I can't explain why but I've recently developed cravings for tapas food and tempranillo, and preferably together. McLaren Vale's Gemtree (who have been making tempranillo since the 2002 vintage) is just one of several Australian producers whose tempranillo has impressed me lately.
Initially closed and spicy but becoming more fruit driven and musky with aeration, Gemtree's 2008 Luna Roja goes on to reveal very ripe, currant-like aromas of dark cherry liqueur, star anise and chocolate coated apricots with touches of clove and cinnamon. It's generously flavoured and sumptuously ripened, with a smooth palate that displays as much (if not more) regional and seasonal influence as it does varietal. There's a rather jammy presence of sour cherry and dark plum flavour evident, but the wine ends more agreeably with good length of sweet fruit, gentle spice nuances and soft tempranillo tannins that sporadically tickle the mouth in varietal fashion.
O Gemtree's 2008 Luna Roja isn't really the type of tempranillo I've been craving lately, but it's a juicy, regional little sucker with enough crossover appeal to convert fans of McLaren Vale shiraz. Drink to 2013.