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El Tinto, Lot 42

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El Tinto, Lot 42
El Tinto, Lot 42
Tasting notes

Within the wine world of sustainability, every winery produces a "Table Wine". Although not necessarily the most prestigious of products in most consumers eyes, table wines are a necessary part of producing quality wine. In all honesty, when we blend our Zinfandel or Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon or any varietal wine, we invariably end up with a barrel here and a barrel there that don't quite fit into the blend. Over a year's time, we collect these components (all quality wines) and blend them together to make a base wine with structure. The challenge is now to balance this wine, both texturally as well as with youthful fruitiness. Surprisingly, our El Tinto requires the most time and effort of any of our wines to blend perfectly. The result, however, gives us a wine often more impressive than many other wineries' varietals. 

One of the biggest and softest El Tintos we have ever produced, the balance on this blend is everything we could ask for. The aromas of sweet home-canned cherries come forth out of the glass while more subtle rhubarb and strawberry notes fill in the edges. Hints of cedar mixed with black pepper and sweet and savory spices round out the bouquet. The palate follows nicely, fulfilling the promise of richness. The entry is more complex than just ripe cherries, with soy sauce and umami characters adding a bit more. The mid-palate is graceful and seamless, with cherry and brambly fruit carrying into the lingering finish of fruit. Cheers!

VintageLot 42
AppellationEl Dorado
VineyardEstate Vineyard
Residual Sugar0.59%
Volume750 ml
Bottling Date02/16/2023
Cases Produced1,265

Paul Bush, Owner/Winemaker

Madroña Vineyards

Camino, California. 


We are a family-owned and operated winery focusing on terroir-driven, Estate-Grown fruit.

Annual Case Production:  12,000 cases

Planted Acres:  70 acres planted at the 2,850 to 3,000 foot elevation.

Career Background:  Having helped plant the family vineyards as a kid in 1973, I grew up working in our winery what seemed like every day after school. I had no intention of “winding up” in the wine industry and graduated from U.C. Davis in 1989 with a degree in Economics. However, with an interest in traveling abroad, our winery offered a flexible schedule and an opportunity to work with inspiring winemakers such as Mark Foster and Hugh Chappelle. I began managing the vineyards and business in 1991 and making the wines in late 2002.

Biggest Professional Challenge: Balance! Working with my wife, Maggie, we find our greatest challenge is how to be business owners with all of its responsibilities while making the wines, growing the grapes, marketing the brand and raising two daughters. Any given day can be filled with dusting the vineyards at daybreak, acid trials before lunch, working in the tasting room in the afternoon—and then throw in a swim meet or school play for spice.  Undoubtedly, every small, family winery tackles the same aspect of wearing so many hats, but the challenge and excitement is unique to each one.

Varietals that Madroña is Known for:  In total, we grow 27 varieties in our El Dorado vineyards. From within these plantings, however, I believe that Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Riesling and the seven Portuguese varieties (for our New-World Port) are consistently outstanding.

Short Testimonial: I truly can’t imagine doing anything else but growing grapes and enjoying  wine. I believe the terroir of our region is unique with overall cool-climate aspects, peppered with warm summer days and a slightly shorter growing season. So finding the true expression of each variety for our vineyards ends up being an exciting and challenging adventure every vintage. The wines have more backbone and structure than most regions of California while showcasing the intense varietal character of mountain fruit. Most often, I find that the wine knows best in how it should be “made,” and I’m just along for the ride. As we once heard in France, “One does not make wine. One elaborates wine!” And with our Estate-grown grapes, I am quite content to be the “elaborator.”

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