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Why do we love this case?

We could have called this pack Tempranillo and Friends, with some delicious examples of Spain’s No. 1 varietal, from Spain and Australia, plus a couple of friends. What’s not to like about Tempranillo with it’s vibrant fruit, ability to age and slurpability?  A couple of South Australian examples add a sense of exploration (perhaps an homage) to this pack. Here are six wines (you get one of each) worth opening any day (or night) of the week to enjoy with friends:


Red
Grenache Blend
Calatayud DO

Manga del Brujo Calatayud 2014
Blackberry
Cherry
Smoky
Full-bodied
Bright
Concentrated
Guía Peñin
Robert Parker

This red has a brilliant history stretching back many decades, and has come all the way from the tiny DO (i.e. appellation) of Catalayud, which is as exciting as it is fun to say. Drive west from Barcelona about four hours, and you’ll climb about a kilometre in altitude as well. There are many parallels between here and the Rhône, with the most commonly produced wines being GSM blends, viognier and the like. It’s meaty, overlaid with handfuls of cherries and raspberry. A little smokey, brambly, and chalky, but intensely juicy too. A bit of musk and plum, and a lovely showing after a few years in bottle. Dry but rich without any hint of too much ripeness.

You'd pay $40.00 full price

Red
Tempranillo
Spain

Finca Rio Negro 992 Tempranillo Syrah 2016
Cherry
Plum
Spice
Medium-bodied
Bright
Concentrated
James Suckling
Spanish Import

The wine has intense colour and deep, complex aroma. It’s a powerful expression of terroir without being overwrought, and without too much influence from oak or any other winemaking artefact. It was made in a Crianza style, with just a couple of months on lees and seven months in French and American oak. It’s about freshness of all that dark, high altitude fruit plus a silky depth to the palate. Dive in.

You'd pay $40.00 full price

Red
Red Blend
Rioja DOC

Bodega Lanzaga LZ 2017
Cherry
Spice
Violets
Medium-bodied
Bright
Refined
Guía Peñín
Decántalo

Grapes from biodynamic bush vines, to start, cared for by Telmo’s longtime viticulturalist partner Pablo Eguzkiza. These are from hand-selected vineyards with not just Rioja, but the higher altitude Rioja Alavesa, in the municipality of Lanziego (hence the name). These are then crafted with gravity and decades of know-how by Telmo himself - his resume includes some of the great names of the Rhône. Tempranillo is complemented by some graciano and garnacha for a more rounded expression. And rounded it is: full red fruits and chocolate cherry cola with herbal notes laced between. Needs a bit of air to get things started, but then fires on all fours. Midweight, nice chunky/chalky tannin, bright acidity without being overt. Fruit and tannin win out over the acidity, just enough to ease you back to the next sip, and back into its warming charms. Very easy to like.

You'd pay $32.00 full price

Red
Tempranillo
McLaren Vale

Hither & Yon Tempranillo 2017
Anise
Black Cherry
Dark Chocolate
Medium-bodied
Bright
Deep
Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show 2017
Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show 2017
Mike Bennie, Wine Business Magazine
Andrew Graham, Australian Wine Review

Got mates who only drink shiraz and need to broaden their horizons? Well here’s the wine. It’s a tempranillo for shiraz drinkers, no doubt. All the appropriate cola, charry chocolate, truckloads of red berries and blackcurrants, florals and rose in place. And it’s roasty, toasty and nutty, with licorice, nutmeg, dried marjoram coming in a little later. Very mouthfilling and dry, and also composed, so keeps on going a long time. Give it a year or two in the cellar to really see it shine.

You'd pay $27.00 full price

Red
Tempranillo
Southern Fleurieu

SKEW Tempranillo 2017
Black Cherry
Spice
Blueberry
Medium-bodied
Firm
Bold

This is quite lifted, floral and herbaceous - plum meets cola nut, sarsaparilla and chinotto. The palate is equally vibrant, packed with that same cherry-cola fruit, white pepper spice and lovely sandy tannins. It’s got a lovely sweet-and-sour playfulness to it, and ends up tautly stretched between the two extremes, drawn out by the slightly drying tannins. Great stuff, a bit left of centre but well within bounds. Good play. One to enjoy now, and a maker to watch.

You'd pay $24.00 full price

Red
Tempranillo
Rioja

Artuke Rioja Tinto 2017
Berries
Spice
Raspberry
Medium-bodied
Bright
Restrained

This is an unexpected crowd-pleaser, from a family at the cutting edge of Rioja. This offering brings together grapes spanning over a century of age from around the village of Baños de Ebro, 95% tempranillo injected with 5% viura, presumably adding its lift and charm (we’ll get to that). It’s a big wine, but certainly not overpowering. A hedonistic nose of raspberry, blueberry jam, and dark chocolate; a little soft licorice too, and a good amount of spice. Soft and approachable, not doing anything out of the box on the palate, but it tastes so harmonious that it doesn’t need to. It knows itself and it's happy in its own skin. I’m happy to have it in mine. Fill yours.

You'd pay $19.50 full price
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