SPECIALIS [Latin] Special, Project.
VARIETALS: Tempranillo, Grenache, Graciano
Earthy, brambly with fresh cherries, plums and a hint of dried herbs.
Savoury with some spice.
Chewy tannins with good flavour persistence and balanced acidity.
The addition of a small parcel of Graciano to the blend added complexity with a touch of dried herbs & spice.
Vintage 2015 came early and we were hand picking the first of our vineyards in the first week of February. The fruit advanced through ripening in late Spring, after a longer than usual flowering period. A cooler January allowed the fruit to hang through the cool phase and build in flavor and ripeness. As soon as the sun warmed up the ground and surrounding air again in early February, the vines built final ripeness and the berries hung ready for picking.
“It’s Latin, meaning “Special, Project”, and special it is. It’s a tempranillo, grenache, graciano blend. There’s a high cocoa content, with chocolate on the nose. It’s very decadent across the palate, as fruit characters mix wickedly with savoury, and the aftertaste is long and sensual. 95 points and worth $30.” – The Key Report
“The wine is attractively fragrant on the nose showing dark plum, raspberry coulis, clove and toasted nut characters with a touch of cocoa complexity. It is succulent and beautifully rounded on the palate, delivering fabulous fruit vibrancy and silky texture. The wine offers generosity as well as elegance, and finishes persistent and very fine. At its best: now to 2020. 92 Points’ – Wine Orbit NZ
“A unique blend of Tempranillo, Grenache and Graciano that is a light glossy red in colour. The nose gives lifted notes of cherry cola and sweeter cranberry. The wine gives layers of texture, initially your met with plush plum fruit that is generous and mouth filling, it then gets a more earthen aspect that builds in concentration with dried plum lingering. A unique, highly enjoyable blend worth seeking out. Optimal Drinking 2017 – 2026 – 92 points” – Wine Reviewer, Patrick Eckel March 2017
Previous Vintage Notes
In 2014, Winemaker Rose Kentish saw an opportunity to make this wine as a special project, hence the Latin name “Specialis”. It is her exploration of the classic northern Spanish blend, using premium McLaren Vale GI Tempranillo and Grenache, hand picked fruit from old vines.
Vintage 2014 was another small vintage for McLaren Vale. The quality of fruit is superb, and somehow a little more restrained and elegant than the 2013 vintage. Summer and Autumn offered long cooler days, which allowed for a longer maturation period and time for the grapes to ripen evenly and for natural acidity to build in line with the Baumé. After the brilliant flavours that the 2013 Grenache brought, the 2014 Grenache has all the restraint and gentleness that holds Grenache through the cellaring time. The Tempranillo from one of Ulithorne’s long term growers showed power of flavor – in both depth and prettiness that are often hallmarks of some of the great Spanish Tempranillo. This vintage offered fruit flavours of earth, raspberries and spice. Combine that with the elegance of the Grenache from this vintage, and an opportunity to make a wonderful new food-focused wine presented itself.
Tasting Notes Juicy, earthy, wine of the land. Fruit of sweet and savoury cherries and plums, with a hint of spice. Soft but present tannins and supporting acidity. Great food wine, particularly with roasted meats and winter vege, but with a finesse that doesn’t weigh it down to being just a ‘meat’ wine.