One of the things I noticed visiting tasting rooms in Australia was that the Aussies are planting and producing just about every variety imaginable down there. From Teroldego to Albarino to Tourigo Nacional, they are experimenting like crazy. However, on offer today is a supremely unique wine compromised of old-vine classics like Grenache blended with some of the Clare Valley's original Tempranillo vines. The result is as fantastic as it is unique, a blend pioneered by the producer.
Pinot-lovers, Italian wine-lovers, Spanish wine-lovers, Aussie wine-lovers it's time to...
BACK UP THE TRUCK!
Like Lot 340, Lot 342 2017 Grenache-Tempranillo-Malbec (known as GTM but it also has a little Mouvedre/Mataro and Syrah in the blend as well) comes to us from one of Australia's most iconic winemakers, a James Halliday 5-Star Winery and one of critic Huon Hooke's "Top Winery's of Australia".
This the same wine the producer bottles and we haven't touched it - its perfect as it is - the original bottling scoring 93-points from the Aussie reviewer Wine Pilot (though they got the final blend wrong in the description). FWIW, Vinous reviewed the similar vintage 2013 version and awarded it 91-points - that's the only recent review from them.
Other Aussie reviewers note the wine is "Top Value" at the $25/bottle price tag. - Now its just $13/bottle!
Folks, you have to trust me here, this is simply astonishing value and a fabulous wine. It drinks beautifully now, and will go another 10-15 years in bottle.
Despite the Tempranillo, to me the sensibility here is Australia meets Italy. Medium garnet in the glass and super-expressive and fragrant bouquet of black raspberry, dried orange peel, menthol and gumtree backed by tootsie roll, leather, and cedar with a kiss of cherry lurking in the background. While the aromatics are well-delineated and fresh, the palate is surprisingly sensuous and succulent with a plush, viscous entry beautifully integrated with lifted red fruits(Grenache), savory depth (Tempranillo), violet perfume (Malbec) and a tootsie roll magic carpet ride finish from the hogsheads. Outstanding!
I should note that, throughout our Australian tasting room visits, Mark and I noticed that the Australians were planting just about every varietal under the sun down under.
100% Estate vineyards in Clare Valley
39% Grenache, 26% Tempranillo, 12% Malbec, 12% Mataro, 11% Syrah Aged 24-months in 20% new French oak barrels - Aussies call them hogsheads. 350 cases available Bottling TBD November 2022 - should arrive February 2022 or thereabouts