Ulithorne ‘SPECIALIS’ Tempranillo Grenache 2016


SPECIALIS: [Latin] special; project

The “Special Project” was inspired by our infatuation with the wines of Northern Spain. This wine is an inspiration of the complimentary connection between glass and plate that Ulithorne was entrusted to develop for a  Sydney chef’s trendy new high-end restaurant. The wine was made in line with the principles of our Rhone inspiration, however, due to the Spanish influence the wine is a “Black Sheep” of our Ulithorne family.

The Specialis is earthy and brambly with fresh cherries, plums, and a hint of dried spice. It’s a savoury wine with chewy tannins, 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 and spice. Our Specialis is individually numbered.


In stock


The Source

69% Tempranillo, 25% Grenache, and 6% Graciano grapes grown in the McLaren Vale wine region. 

The Process

Tempranillo grapes are cooled as whole bunches overnight, crushed, then fermented in small open fermenters whilst hand plunging twice a day. Basket Pressed. Natural malolactic in barrel. The Grenache and Graciano are treated similarly though kept separate until final blending. The wine is aged in older French oak barrels for 14 months to mature well, but without oak influencing the flavour.

The Technicalities

Alcohol: 13.5% | pH: 3.45 | Acidity: 6.13g/L 

The Accolades

Vintage 2016: “Juicy and vibrant with plush red and purple fruit. Ripe and delicious. Moreish cola notes with deep red rose petal aromas.
Brimming with juicy black cherry, licorice and sweet spice flavour. This screams, “Drink me!” 95 points – Peter Nixon, DMWP

Vintage 2015: “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.” 95 points – Tony Key, The Key Report Australia

Vintage 2015: “An eclectic blend, and one seemingly well suited to McLaren Vale conditions. Generous vinosity and regionality take centre stage here, the individual varietal characters not so prominent, which may actually be the intention. Ripe and juicy on the bouquet and palate, showing some fruit sweetness with a savoury edge and quality tannin. Yes, it’s a food wine. Drink until 2025.” 92 points – James Halliday, Wine Companion

Vintage 2015: “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