This evocative, architectural wine is an ode to the great wines of Rioja. The structure is achieved through traditional long post fermentation maceration, and maturation in new oak for 20 months. This unapologetic, contemporary expression will make you salivate.
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JancisRobinson.com, January 2019, Julia Harding MW. Rating: 17
Deep smudgy garnet. Lovely fragrance of sweet red fruit that is actually much more complex than that and hard to describe: something floral and yet that sweetness of spicy blueberries is there on the nose and palate. Full-flavoured and scented on the palate. There’s oak sweetness giving a malty chocolate aftertaste but it doesn’t cover the fruit. Chewy, rounded tannins. (JH)
jamessuckling.com, James Suckling, August 2015, Score 92 points
The stamp of the region is strong in this long-maceration take on tempranillo with dark, tarry berry fruits. Earthy and spicy. The palate's smoothly integrated and has sweeping, deep, dark tannins with a punchy, bold, crisp feel to it. Oak chimes in through the finish with cassis and cola.
24 July 2013 by Julia Harding MW. Score: 16.5
Very nice touch: all the terms on the back are in Spanish (eg Cosecha, Variedad, Elaboración) although the vital information is in English: Tempranillo, long maceration, aged in 50% new French oak, 20% new US oak and 30% old French oak for 20 months. Deep garnet. Smells Australian (ripe sweetness) before it smells Tempranillo (fruit sweetness). But there's red fruit and a sweet but delicate oaky layer. On the palate, definitely Tempranillo, with softish tannins, respectable acidity and some indication of age as well as the red fruit – perhaps just a little leathery. I wish I had a Rioja to taste alongside. I can see this is likely to be popular. It is well made but just lacks something savoury to contrast with the sweet fruit and oak flavours. But definitely a variety that can shine in Australia. (It may soon, I am told, be excluded from the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show because it is becoming more widely planted.) Extremely accomplished and I think it will age well.
Matthew Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines 2013/14
If the Willunga 100 wine above is a cunning Aussie ‘Crianza’, then Pintor is a revolutionary ‘Reserva’. The trick with this First Drop wine is that the lads have judged the oak so carefully that they allow the fruit to shine through uninterrupted. This time, in the mind-blowing 2010 vintage, the recipe is 50% new French, 20% new American, 30% old French and all for 20 months of dunking. The fact that the alcohol is reined in at 13.5% means that this oak has not taken the lead and the Tempranillo has the firmness of character to express itself with its brooding strawberry compote and plum duff core. Served blind I would be lost, but happy. This is a great wine from Matt and John and they continue to rock the boat and ride the current, showing us that unpredictability is the norm.