$105.00 – $115.00
Each year we bottle 100 magnums of Tempranillo if volume allows. The magnum reflects our pride in the quality of our Tempranillo and our confidence in its cellaring ability. Please see the tabs for information about each vintage currently available in magnum.
2016, 2017, 2018
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)
It inspires confidence. It feels sure-footed from start to finish; cherry-plum flavours merge into undergrowth territory without raising any concerns; it’s cut with tannin but the flow of fruit remains uninterrupted. Beautiful floral herb notes push you over the edge, if you weren’t already there. 95 points. (Campbell Mattinson)
Superbly youthful, bright, fresh, deep purple/red colour. Toasty, spicy, earthy aromas with lots of brown spices and toasty barrel notes. Deep-set dark and red fruits. Lively acidity, bright and tensioned. Long carry. Fine, elegant, linear and stylish. A benchmark wine. 95 points. (Huon Hooke)
The Spanish variety Tempranillo has been grown here since 2000, the first vintage being 2003. It is 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.
The 2016-2017 growing season started with a wet winter and cool spring, resulting in later growth but strong canopies from all the moisture. The summer was particularly hot, with consistently high temperatures from late December to late February, but then switched into a perfect, mild autumn with sunny days, cool nights and little rain. Crops were larger than expected, accordingly taking longer to ripen, but having perfect conditions to do it in. In contrast to some recent years, ripening of different varieties was well spread apart, so that vintage was measured and controlled (leisurely would be going too far!). There are bright fresh flavours in the earlier varieties, with increasing depth, colour and detail in those ripening later.
The 2017-2018 was the second-warmest season on record behind 2016, but due to consistently warm and dry conditions rather than any extreme heat. Timing of budburst and harvest were fairly normal. Conditions for vine growth and development were good and disease pressure was low. Weather during vintage was exceptional, consistently warm and dry apart from one downpour in late February which caused little trouble. Warm sunny days were balanced by cool nights giving a high diurnal temperature range. Quality is exciting across the board, with the later ripening varieties perhaps benefiting the most.
Tempranillo is hand picked, fully destemmed, and has several days pre-ferment maceration before being wild-fermented in open vats with hand plunging. It is matured in French oak, typically about 10% new for approximately 9 months. Three single sites within the vineyard are blended in proportions depending on the vintage.
2016: 30% Rock Block, 70% Little Dam. Alcohol 14.0% by volume. Vegan friendly?: No. 100 magnums made.
2017: 15% Rock Block, 46% Dry Spur, 39% Little Dam. Alcohol 14.0% by volume. Vegan friendly?: Yes. 100 magnums made.
2018: 33% Rock Block, 25% Dry Spur, 42% Little Dam. Alcohol 14.0% by volume. Vegan friendly?: Yes. 81 magnums made.
Drink now to 2035 (2016), 2037 (2017), 2038 (2018).
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|
|2016||Deep red with purple edges. Red and dark fruits with some oak, brown spices and pepper. Structured but juicy with mouthcoating soft fruits. Plenty of power and potential.||2035||Outstanding|
|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|