Tempranillo is new enough to Australia that trying a new one is still a lottery; in terms of quality, in terms of style. I admit to never having tasted one from the Orange/Central Ranges areas, so was curious to see what Angullong, a maker of solid, cleanly commercial wines, might do with the variety.
At first, the nose presents a hit of the sort of confected, carbonic maceration derived fruit character that, I regret to say, is a big turnoff for me. While it calms with time, the essential character of this wine stays true to that first impression: this is Tempranillo made for mass appeal. For a varietal that can, at times, be quite meaty and challenging, the aroma profile here is remarkably accessible, a hint of cola the only suggestion of savouriness. There’s also some cuddly vanilla, signalling a friendly approach to oak treatment.
The palate is rather acid-driven in structure, bringing additional sunlight to what is an already bright fruit profile. Red boiled lollies and tart berry skins are first to appear, followed by a welcome dose of twiggy, vegetal sappiness and a smattering of prickly tannins. It’s not an especially distinctive or complex flavour profile, but it’s different enough from a typical Shiraz or Cabernet to provide some interest. It’s an open question for me whether Tempranillo is best served by this style; I’d like to see less bright fruit, less oak, and a bit more difference. However, someone looking for an easygoing yet “different” wine may find a lot to like here.