Ridgemill Estate 2016 Tempranillo

Made from the oldest Tempranillo vines on The granite Belt. Not a joven style more toward crianza, so the oak is certainly there but in balance with the fruit. The wine is quite deeply coloured with a inky blackness at the centre, as you swirl it in the glass the edges appear raspberry. The bouquet is redolent with plums and cherry fruits (mainly black), and slightly enhanced spice aspects which I attribute, in part, to the 10% whole bunch ferment.

The palate is long, complex and interesting and later on the palate there are extremely enjoyable chalky tannins. The fruits are black cherries, plums, mulberries and blueberries, there is a nice offsetting of hints of sweetness and savoury aspects, but overall you could never describe this as a sweet wine. 10% whole bunch may not sound like a lot but it has a discernible effect in this wine so that there are more ‘fruity’ aspects and the spice tannin profile has been enhanced. I think wine makers need to be very careful with whole bunch on The Granite Belt as it’s essentially a cool climate and any green(ish) stalks are likely to add astringent/green qualities to the finished product. No problems with that in this wine however, 2016 was a very good local vintage. So acid, oak, whole bunch, fruit and tannins are all skilfully aligned, the wine finishes long and should have a good cellar life ahead of it. Another excellent food wine but not for lighter tapas, think something a little heavier instead.

If you are interested in learning more about whole bunch in wine read this Australian Wine Research Institute article as it’s a good starting place.

Tasted: Sunday 17th November, 2019 without food and then with over several hours.  Re-tasted the next day after breathing in refrigerated bottle overnight.
Alcohol: 13.7%
Closure: Screwcap
Price: $30
Suggested Drinking Window: Now to 2026

Posted by Peter Pacey

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