Posts Tagged ‘Tempranillo’

Gemtree Luna Temprana Tempranillo 20132013-Luna-Temprana

Style: Full-bodied red.

Region: McLaren Vale, SA

Tasting note: Concentrated cherry and plum, vibrant with grainy tannins. While made in a Joven style (Fresh and vibrant with little or no oak contact to be drunk young) I can’t help but feel that this wine may have benefitted with some time in oak to soften the massive tannins. In lieu of pouring it into an oak barrel, leave this wine in the bottle for another 12 months at least.

Final Say: Vibrant, bustling and a little bit full on, buy it for what it will evolve into. $16.99 a bottle.

Score: 15.5 out of 20

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Spitting: OptionalPaxton Temp

Paxton Tempranillo 2012

Vintage: 2012

Style: Medium bodied red

Country: Australia

Region: McLaren Vale


Overview: When Australian Winemakers first started toying with certain European varieties which we call ‘alternative varieties’ many of the reds such as Tempranillo and Sangiovese were picked ripe, had loads of tannin and were stuffed into oak. Bada-bing-bada-boom we had a wine that drank like a Shiraz but was named something a bit left of centre. As we’ve more comfortable with these varieties we’ve started to treat them the way they should be treated. Paxton pick their Tempranillo earlier in the season to maintain savoury spice notes to add to the lifted aromatics and cherry characters typical of Tempranillo. For the fermentation process they have used wild yeast with may not be as clean and stable as inoculated yeast but adds complexity and interesting notes on the nose. Whole bunches are also thrown in during fermentation, the juice of these bunches ferments inside the berry and causes the skins to breakdown adding aromatics and firm tannins to this fantastic wine. This process is also known as carbonic maceration. It sounds like a whole lot of work and it is but the results speak for themselves. This wine has power and complexity at a modest alcohol level (12.5%) and is a bargain to boot.


Tasting note: Bursting with aromatics of cherry, spice and sarsaparilla with subtle oak support in the background. The palate is surprisingly powerful with deep plum characters joining the cherry and spice from the nose. Nice oak with grainy tannins on the finish.


Final Say: Cool climate spice with warm climate power. $20 a bottle.


Score: 16.5 out of 20

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Spitting: Optional

Mr Riggs Yacca Paddock Tempranillo 2009

Vintage: 2009

Style: Mid to full bodied red

Country: Australia 

Region: Adelaide Hills  


Overview: Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while now will know that I’m a big fan of Mediterranean wines and Mediterranean varieties. Tempranillo is one of the varieties I have a lot of love for. I can tell you a whole lot of facts about the grape such as ‘temprano’ in Spanish, Tempranillo being native to Spain, means ‘early’ which refers to the early ripening of the Tempranillo grape. I can also tell you that the roots of Tempranillo have the capacity to absorb potassium easily which helps balance the PH levels in the grape’s skin and flesh. However, if too much potassium is absorbed there is the risk of the fruit becoming salified (increased levels of salt) which interferes with the malic acid, letting it hang around for longer which is something you don’t want in a red wine. I can keep going but guess what?  I know you could care less (unless you’re some painful wine geek like me) so here is all you need to know:

  • It can be made vibrant and youthful with little oak contact
  • It can be matured in oak for added complexity
  • It can be elegant or robust, depending on the climate
  • It’s a great food wine
  • It grows really will in Australia
  • More people should drink it.

So there you go. The Adelaide Hills, much like the King Valley, have long been pioneers for the Mediterranean varieties and critics have been pretty tough on them. I for one love what they are doing. Keep it up! ß A threat, not encouragement.

Tasting note: Typically Tempranillo on the nose, ripe cherry, earthy and a touch of game. A rich palate, the cherry characters verge on becoming plum-like, nice spice- subtle pepper. Chewy tannins and a clean, pleasant finish.

Final Say: A relatively new variety in Australia but with wines like the Mr Riggs Yacca Paddock the future is looking bright. You can pick it up for $25.


Score: 16.5 out of 20


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Jack Davis


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Wine Blog


Hailing all the way from Jumilla, Spain, a region known for Monastrell (more commonly known as Mourvedre or Mataro). This wine however is a blend of Monastrell (40%), Tempranillo (40%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) and loads of personality. Though this wine has stolen my heart it will never be widely acclaimed by critics and will probably be frowned upon by Australian Wine Show Judges as they contort their faces into to that ‘Mmm no thanks’ face. Let me tell you why. There is a ‘green’ character on the nose and palate, most likely from the Cabernet component of the blend, which sticks out like a gremlin amongst mogwais but the reason why I find this wine interesting and supremely drinkable is that this ‘gremlin’ character integrates itself with the strawberry and tar characters that are the dominate flavours in this wine and make it so flavoursome that the second glass comes faster then expected.

Tasting Note

Strawberry and tar on the nose with an underlying leafy character. The strawberry character is reminiscent of a good Grenache but supported by a tobacco, tar, soft tannins and a linear acid that helps the wine linger in the mouth. A surprisingly good match with nachos, yes I know; strange food match but it was Friday… enough said.

Final Say

You can pick this wine up for anywhere between $17 and $25 so why wouldn’t you? It’s an interesting wine, one that had me enraptured the moment I drew that white cork from the almost black bottle. You’ll be hard pressed to find a wine of this price with as much character as this cheeky number.


17.5 out of 20 (88 of of 100): Freakin’ awesome.

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Jack Davis

Spitting: Optional