Review: 2010 Tim Gramp McLaren Vale Grenache

As the demand for McLaren Vale Grenache intensifies, it’s interesting that here we have one of the grandest family names in the business coming south from Clare to outbid the locals and buy top fruit like this from 59-year-old dry-grown vines at McLaren Flat. That wouldn’t be cheap! The wine has no oak. It doesn’t need any. Rather, Tim Gramp has used the basket press to squeeze out the juiciest bits, and then chosen to let the blood-and-roses of top Grenache do all the talking, giving a medium-bodied red of supple structure and appetising natural tannins. Like much grand old-vine Grenache, it has a silky sheen in the middle, giving an illusion of sweetness; then comes that lovely grainy finish. I know it’s not Tempranillo, but it IS like a joven style Temp from Spain: perfect for tapas, with warmed kalamata, hot chorizos, bone-dry goat or sheep cheese, and some black Iberian ham. I suppose skipping the oak helps keep the price down, but I’m still surprised that Tim can do this for such a modest spend. Go buy. It’s already deadly, but if you can, leave some in the dungeon for three years. It’ll go really sicko seductive.

— Philip White, Drinkster, Adelaide Independent