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.