It was with good foresight and fortune that Leon Tokar decided to plant this then little known Spanish variety in 1999. We now have the some of the oldest Tempranillo in the Yarra Valley, planted directly outside the Tokar Estate restaurant. Spur pruned to a VSP trellis. The leaves are enormous on the vine so a couple of leaf removals are performed through the growing season to encourage sunlight on to the bunches to enhance the colour and structure of the wine. The vines are low yielding, generally delivering 1.5 – 2 tonnes per acre.
This Tempranillo was hand picked on 5 March and immediately destemmed into our beautiful 3000L French oak foudre, made especially for Tokar Estate Tempranillo. After a brief chilling, the must warmed up and the wild yeasts were put to work. Once all the sugar was gone, the foudre was sealed, allowing a long soak with the grape skins to gently extract fine tannins. Once pressed, the wine was immediately returned to the foudre for maturation and bottled within 12 months to retain the bright fruit character.
A bright tinge of purple shows the wine’s youth, backed up by the aromas of fresh cherry and orange peel. The more savoury charcuterie, tea and chinoto aromas testify this is a wine of complex character. The palate is elegant, of medium body and quite tightly wound. It stays low and drives long, coating the mouth in fine drying tannins. Delicious now but put a couple away also to enjoy over the next 10 years.
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