Tag: Tempranillo

Excellent Wine – Sticks & Stones

D’Arenberg, which was established 1912, produces this outstanding wine: The Sticks and Stones.

I paid about £14 for it, but it got “Great Gold” ad the Concours mondial de Bruxelles 2007 and “Blue Gold” at the Sydney International Wine Competition 2008. sticksandstones The Sticks and Stones is a mixture of Tempranillo, Grenache, and Shiraz from the d’Arenberg winery in the McLaren Vale in Australia.

With 14.5% alcohol volume it is a heavy, first taste sourish but later very smooth dark red wine!
The bottle and website describes the name as coming from:
The inspiration behind this name came from the age-old proverb ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.’ The unusual and quirky names that d’Arenberg’s range of wines has never done the winery any harm. We also do use sticks (vine cuttings) planted into stony soils to produce the grapes that result in this wine.

The winery uses concentrated bunches of Tempranillo, Grenache and Shriaz and crushes them gently, in a rubber-toothed crusher, and ferments them in small batches in traditional headed-down open fermenters. The maturation takes place in French and American oak barriques for 12 months.

The wine has a youthful floral aroma of red rose buds plus cut flower stems, spiced fruit, stalks, violets and dried herbs (Oddbins). I find it a rather heavy body wine, with fruit jams, cranberries, plums, boysenberries and blackberries, dried fruits and tannins. It is, and my wife loved that, very juicy wine.

Definitely a must buy and highly recommended.

Wine for under a tenner: Hardy’s Nottage Hill

Ok, this week’s wine is not the finest and whilst I am not 100% sure, but I think I paid £5.99 at the most. Hardy’s makes wine for the mass market and I was reluctant to pick it up but with a big discount and two of my favourite grapes, I got myself a few bottles of Hardy’s Nottage Hill Shiraz Tempranillo 2006. Hardys Nottage Hill

Hardy’s Nottage Hill just had their 40th birthday, however Hardy’s makes wine for over 150 years. It is a full bodied wine, not too heavy, with aromatic fruit flavours of black cherry, plum and blueberry with rich chocolate nuances. It is very well rounded, my wife absolutely loved it. With 14% alcohol vol it is on the heavy side but I don’t really remember a light wine for a good while.

I was positively surprised about the value for money and the quality of the wine, knowing Hardy’s only from their cheap “one wine fits all” approach.

At time of writing it was going for £6.88 per bottle but I am sure you can pick it up cheaper if you wait for an offer at one of the bigger super markets. Nothing special but just a nice wine.

Wine from a friend – Bodegas Santo Cristo

Continuing my series about wine, I want to draw your attention to a wine from Spain. I am normally not the biggest fan of Spanish wines but this one is special: my good friend and multilingual search marketing specialist Oscar gave it to me.

It is wine from his home region in Spain, close to Zaragoza.

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The website for this wine can be found here: Bodegas Santo Cristo.


The Reserva, a blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo, has been aged for 14 months in American oak barrel followed by 12 months bottle refining to complete the aromas and taste.

It is a great wine and I enjoyed drinking a wine that is not available in this country 🙂 It makes it somehow special. It has tasting notes of cherry with violet and brownish tones. That is how it is described. For me it was a taste “up” from Rioja, e.g. red fruits with a heavy toasty note but complex fruity flavours. The tannis wasn’t very strong and the palate was very balanced.

Garnacha is a the typical Aragonese variety. This kind of grape, well cared and elaborated gives you an excellent quality wine with intense aromas of mature red fruits. The wines have a fruity raspberry aroma and a warm taste with a velvety and smooth palate.

Tempranillo on the other hand is a more extended variety of high quality. These wines have a marked and balanced acidity and a fine aroma and flavour, a bit of strawberries and wild fruits flavours.

Thank you again for this Christmas present which I enjoyed very much!

Next week I bring you another speciality, probably one of the most expensive wines I ever had 🙂