tempranillo and wild oats in harmony

August 16, 2010  |  wine review

The Spanish grape variety Tempranillo is used to make the famous wines of Rioja. A black, early ripening variety which makes easy drinking styles, it is challenging Sangiovese as the trendy red varietal in Australia. Tempranillo is used by over 200 wineries in King Valley, Mudgee, Barossa, Margaret River and McLaren Vale. We are starting to understand how to make it, as the 2008 from Robert Oatley at Mudgee has demonstrated.

 Robert Oatley is of course the man who created Rosemount, sold it to Foster’s, bought the old Montrose winery at Mudgee, renamed it and built it up under the new banner Robert Oatley wines. With his spare change he bought Hamilton Island and has poured millions into its refurbishment, as well as creating the fabulous Qualia resort on the Island, and completing the development of Dent Island 18 hole golf course next door to Hamilton. Bob is pretty shrewd – he recently bought back many of his original vineyards from Foster’s at a heavy discount.

I tried the Wild Oats Tempranillo 2008 twice on a recent weekend visit to Mudgee (which is by the way, a much more rewarding experience than a visit to the Hunter). The first was a Friday night in the delightful Roth’s wine bar in Market Street Mudgee. Roth’s is the oldest wine bar in NSW – a delightful venue with log fires, old couches, live music, a broad range of local and other wines and some great tapas and gourmet pizzas at ridiculously accessible prices

The Wild Oats Tempranillo cost $25 for the bottle at Roth’s (or $19 to take away) and next day at cellar door $15, as part of a six pack, so it qualifies for my $15 to $20 value set. It was an effective marriage with the tapas and gourmet pizza. When chatting to the guy at the cellar door the next day, he described it as a “mid-week wine” – I guess that means an easy drinking wine that goes well with food.

My tasting notes:

Vibrant lifted cherry fruit. A lighter style that is soft and silky on the tongue. Dark cherry and five spice on the front palate, opening to attractive mealy, savoury flavours. Quite complex, finishing with soft dusty tannins. Easy drinking style. 14% alcohol. 93/100


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