Tempranillo clones : Present and Future

Contributed by Nick Dry, Yalumba Nursery

With the majority of Tempranillo vineyards in Australia planted to clone D8V12, there is great potential to advance the quality of Tempranillo in Australia through clonal evaluation. Apart from clone D8V12, there are three other clones currently available in Australia; D8V13, Tinta Roriz and Requena.

Currently Available Clones

Requena was imported from Requena, Spain in 1964 and planted in the CSIRO collection at Merbein. The use of this clone has been very limited; possibly related to the fact that it is currently only available from Western Australia Vine Improvement.

D8V13 was imported into Australia from UC Davis (California) under the variety name Valdepenas (FPS1) in 1966. As the name suggests it was imported to California from Valdepenas, Spain.

D8V12 was imported from UC Davis as Tempranillo in 1971. Nelson-Kluck (2006) states in the article ‘Tempranillo at Foundation Plant Services’ that Valdepenas FPS 1 (the source of D8V13) was heat-treated for 80 days. In Nicholas (2006) National Register of Grapevine Varieties and Clones, the full record for D8V12 is FVD8V12/VX/UCD HT80. This would lead the co-author to believe that D8V12 is the heat-treated version of D8V13.

Tinta Roriz was imported under the variety name Tinta Roriz by Yalumba Nursery in 1990. This selection was made from a vineyard in the Douro Valley owned by the renowned port producers Taylors. DNA tests in 1998 confirmed that Tinta Roriz is a match for Tempranillo and hence Tinta Roriz should be considered as another clone of Tempranillo.

New clones

In 2009 seven new clones were released from quarantine in Australia; two from the ENTAV-INRA® programme in France and five from the Insituto Agrario de Castilla y Lyon (ITACYL) in Spain.

CloneRegion of Origin
ENTAV-INRA® Nº 770Rioja
ENTAV-INRA® Nº 776Rioja
Tinta del Pais CL-32Ribera del Duero
Tinta del Pais CL-98Ribera del Duero
Tinta del Pais CL-261Ribera del Duero
Tinta de Toro CL-306Toro
Tinta de Toro CL-326Toro

Agronomic and Oenological Attributes

In terms of the agronomic attributes of the currently available clones D8V12, D8V13, Tinta Roriz and Requena, there are very few examples of side-by side plantings so it is very difficult to make definitive statements on their performance. Our general observations (based on very limited opportunities across sites and seasons) are that there is little differences in viticultural performance between D8V12 and D8V13. In terms of winemaking it has been observed that D8V12 is more perfumed and D8V13 more savoury (Prue Henshcke pers comm.), but it must be noted that this observation is from one site and one vintage. Tinta Roriz at two different sites in the Barossa Valley (based on observation only) has consistently produced higher yields and a smaller canopy (less vigour) compared with D8V12 and has also been slightly delayed in terms of ripening.

For the newly imported clones we have access to data on their performance from trials in their country of origin. The data for the ENTAV-INRA® clones (Table 1) is obtained from a very limited trial (10 vines per clone without repetition) on sandy soil Estate Espiguette (Languedoc-Roussillon).

Table 1. Performance of ENTAV-INRA® clones 770 and 776 (source: Christophe Sereno, Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin)
Clone/Parameter Bunch Number/Vine Yield/Vine (kg) Bunch Weight (g) Berry Weight (g) % Alcohol Acidity (g/L)
ENTAV-INRA® Nº 770 11,00 3,72 339,50 2.65 10,60 3,48
ENTAV-INRA® Nº 776 8,50 3,15 328,00 2.67 11,80 4,00

The performance data for the ITACYL clones (Table 2.) comes from 10 years of data collection (1996-2006) from a trial in Valladolid (Ribera del Duero) established in 1992. The data shows that there are significant differences in yield parameters and vigour (pruning weights). Further data from a wine evaluation trial (table 3.) indicates that there is also differences in the sensory attributes produced by each of the clones.

Table 2. Performance of 5 ITACYL Tempranillo clones from a replicated trial planted in Valladolid. (source: Rubio, J. et al., 2008). Values with different superscript means there is significant differences (p<0.05) according to the Fisher test.
Parameter/Clones CL-32 CL-98 CL-261 CL-306 CL-326
Yield (t/ha) 11.4ab 9.17cdef 10.1bc 7.89ef 9.51cde
No. bunches/vine 18bc 19abc 19.9abc 19.5abc 19.2abc
No. berries/bunch 136ab 110cdef 124bc 96f 121bc
Berry weight (g) 2.19b 2.01c 1.9de 1.87de 1.97cd
Bunch weight (g) 247a 191bc 199b 154e 201b
Pruning weight (Kg/vine) 1.09de 1.14cde 1.27bc 1.36ab 1.27bc
Shoot weight (g) 66.8cdef 72.7bcde 76abc 80.3ab 74.9abcd
Sugar / Degree Brix (oBrix) 21.5d 22.6ab 22.2bc 22.9a 22cd
pH 3.41de 3.47abcd 3.49abc 3.5ab 3.4e
Total acidity (g/l tartaric acid) 5.25 5.21 5.22 5.22 5.37

Table 3. Summary of sensory attributes of 5 ITACYL clones from a winemaking trial undertaken in 1997 from a replicated trial planted in Valladolid.
Clone Sensory Attributes
CL-32 Aromatic, light
CL-98 Well balanced, structured
CL- 261 Well balanced, powerful
CL-306 Balanced, powerful
CL-326 Structured, good length

The differences in viticultural and winemaking performance between clones gives vineyard managers options for selecting clones suited to their site and winemakers options for selecting clones that will assist them in making their chosen wine style.

How this performance data from Spain and France will translate to Australian conditions is yet to be seen. In 2010 Yalumba Nursery will be establishing a clonal evaluation trial in the Wrattonbully comparing the 7 new clones with D8V12, D8V13 and Tinta Roriz. In the meantime discussions with Spanish viticulturists and winemakers have indicated that clone performance is related to the place of origin i.e a selection or clone taken from a vineyard in Rioja performs better in Rioja then in Valdepenas and vice versa. So to better understand the potential performance of the current and new clones in Australia perhaps it is best to look at the region of origin and in particular the climate, soil, topography and wine style.

Reference: Rubio, J et al. (2008) Clones certificados de las principales variedades tradicionales de vid en Castilla y Leon, Instituto de Castilla y Leon).

SAVI have the following clones – not sure when they will be available
Tempranillo 232 Portugal
Tempranillo 224 Portugal
Tempranillo 51 Spain
Tinta del Pais 595 Spain
Tinta Toro 594 Spain

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updated 20/8/10
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