Tempranillo [temp-rah-nee-yo]

TEMPRANILLO. [Pronounced: temp-rah-nee-yo]

A Spanish grape varietal, generally producing wine with slightly savoury characteristics. While Spanish versions usually reflect more leather, cherries and earthiness, Australian winemaking and terroir tends to product more fruit-driven examples with black cherry and blueberries driving the palate.

Medium bodied and with decent (but not usually overwhelming) tannins, it could be considered Spain’s answer to Italy’s sangiovese and complements the food of its country: chorizo, tapas, spicy seafood, paella, tacos, burritos… you get the drift. Generally more responsive in warmer climates, the Australian regions with most success making tempranillo are the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, Heathcote and Margaret River.


A singing tempranillo to try out this summer is from the Willunga 100 vineyard in the McLaren Vale. Crack it open at your afternoon barbeque, and because it compliments food so well, you can enjoy it with just about anything (although it really shines with Spanish and Mexican flavours). It’s another great drop from wine‑maker Mark Farmilo, who has recently been working alongside Willunga in their winemaking.

The wine is highly accoladed: 93 points & five stars from Wine Orbit; 91 points from Patrick Eckel; 90 points from Huon Hooke and the 2017  vintage has recently scored 95 points and Gold with James Halliday!

“Excellent colour; very precise black cherries, spices and darker berries on the back-palate, fine but firm tannins. Will relish time in bottle, and its great balance willstand it in good stead. Quality oak, too.” – JAMES HALLIDAY, 1ST AUGUST 2019.



Mataro (Mourvèdre) – The Lighter, Brighter Red

Mourvèdre (aka Mataro) is grown widely in France and Spain, where it’s known as monastrell. Mourvèdre is typically earthy with intense black fruits and lots of gamey flavours. Its tannins can be rustic unless polished by its winemaker.

Mourvèdre plays a supporting role on the Southern Rhone appellation of Cotes du Rhône and its revered stablemate, Châteauneuf du Pape— both based on grenache with Syrah, Mourvèdre and other lesser known Rhône  varieties adding character and complexity. In the neighbouring Provence region, Mourvèdre adds a lick of umami to the uber-fashionable rosés and assumes the dominant role (in the reds and rosés) in the sub-region of Bandol.

There are some ancient Mourvèdre vines in Australia planted in the mid-19th century, though it was seen (under its Mataro guise) as a workhorse variety to support shiraz and grenache. A renewed focus on Mourvèdre has seen our winegrower’s produce lighter, brighter styles unsullied by excess oak -such as the Geddes Experimental Mataro.

Grenache, however, remains the key to a plethora of Australia’s everyday, easy drinking reds in the style of Cote du Rhône. As we cannot use the names of French appellations, these red blends are nicknamed GSM—as with the Arimia Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvèdre. Winemakers may choose to switch the percentage of each variety to create a SGM or even MSG.

These Rhône look-alike reds offer a juicy, highly quaffable alternative to the traditional bold, brash Shiraz and Cabernet blends that dominate the retail landscape.