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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 and a bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions and important throughout most of Spain. Depending on location, it takes on a few synonyms; in Penedès, it is known as Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Furthermore in Portugal, known as Tinta Roriz, it is a key component both in Port and the dry red wines of the Douro. The New World regions of California, Washington and Oregon have all had success with Tempranillo, producing a ripe, amicable and fruit-dominant style of red.
In the Glass
Tempranillo produces medium-weight reds with strawberry and black fruit characteristics and depending on yield, growing conditions and winemaking, can produce hints of spice, toast, leather, tobacco, herb or vanilla.
Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and good acidity make it extremely food friendly. Pair these 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 naming system is in place to indicate how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release. Rioja labeled Joven (a fresh and fruity style) spends a year or less in oak, whereas Gran Reserva (complex and age-worthy) must be matured for a minimum of two years in oak and three years in bottle before release. Requirements on Crianza and Reserva fall somewhere in between.