. Who knew that southern Oregon had a vocation for this variety? Nobody did until Earl and Hilda Jones rolled in, ...in the mid-1990s with a passion for Spanish grape varieties and a conviction that southern Oregon was the place to grow them. They were right. And this dense, luscious, refined red wine - redolent of plums, blackberries and spices - proves it. (Abacela's Viognier, Albarino and Malbec are top notch as well.)


Make a phone call, find a wine

By Matt Kramer, The Oregonian, Sunday, October 21, 2007

Abacela Vineyards Tempranillo "Umpqua Cuvee" 2005: In one of Oregon's most remarkable wine sagas, Abacela Vineyards & Winery in Roseburg has done what few winegrowers anywhere achieve: create superb wines from grape varieties previously unknown in their locale.

Earl and Hilda Jones, who founded the winery in the mid-'90s, ...had the improbable dream of creating a great red wine from the Spanish grape variety called tempranillo.

It was improbable on two counts: America has little experience with tempranillo, either as consumers or producers. And southern Oregon was nobody's idea of tempranillo country -- least of all the wineries already present. The Joneses proved otherwise. From their first commercial tempranillo bottling in 1997 -- the first such wine made anywhere in the Northwest -- the possibilities of southern Oregon for this superb red grape variety became apparent. Indeed, their 1998 vintage tempranillo won a double gold medal at the 2000 San Francisco International Wine Competition, beating 19 other tempranillos, all Spanish, no less.

This just-released 2005 tempranillo designated "Umpqua Cuvee" is composed of grapes from Abacela's vineyard as well as from tempranillo grapes grown at McCorquodale Vineyard in Myrtle Creek, about 20 miles south of Roseburg.

This is yet another rendition displaying Abacela's unerring touch with tempranillo. Supple, refined and suffused with the variety's signature scents and tastes of blackberries, plums and spice, this is an outstanding red wine ideal for all sorts of grilled meats, fall mushrooms, sausages such as chorizo and so forth. Read full article


"...killer southern Oregon Albariño"

Chef Mario Batali, SeriousEats.com - more...


Wine Press Northwest's Pacific Northwest Wine of  the Week

Abacela Vineyards & Winery 2006 Estate Albarino
Two years ago, London-based Jancis Robinson (Europe's finest wine writer) made the 2004 vintage of this her wine of the week. Owner Earl Jones increased production six-fold since that inaugural release, but the quality hasn't dropped one bit. Orange oil, bananas and minerality on the nose make their way to the palate with tropical fruit flavors. There's an explosion of acidity and twist of lime in the finish. Rated "Outstanding" by Wine Press Northwest magazine.  Food matches: This Iberian grape makes a superb seafood wine and should marry well with a paella or a skewer of shrimp sprinkled with white pepper and joined by cilantro, mango and guava.

More on Albarino:  Many consumers have yet to come across Albarino, a white wine best known in Spain and Portugal (where it's known as Alvarinho). Very little is grown in the United States, and one of the finest examples on the West Coast is from Abacela.

Earl and Hilda Jones are no strangers to out-of-the-mainstream varieties, as they have made their mark in Oregon with Tempranillo, Grenache, Dolcetto and other European grapes.

While we may be most comfortable with the wines we are most familiar with, Abacela offers Northwesterners the opportunity to stretch their palates. Read full article


Five wines for the Fourth

By Matt Kramer, The Oregonian, Sunday, June 24, 2007

Abacela "Estate Grown" Viognier 2006: A white grape from France's Rhone Valley, viognier almost went extinct back in the 1980s. It was revived largely due to the enthusiasm of adventurous California winegrowers excited by the prospects of growing various Rhone region grapes. The growers became known as the Rhone Rangers.

However, one of the best viogniers produced in America comes not from California but from southern Oregon, at Abacela Vineyards and Winery in Roseburg.

This brand-new 2006 viognier is a superb example. It offers the signature spicy/floral scent of the variety, but greater restraint and delicacy than many California offerings, with hints of lemon zest and orange blossom. These carry through in the taste, buoyed by excellent acidity and ideal restraint. This is benchmark viognier. $19.95. (Distributor is Galaxy Wine Co.)  Read full article


Between the Vines

By Robert Mayfield, Statesman Journal, May 2, 2007
Excerpt from: "Don't keep organic wine for long"
...Equally intriguing, for reasons other than organic, are two new wines from one of my favorite Oregon wineries, Abacela. This Roseburg winery made its mark initially with some stunning tempranillo. And if they can do wonders with that hearty Spanish red grape, why not the Spanish white grape albarino?

The latest rendition, the Abacela, 2006 Estate Grown Albarino, $23, is stunning. It's bracingly refreshing, with aromas of melon, apple and mineral. And once it hits the palate, it gushes with tropical fruit flavors while remaining lean and racy. As albarino is a thick-skinned grape, it almost gives off the impression of having tannins. Lovely wine.

The Abacela, 2006 Estate Grown Viognier, $20, captures best what I love most about this white wine: the aromas. It's exceedingly aromatic, with what I can only describe as tutti-fruity. It's a full-bodied wine, creamy and rich, with bright flavors of fresh flowers, lemon and apple. Very tasty. And intriguing.


More Great Oyster Wines

By Chuck Hill, WinesNW.com March 31, 2007

Abacela 2006 Albariño - This wine is just being released and will no doubt prove to be very popular. Your nose will detect intriguing aromas of lemongrass, stone fruits and citrus with hints of apple blossom and tropical fruits. The palate is impeccably balanced with rich flavors of pear and pineapple, finishing with notes of grapefruit and flinty mineral. Abacela's Albarino should be on everyone's list of top shelf oyster wines.


Get out of a rut with Euro grapes

The Oregonian January 21, 2007

Abacela "Estate" Tempranillo 2004 is no simple red wine. Far from it. This is terrific tempranillo: dense yet impressively refined.


Decanter Fine Wine Event

London England, 18 Nov, 2006
Jancis Robinson’s Master of Wine Presentation of
Truly 21st Century Wines including Abacela’s 2005 Albariño


From the Hills of Oregon to the Plains of Spain

Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine Sept/Oct 2006 by Michael A. Schaefer, CWE PDF


“Best of the Best in the Great Northwest”

Wine Press Northwest
Platinum Judging, for Grenache went to the 2004 Abacela Estate Grenache. Read more...


Undiscovered Wine Regions

Wine & Spirits Fall 2006

Oregon's southern valleys have dwelled the shadows of the sprawling pinot obsessed Willamette Valley to the north, but all that seems ripe for change. Read more...


Its Time for Tempranillo

Wines & Vines May 2006

Growers and winemakers are taking up Tempranillo because they love it, not to conquer the market. For example, Earl Jones, owner of Abacela Cellars near Roseburg, Ore. in the Umpqua Valley, fell in love with Tempranillo when he was a student in San Francisco in the 1960s. Read more...


Abacela's Vineyard Driven Marketing

Wines & Vines May 2006

Make a better wine and consumers will beat a path to your winery, right? Well, it is rarely that easy, but you wouldn't know it by the experience of Abacela Vineyards and Winery in Roseburg, Ore. Read more...


Flavor in wine is a given -- character and originality, now, those are rarities

Oregonian February 26th, 2006

Although many wine drinkers think in terms of flavor, really fine wines are all about
character. What's the difference? Originality mostly.


Being in the red can be deliciously agreeable

Oregonian January 29th, 2006

Regular readers of this column know that I am a devotee of deals. I like 'em good
and cheap.