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Running With Bulls Barossa Tempranillo 2011
Perfect with tapas or tea smoked duck. Suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
The grapes are grown with an emphasis on vineyard sustainability, and in the warm and dry conditions little intervention is needed. This results in a healthy and diverse population of natural microflora that piggybacks on the grapes into the winery and begins the natural fermentation. The results are the Australian interpretation of the native styles of Spain and Italy, expressing individual regional characters.
The Barossa Zone encompasses the Barossa Valley and Eden Valley. Some of the oldest vines in Australia can be found here.
Barossa Valley of course is the most important and famous wine growing region in all of Australia where 140+ year-old, dry-farmed Shiraz vines still produce inky, purple and dense juice for some of Australia's best wines.
In the cooler, wetter Eden Valley sub-region, the Hill of Grace vineyard is home to famous Shiraz vines from the 1800s but the region produces also some of Australia’s very best and age-worthy Rieslings.
Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.
In the Glass
Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.
Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.
The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.