Sunday, October 24, 2010


- McLaren Vale, SA
- $32
- Screwcap (Stelvin-Lux)
- 13.0%alc

In addition to their regional 'standards' of shiraz, grenache and shiraz cabernet, Oliver's Taranga also release a limited selection of new varietals under the Small Batch label. Just 1821 bottles of their French oak matured tempranillo were made from 2009.

One of my only concerns with early examples of McLaren Vale tempranillo is that they're often more strongly regional than varietal, however, Oliver's Taranga's 2009 shows a plethora of heady varietal and ripe regional aromas. It reveals a sweet, earthy fragrance lifted by floral notes of rose petal and light spice, underneath which resides some tarry, raisined fruit, cherries and chocolate with a whiff of cured meat. There's good length of flavour to its full-medium bodied palate, as well as lithe structure, a faintly prickly finish and a pleasingly concentrated texture that toes the line between syrupy and velvety, but I just can't get past its high level of ripeness expressed through rich, dark, meaty fruit flavours. Although these characters are held in check enough (by length, texture and structure) to be enjoyable, it still lacks the brightness of fruit to suggest a decent stint in the cellar would be of benefit.

O A smooth, rich and ready to drink tempranillo whose ripe regional characteristics hinder its true varietal expression somewhat. Those who don't mind a bit of ripeness in their wines should love this, especially with a hearty beef burger. Drink to 2014.
89 points

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