By Fergal Gleeson*
Spanish and Italian grape varieties are now in the mainstream in Australia. Out of a diverse field, the biggest success so far in terms of plantings and consumer uptake, has been Tempranillo. It’s readily understood by Shiraz and Cabernet drinkers, but when done well it’s not just another generic Australian red. Tempranillo’s medium weight and savoury charm is a treat. Graciano in contrast is almost unknown in Australia. Find three Spanish style recommendations from Margaret River:
Fishbone Black Label Tempranillo 2016
Pronounced (Tem-pran – ee- o), any extra Hispanic lisping is entirely up to you! Hand picked from a single vineyard at the Fishbone Farm in Wilyabrup, this wine has flavours of cherry fruit and tobacco. Black label is used for Fishbone’s premium wines, but this one won’t break the bank. It’s a got a little bit of tannin and a little bit of savoury. There’s a nice depth to a very likeable wine. Fishbone have Jimmy Watson winning Winemaker Stuart Peirce leading the team, which has got to help. A very convincing take on Tempranillo.
RRP $35 www.fishbonewines.com.au
Stella Bella Tempranillo 2014
Lovely nose that has a touch of caramel and toffee. This is made in classical Spanish style, showing authentic tannins characteristic of the varietal, but balanced out with the fruit and acid for a very refreshing drink. Stella Bella over deliver right across this range which includes Cabernet, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The quality/value proposition is excellent ($25-35). This is the real deal. The 2015 Stella Bella Tempranillo has just been released.
RRP $32 www.stellabella.com.au
Woody Nook Limited Release Graciano 2014
Though they also make a Tempranillo, I’ve chosen Woody Nook’s “other Spanish wine”. This wine won a trophy at the Langton’s 2016 Margaret River Wine show for Best Alternative Red. Wine makers Neal Gallagher and Craig Dunkerton really know what they are doing with this obscure variety. Graciano, which is a native of Rioja, is characteristically tannic. The tannins are present but smooth making for a very quaffable wine. Note how it drops slowly down your glass at tortoise speed reflecting the power. It was a huge hit at a recent tasting that I ran. Well worth exploring. Something the Spanish also know a lot about….
RRP $26 www.woodynook.com.au
This is a modified excerpt from an article, which appeared in the winter edition of Your Margaret River Region Magazine. For more Wine Reviews read and follow www.greatwineblog.com Drink and be merry!
*Finalist- New Wine Writer of the Year 2016- WCA /Gourmet Traveller WINE