Styles of Tempranillo

Tempranillo makes a range of styles, depending on viticultural factors such as climate, soil and clone, as well as ripeness at harvest and the style intention of the winemaker.

In most regions of Australia Tempranillo is still a relatively newly planted variety, but already some common themes are emerging.

More fertile soils produce relatively large berries, suited to fragrant and fresh rosé or lighter-bodied red wines. Typical descriptors include red fruits such as red currant, pomegranate and raspberries.

In less fertile situations, berry size is restricted and the wine is medium-bodied, with a more fleshy, generous mouthfeel and more assertive tannin. The aroma and flavour descriptors vary with climate and ripeness at harvest.

Cooler climates produce wines in more of the red fruit spectrum with perfume and spice and other descriptors such as savoury and red liquorice. These wines often have great clarity of flavour, the red fruits and fleshy texture combining with fine, firm, linear tannin structure to make complete and very composed wines.

Warmer climates tend to produce more black fruit characters such as black cherry, cola and chocolate. These wines often have more richness and range from very juicy ‘slurpy’ drink-now styles, to powerful and concentrated wines suited to ageing.

Increasing vine age, lower yields and smaller berry sizes are all associated with wines with elevated concentration, tannin intensity and perfumed flavour length.

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updated 20/8/10
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