2008 MT Tempranillo

James Halliday Australian Wine Companion – Tasted 24 Jul 2009

Rating 93/100

Good colour; has considerable flavour and structure at odds with the wine never seeing oak; black cherry, and touches of licorice and spice supported by grape-derived tannins.

Screwcap. Alc: 13.5%. Drink by: 2016.

Max Allen, The Weekend Australian, September 25-26 2010

This was one of the wines not made by members of the TempraNeo club (most of the non-members were from Spain) but one I had tasted previously.  On both occasions spice and licorice, black cherry, and impressive tannin-derived structure appealed greatly.  Interestingly, made without and oak ageing, and not needing any.  93 points.  Drink to 2016.

Penguin Good Australian Wine Guide 2010 (Nick Stock)

Plenty to love here.  This juicy, vivacious Tempranillo trades on fresh, fragrant fruit appeal, offering ripe black cherry and spice, some herbal notes and gentle reduction adding complexity to this unoaked expression.  The palate springs to life with fine dark cherry flavour, soft, smooth tannins and a supple, charming balance. A top young red with character and verve, and a lingering cherry pip finish. Drink: Now

Good Value Rating 91/100 (…serious quality…greater concentration and purity, superior in every aspect)  

Jane Faulkner, The Age Epicure, The Age 7 July 2009 

Pondalowie is the collaboration between winemaking husband and wife Dominic and Krystina Morris at Bridgewater on Loddon, near Bendigo.  They produce earthy, savoury and often gutsy, intense reds.  Tempranillo is one of the stars in their line-up as it manages to be quite concentrated yet vibrant and alive with fresh fruit.

With this just-released MT Tempranillo 2008, there’s a core of dense black and red fruits, and a touch of eucalypt with subtle savoury and spicy notes matched to ripe, velvety tannins.  It will continue to please over the next few years.  This wine can handle robust meat dishes particularly well, and heat too, as in chilli or horseradish, but in warmer weather it wouldn’t be at all disrespectful to chill it down. 

Max Allen, Gourmet Traveller magazine ‘Hot Shots – Top drops of the Month’ pg67/68, June 2009

After a no-show from the drought ravaged 2007 vintage, this lovely unwooded temp is crammed with trademark cinnamon-laced glossy black cherries. It’s gorgeous drinking right now. Drink with paprika-spiked lamb. 

Sally Gudgeon, “A year of Good Drinking – 52 good wine lessons”

Lesson 14 – Tempranillo “There are some vibrant fruit flavours in this Tempranillo, layers of dark cherry, blackberry and sarsaparilla.  It’s a gorgeous mouthful and delicious with chorizo with figs.” 

Matt Skinner – The Juice 2008

While many Aussie producers are still getting to grips with this Spanish native variety, Bendigo based Pondalowie has been up and running with Tempranillo for some time now.  From 100% Tempranillo and with zero oak influence expect to find aromas of sweet black cherries, aniseed, dried woody herbs and Middle Eastern spices.  On the palate its medium bodied with plenty of drive and grip.  Combination of bright fresh fruit and a plush texture make this wine ideal for drinking now.  Think garlicky Middle Eastern meatballs with couscous, parsley, mint preserved lemons and almonds. ” – “Wine of the Week – New Australian Reds”

This week’s Wine of the Week is the Pondalowie 2008 MT Tempranillo. The MT comes from the owners and wine makers, Dominic and Krystina, association with vintages in Portugal. “Minha Terra” was used often by the workers at the Quinta do Crasto winery when describing they home. Dominic still is the main winemaker at Quinta do Crasto, so divides his time between the Douro and their own vineyardin Bridgewater, near the town of Bendigo.

The wine has fruity and rich aromas of cherry, raspberry, but with the some added earthy and mineral accents which is typical of red winesfrom this region. This provides a pleasant difference from the more famous Rioja version of the wine. Tasting the wine provides the same berryflavors and the rich earthiness and a medium body which is a pleasant change from the rich or heavily oaked wines traditionally made in Australia. It is unwooded and can be served slightly chilled on a warm day, which is perfect for the Australian climate. Now I am back in the northern hemisphere I think I will keep it out of the fridge.

It is perfectly suited to
tapas and is great with this type of starter before getting stuck in to a heavier food (and wine) now that the festive season is almost upon us. If you can find it, it is great value.