I know I’ve been going on about it a bit lately, but boy are we excited to have a Tempranillo back?!
And if the number of bottles we’ve been adding to your July Jockey Club packs (not a member of the Jockey Club? Why not??) is any indication, then you are too!
I don’t think Rob fully understood exactly how popular previous vintages of this wine were. That was until he stopped making it!
So, due to VERY popular demand, it’s back!
And the 2018 version is bottled and ready to go now!
To celebrate, I thought I’d revive a post from 2018, which should answer all of your tempranillo-related questions…
What is Tempranillo and how do I pronounce it?
Tempranillo is the dominant variety found in a wine region of northern Spain called Rioja. Given its Spanish origins, where a double “l” is pronounced as a “y” sound, the correct pronunciation is Tem-pra-nee-yo (but we’ll forgive you if you order a tem-pra-nill-o!). The name comes from the Spanish word, temprana, which means early, referring to the fact that it’s an early-ripening red variety.
In the vineyard
The vines are particularly suited to relatively high altitudes, but it can also tolerate a much warmer climate. Tempranillo vines can grow quite vigorously. Therefore, anyone growing it needs to carefully manage the crop to avoid over-cropping and excessive vegetative growth.
The highly serrated nature of its leaves makes it one of the most recognisable varieties in the vineyard. It is one of the few varieties where the leaves turn bright red in autumn. It’s one of the most beautiful sights!
Tempranillo in Australia
Tempranillo has only been planted here since around 1994 with two of the first producers being Brown Brothers in North East Victoria and Yalumba in the Barossa. Since then, Tempranillo has been planted in many regions across the country, all with relative success. It was first planted in the Adelaide Hills around 14 years ago.
- OLD. The general theory is that Tempranillo was introduced to the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) by the Phoenicians over 3,000 years ago.
- one of the top varieties blended into port wine from Portugal.
- is the fourth-most planted variety in the world.
- is considered one of the nine red noble grapes.
The noble grapes are 18 varieties of red and white wine grapes that define the complete range of wine flavours. They are most recognizable for the top-quality wine they produce and are said to retain their character no matter where they are planted.
The 9 red noble grapes from lightest to darkest are:
Pinot Noir, Grenache, Merlot, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Malbec.
What does it taste like?
Tempranillo grapes produce dark wines with aromatic fruity characters. The tannins are soft and sweet and become very smooth in the barrel. They are typically medium-bodied with a weight similar to Cabernet Sauvignon or Sangiovese.
Tempranillo is characterised by flavours of blackberry, black cherry, raspberry, vanilla and clove.
But more importantly…
What does Rob’s tempranillo taste like?
Our 2018 Tempranillo is a warm, rounded European style red. Matured diligently in older French oak for 2 years – as is Rob’s signature style. It underwent a rack and return around half a dozen times over that period. This gave the wine excellent structure, roundness, complexity and secondary aroma. It is savoury with very enticing hints of blackcurrant.
Stunning with homemade pasta dripping with parmesan and olive oil and similar delicious fodder!
The fruit came from Kim Anderson’s beautiful vineyard in Charleston, Adelaide Hills, from which we have sourced most of our other tempranillo fruit too. Situated on a high breezy ridge which brought the grapes to perfect, even ripening. This was an excellent quality but low yield vintage all round.
Unfortunately, Kim’s vineyard was badly damaged in the December 20, 2019 bushfires. So, while we have a great 2019 Tempranillo in the wings (maturing in barrel), the 2020 looks likely not to be a part of our portfolio.
Rob has noted that previous vintages of the tempranillo (2014 and 2015) have continued to mature and develop more complexity over time. It’s probably a safe bet to assume that the 2018 still has some softening and maturing ahead of it as well.
So, while it’s proving to be a delicious “drink now” kind of wine it would also pay to have one or two tucked away in the cellar!
So, what are you waiting for?!
BUY yours now or email us at email@example.com to add a bottle or two to your July Jockey Club pack.
Still got questions? Ask away in the comments section below!