Linda Neal’s personal project started as a wine to donate for charitable functions but has recently branched out into its sixth vintage from her property in Oakville. Located adjacent to such notable wineries as Screaming Eagle and Plumpjack, Tierra Roja is named after the deep red soil the vines grow from. Linda is focused on making the best wine she can and keeping her production focused at around 150 cases.
The 2008 vintage was just released and is excellent, exhibiting notes of warmed brown sugar and an oily, spicy sweetness. Having had several vintages of this wine recently, they are all holding up considerably well but the 2005 is probably one of my personal favorites as I think it has stood the test of time and still has more to reveal over the next five years. This is a difficult confession as I think each vintage that winemaker David DeSante makes is unique and is an exploration of Linda’s Oakville vineyard. I can’t wait for the release of the 2003 vintage in the Spring of 2012, it should be an incredible wine!