14%, Screwcap, $20
Tempranillo in the Hills? Well if La Linea can pull it off well then why not. In fact, Nepenthe's vines were first planted in 1998 which places them right at the start of the recent Tempranillo boom. This particular bottle is festooned with medals (including a few trophies) to boot.
It's a distinctive wine too, with a big hit of eucalpyt and spearmint dominating the nose, alongside mulberry fruit and a hint of breadcumb oak and yeast character. You've really got to have a high eucalypt/menthol tolerance to really love this I think, though the sweeter edges to the palate are still quite attractive, softening out the hardness of the minty (borderline ripe?) fruit. With air it all looks more cohesive, that slightly sullen palate opening up to flesh everything out again, even if the finish is on the gruff side. Solid drinking for the price regardless. 16.5/88+