Rock Ferry Trig Hill Vineyard Central Otago Tempranillo 2016 $45

Not only is this tempranillo from Central Otago (as unlikely as that sounds), it’s also organic AND darn excellent.  The aromatics sing of bay leaf, drying flax, leather and coffee, prune and saucy, scorched toast, and all those delicious things osmose through onto the palate. Fiona and Tom Hutchison created Rock Ferry back in 2005 and developed the organic and biodynamic Central Otago-based Trig Hill vineyard at the same time. It’s beyond a stretch for most to attempt growing this Spanish staple in the southernmost wine region of the world — but shiver me timbers, it actually works. Tempranillo loves the dry, and Bendigo is classified as a desert. Cocoa, black olive, cedar, and blackberry flavours, ahoy! Enjoy with conejo al ajillo cabañil (Spanish roast rabbit and garlic). Drink now through 2028.