2016 Tempranillo

A complete and powerful example of our leading variety, this Tempranillo has perfume, fruit and complexity, combined with grippy round tannins and a dense structure.

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Winemaker Frank van de Loo bottles small batches of tempranillo from three distinct sites on his vineyard. This, a blend of the three sites, is a lovely expression of the grape’s tangy, cherry-cola characters with elegant, but firm tannins. (Max Allen)

Winemaker's Notes

This is our fourteenth release of the Spanish variety Tempranillo, a variety that is very well suited to our site, with Canberra having high levels of climatic similarity to leading Spanish regions. This wine has become our flagship. It is blended from three distinct sites within the vineyard.

The 2015-2016 season was our warmest to date (as measured by Growing Degree Days), illustrating the ongoing effect of global warming. Very hot weather in early Spring ensured that the season was early throughout, with the commencement of harvest (5th Feb for sparkling base) being another record. The season was generally benign, with a warm stretch of weather from mid-February to mid-March bringing many varieties to ripeness at a rapid rate. Irrigation during this time was important to most blocks, and ensured that good yields of high quality fruit were harvested. 2016 would be considered a standout vintage for us if it weren’t slightly shaded by 2015, with the best of the two depending on variety.

Hand picked 23 March 2016, at an average of 13.1 Baumé. Had 5-6 days pre-ferment maceration, then wild-fermented in open vats with hand plunging. Pressed to French oak (14% new) after 6-7 days post-ferment maceration. Blended from Little Dam (70%) and Rock Block (30%). Lightly fined and filtered. Bottled under screwcap January 2017. 327 dozen made, plus 101 magnums. Alcohol 14.0% by volume. Vegan friendly?: No (fined with gelatin).

Drink now to 2030.

In The Cellar

Tempranillo is suited to cellaring; here are our most recent tasting notes. Wines tasted from the winery museum. If your cellaring conditions are less than ideal, consider reducing the expected life of the wine. Tasted July 2018.

Vintage Tasting Notes Drink Until Rating
2015 Dark black/red. Powerful nose of rich black fruits, plum and cola. Very youthful, very powerful, graphite, black fruits and dark cherry, cola and liquorice. Plush, fleshy and structured with plenty of powdery tannins. 2035 Outstanding
2014 Medium red. Red fruits with spice and char. Medium weight and flavour, supple, compact and tight with fresh tamarillo fruit and good juiciness. 2030 Excellent
2013 Deep dark red. Complex nose of ripe cherry and brambly fruit, game and toasted nuts. Rich sweet fruit flavours of cherry, stewed plum, currants and cassis. Complete, fresh and balanced. Similarities to ’09 and ’10. 2033 Outstanding
2012 Deep red. Interesting nose of fresh fruit, smoky chocolate and earth. Fresh and pleasant, still quite primary, a bit on the lean and green side with drying grippy tannins. 2028 Very good
2011 Medium red. Pretty nose of dusty red fruits, pepper and tomato leaf. Fresh and tangy with red berry fruit dusted with minty/herb character. Fairly lean, with firm drying tannins. 2026 Very good
2010 Deep dark red. Black fruits, spice, dark chocolate, beef stock, biscuity vanilla and red fruits. Rich and powerful with round grainy tannins, deep brooding character. 2028 Excellent
2009 Deep dark red. Complex nose of briar, cherry, earth, blackcurrant and oak. Lovely density of mouthcoating fruit, tangy, plush and balanced. Ripe and fresh, long and complete. 2029 Outstanding
2008 Deep ruby. Interesting and complex with liquorice, cherry ripe, graphite and gamy notes at first. Flooded with sweet dark cherry fruit, good freshness and a little mint. Quite powerful, structured style, benefits from time to open. 2027 Excellent
2007 Medium red, slight brick edge. Savoury nose with woodspice, dried leather, roast meat. Light framed, complex, lovely sweet fruit palate with some mint, fine powdery tannins, cola, plum, mushroom and vanilla. 2027 Outstanding
2006 Deep ruby. Savoury, earthy, dried leather. Firmly structured with red fruits and savoury, fine, powdery tannins. Quite mature but will hold. 2023 Excellent
2005 Medium red with brick edge. Slightly gamy and slightly herbaceous nose: balsam, earthy, dried leather. Bright and fresh palate with red berry-pomegranate fruit, cherry cola and a hint of oak. Lovely balance with juicy fruit sweetness, deliciously fine. 2020 Excellent
2004 Deep red with brick edge. Rich dark fruit with notes of chocolate, cola, mint, blackcurrant, spice. Plush, dense and complex. 2023 Excellent
2003 Good deep red. Minty/eucalypt with ripe fruit. Bright and mineral palate fine, powdery tannins. Enjoyable but not as lush as it once was. Now Very good