R295 – R1,770
- Full Body
- Fruit Intensity
All about this wine
The river Iber is the majestic river that flows over 900 km across Northern Spain through the region of La Rioja, including over 20 cities and discharges into the Mediterranean near Tarragona. It is said that the Iberian Peninsula is named after it. The melting snows of the Pyrenees feed it as they thaw and it is these same waters that in turn feed the vast plantings of Tempranillo for which this region is so well known.
This unique wine is made with hand-picked grapes from a minuscule block of old bush-vines in the Malmesbury area of the Swartland, which provides a similar growing environment to the original Spanish vineyards. It is one of the very few bush-vine plantings of Tempranillo in South Africa and is exclusive to Thorngrove Wines.
Once hand-harvested and sorted to remove all the leaves, the grapes were held in a cold room for 3 days to bring the core temperatures down to around 3’c. Following this, the grapes were lightly crushed and de-stemmed into the fermenter where they were further held at cold temperature and under a carbon dioxide blanket for another 3 days, to improve colour and flavour extraction before inoculating with yeast and kicking off the primary or alcoholic fermentation. This was also temperature controlled to ensure lower temperatures were achieved.
This was completed in around 7 days at which time we again sealed the fermenter and held the must on lees for an additional 4-5 days before using the old fashioned basket press to extract the juices and into the maturation stage on 31% new French Oak, a specially selected mix of toasted and untoasted oak that allows us to support the fruit with just the right balance that delivers a balanced wine with body and finesse.
The wine was matured at a stable temperature whilst the secondary, or malolactic fermentation continued and we carefully assessed it after 11 months of letting Mother Nature do her thing, with the wine flavours and aromas mingling with the Oak until we decided to bottle the wine after 12 months on the wood. This was done meticulously and carefully but with no filtration other than a very basic physical filter to keep out any naughty pips. No finings or stabilisation techniques were used prior to bottling and along with the practically zero filtration, we believe this allows the fullest flavours to shine through, just as Mother nature intended.
COLOUR: Absolutely enchanting. The wine is almost iridescent, with medium ruby giving way to a brighter red edge, it has an incredible depth to the colour, which is maybe brighter than a good Tempranillo usually is, but we believe our cold-soaking methods achieve this.
SMELL: This wine is just fruit, fruit and fruit, oh and some spicy top notes as well but the aromas are all bright and clean on the nose. It’s driven primarily by sour cherries and juicy black figs since at Thorngrove we like the fruit to shine out, but then the subtle unique aromas of the Tempranillo grape come into play, with sun-dried tomato, red peppers and even fresh herbs. It delivers a distinct and almost herbaceous nose where the top spicy accents persist. You may also pick up the lightest hints of mocha & coconut from the mix of French Oak we use.
TASTE: This wine tastes just like a classically made Tempranillo should, with more identifiable flavours on the palate than on the nose. The sour black cherries and figs dominate with incredible depth, with the herbaceous elements there to counter-balance, all underpinned by a solid acidity, and silken but powerful tannins giving high grip too. The great Spanish Tempranillos were designed to mature for over 20 years in which time some of this boldness softens into more caramel and nutty nuances. The wine is a huge full-bodied one with full-on silky tannins and acidity, which when combined with our fruit-forward style make this a massive and luscious wine but with enough grip to hold its own on your dining table as well as sit quietly in your cellar for the next 15 years – if you can wait that long.
Tempranillo has a bold flavour, decent tannins and bold acidity which means it can handle equally big dishes such as a stone-baked lasagne, a char-grilled rib-eye with a café de Paris butter, or herbed rack of lamb. Its acidity will also balance powerful sauces such as gorgonzola or three cheese sauce. Not too many foods could outplay this opulent Thorngrove Tempranillo.
Given the huge mouthfeel of this wine, I think a pairing with stunning, but subtle cheeses, such as a Manchego, a lovely gruyere or a brie-type super-rich Saint Andre triple cream cheese will have you bringing out the rest of your stash…
Iber – Tempranillo