But Church Road Winery keeps experimenting, planting other grape varieties in their vineyards in order to find the ones that would potentially find themselves suited to the local terroir. Out of the many they have tried to make good wines with, only a few have produced a good enough result to be bottled and released under the CRW label. Tempranillo is one of them. Church Road has also found that a Northern Italian grape variety: Marzemino, is giving great results. See full tasting notes of Church Road Mc Donald Series Marzemino.
Tempranillo is originally a Spanish grape variety, most famous for the production of Rioja and Ribera del Duero wines. Despite its success in producing quality wines in Spain, the grape has not been widely planted outside of the Iberian peninsula.
As little known as this may be, a few New Zealand wineries have actually released a Tempranillo wine, from regions as different as Marlborough (Hans Herzog), Central Otago (Rock Ferry), Waipara (Mount Brown) or Waiheke Island (Osidian). Yet Hawke’s Bay is the area in NZ the grape is most planted with several producers bottling varietal wines e.g. Trinity Hill, Black Barn, or Hawkes Ridge.
Tempranillo is appreciated for its ability to ripen early yet producing rich and powerful red wines, an important quality in the NZ cool climate.
2013 is Church Road first release of Tempranillo. The quality of the wine has been considered good enough by the winery to be labelled as part of the Mc Donald series.
So how good is Church Road’s version of the Spanish Tempranillo?
As always, the answer is in the tasting notes:
Nose: Very intense aromatic notes of black fruit and ripe red fruit (blackberry, strawberry jam, cherry) together with plenty of oak characters and spices. It’s smoky, irony, and positively jammy. There’s an enjoyable leathery touch to it on the background: cowboy boots-like. Great overall intensity, appealing.
Palate: A lot of fruit and oaky flavors exploding in the mouth. Big drying tannins, a touch of bitterness and alcohol on the finish. Enjoyable civilized fruity wine as you put it in your mouth, then turns into a rather big and bold Mr Hide of a wine. Solid acidity.
Food pairing: Perfect match with grilled meats, an absolute barbecue-friendly wine. Its exuberant flavors and strong tannins will be a great advantage to match powerful meaty flavors and cut through the fat.
Drink now or within 3 to 5 year.
Alcohol: 14.5% v/v
Residual Sugar: < 2g/L
Titrable acidity: 5.38g/l (as Tartaric Acid)
Soil Type: Redstone, Bridge Pa Triangle: Iron rich shallow silts/ wind blown loess/ volcanic ash over alluvial red metals.
Find out more about Church Road winery and their wines on Church Road Winery profile.