Some sections of South Australia's wine industry would have us believe tempranillo could be the best thing to happen to our state's warmer regions since someone planted shiraz in the Barossa back in the 1800's. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, enthusiastic winemakers like Gavin Berry at West Cape Howe are going quietly about their business to prove they too can produce faithful representations of this resilient Spanish variety.
West Cape Howe's 4th release of tempranillo, the 2008, opens to ripe, heady aromas of spicy raspberry and cherry cola with tarry/meaty notes, which all sit happily above a restrained tone of older oak and a slight spirity warmth that suggests it might be a fraction higher in alcohol than its stated 14%. Pleasingly concentrated for a medium-weighted red, its darker, well conceived palate enters with smoothness but evolves with more rustic charm, translating rich nuances of dark cherry/dark plums, spicy fruitcake and cooked meats into an agreeably dry finish framed by a firm hold of savoury, prickly tannins.
ü+ This is another fine, harmoniously balanced and genuinely undervalued tempranillo from West Cape Howe, which should settle down immensely over the shorter term. It's also another huge tick for this maker's status as WA's best producer of sub-$20, multi-regional wines. Drink to 2013.