Friday, September 3, 2010


- McLaren Vale, SA
- $35-$45
- Cork
- 14.5%alc

The spirited Justin McNamee's Samuel's Gorge label has emerged as a name to watch closely when it comes to Australian tempranillo. All the releases I've had thus far have displayed a consistent, well ripened style which harnesses McLaren Vale's rich fruit character with tempranillo's fragrant, spicy and exotic nature.

Ripe and juicy, the 2009 Tempranillo presents an intriguing mix of deeply fruited plum, dark cherry and strawberry aromas in an open style, with heady notes of clove and cinnamon adding further interest alongside a proud influence of spicy dark chocolate/vanilla oak. Its medium-full bodied palate is particularly bright, flavoursome and evenly measured, with a distinctive thrust of dry, prickly tempranillo tannins extending its beautifully ripened, juicy plum, berry and rich chocolate flavours towards a long, more savoury finish marked by dry spice characters.

ü+ Successfully marrying varietal flair with regional generosity, the 2009 marks another great tempranillo from Samuel's Gorge. It's new-age wines like this that guarantee tempranillo a place in the McLaren Vale landscape for generations to come. Drink to 2017.
93 points


  1. I think Justin McNamee is swinging by Brisbane this Thursday with some back vintages and new releases to taste. I hope and pray that I will be over my flu by then...

  2. I don't usually pray but I'm praying with you on this one JP!

    I'm sure there will be something for a man of your tastes within the Samuel's Gorge range, especially if Justin's bringing some back vintages with him. My personal favourites have been the 2006 Shiraz and 2006 Grenache, as well as the 2008 and 2009 Tempranillo. The cellar door has sold out of the 2008 Traminer, but if Justin happens to 'find' some I'd love to know what you think of it mate.

    Even if you don't get over the flu, I believe there are few winemakers in Australia worth meeting more than Justin McNamee; the guy is an absolute lad! His words; "share some booze" are still ringing in my ears.

    Good luck Jeremy,