2009 Firebox Ridge Vineyard Selection Tempranillo

Made by the Australian winemaking and export company Winetrust Estates under its Firebox Ridge label, the 2009 Tempranillo is the first commercial release from its Swan Hill vineyards in northern Victoria and a winner of a number of awards at the 2010 Inland Winemakers Exhibition.

A long ripening season together with minimal vineyard intervention plus maturation in French and American oak has produced a modern Australian interpretation of this classic Rioja region varietal.

An attractive ruby red colour leads to a somewhat restrained bouquet of spice, vanillin notes and forest floor. It took time to elicit those aromatics as the nose was so tight. The same went for the palate as the profile of herbaceous wild berries, white pepper and chocolate notes didn't get started until the following night's libation. No amount of medical intervention could have revived this wine on the first night!

That said, this medium-bodied expression of Australian tempranillo is attractive and offers a long, pleasant finish with all the hallmarks of the variety. Do give it an airing before pairing it with any lighter style meat dish.

Source: Retail Purchase. 87 Points. Website: www.winetrustestates.com.au

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