At Myattsfield we champion Spanish and Portuguese varieties as being very well suited to conditions in the Perth Hills. Of couse, Tempranillo is a grape variety from the North of Spain.
On the nose we see some lovely spicy lifted aromatics.
On the palate it’s dark mulberry, cherry and blood plum flavours mixed in with the spicy, gamy savoury flavours of Hungarian Oak and with a firm, dry finish.
Because of it’s lovely savoury profile and it’s medium type palate, this wine will match a broad range of foods – look for foods with more unusual flavours, gamey, smoky dishes. Mediterranean dishes such as risotto would also be a great match.
Because this wine is not a wine of great structure it’s a soft wine and only medium term cellaring is recommended.
We don’t grow Tempranillo at our Myattsfiled vineyards and we source the grapes from the Northern end of the Perth Hills in Chittering.
Tthere is a lot of conjecture in Australia as to when to pick Tempranillo. It’s not a grape we’re used to working with.
In Spain Tempra means early, it’s the early one and they typically pick it early in the season. In Australia we tend to treat it like Shiraz, and pick it very late. We’ve found in the Chittering vineyard Tempranillo ripens quite quickly and then tends to hover around the same flavour profile for a long period of time. I don’t see any advantage of leaving it on the vine to shrivel or increase in baume once it’s reached this flavour profile, so we tend to pick it a little earlier than most other producers.
In terms of style we like to make a medium bodied food wine with some nice savoury elements.
A lot of the clonal Tempranillo material in Australia does not compare well to that from it’s native Roja. Western Australian Tempranillo clones appears to have much larger berries than those described in Spain. This means we have to work the cap very hard to get the flavour, colour and the tannin that we require in this wine, as a result, it is never a very full bodied red it’s always a more medium bodied red.
The other really interesting element to our Tempranillo is the oak use. We use Hungarian oak to mature this wine. I always find the Hungarian Oak gives a really meaty, spicy and gamy flavour to this wine. We use that to accentuate the natural savoury characters in the Tempranillo, the spiciness, the earthiness, the dustiness.