Tritium Rioja Alta Tempranillo 2015
- Textured, savoury
What’s an ‘Alta’? Now there’s a good question. Rioja Alta is a subregion of Rioja translating as ‘high Rioja’. As with all things wine, altitude is a good thing for quality (to a point, obviously - not much tempranillo grown on Mt Everest). So it’s home to finer, lower alcohol styles of the style, which also have a particular affinity for oak, and lap it up to envelop its flavours in stupendous fruit. This is where elegant Rioja comes from. This is an excellent example, so all that’s left is for you to find out what Alta tastes like yourself.
It’s certainly redefined how I think of Rioja. Bucking the normal Rioja nomenclature (Crianza, Reserva etc) gives Tritium the freedom to create the juiciest expression of Tempranillo they can, from vineyards with 100 years average vine age. With 16 months in only French oak, it’s a surprisingly supple, fruit-driven Rioja, with classic sandy tannins countered by bright acidity from the higher altitude vineyards. It’s approachable but structured and complex, and eminently ageable thanks to bright acidity.
This is new wave Rioja, all fruit, style and structure from well-judged, minimalist winemaking. It’s gonna Rioja your world.
It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- 100% Tempranillo
- Serving Temp.
Vineyards located in Cenicero (heart of Rioja Alta). These old vineyards are between 90 and 110 years old. The care of these vineyards is a highly integrated ecological agricultural process. They have been fertilized with manure for 25 years. Cacareous clayey soil. The production of these vineyards is inferior to 1 kilo per strain (2800 kilos per hectare or 20 hl per hectare).
Ageing was done in new French oak barrels 500L During 12 months.
Jack doesn't live here - Tempranillo does. It makes Jack its bitch. Tempranillo may be relatively new on the scene in Australia, but it's as widespread in Spain as Shiraz is in Australia. Rioja have strict regulations on wines classified by the region, and require the wine to be certain lengths of time in barrel and then in bottle, and allows the producer to classify based on these restrictions as: Joven (none to limited oak contact), Crianza (intermediate oak and bottle age) and Reserva (extended oak/bottle aging). The time spent in oak is generally judged based on fruit intensity, but the one thing you will find is that quality is pretty impressive across the board, from crunchy young Joven to luscious Crianza to blockbuster Reserva. Welcome to the vinous heartland of Spain. It smells and tastes amazing.
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
Spanish beef and pearl barley paella
- 600 g beef blade (steak or roast), trimmed of fat, 2cm diced
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 4 silverbeet stems, finely diced
- 1 red capsicum, finely diced
- 1 green capsicum, finely diced
- ½ cup pearl barley
- 1 head garlic, sliced in half horizontally
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 1 pinch saffron, soaked in 1 tbsp hot water
- 500 ml salt reduced beef stock
- 1 bunch silverbeet leaves, shredded
- Drizzle oil over beef in a bowl and toss to coat. Place a 30cm paella pan, frying pan or cast iron casserole dish over high heat and brown beef. Add paprika and stir to coat the beef.
- Add diced silverbeet stems, capsicum, pearl barley, garlic, thyme, saffron and stock and bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until beef and pearl barley are tender. If liquid reduces too much add a little water to keep the beef moist.
- Add shredded silverbeet leaves in the last 2 minutes of cooking, or steam separately and serve paella on top of silverbeet.