The desire to experiment in the Mediterranean red blend territory, but not follow the established GSM/MSG/SGM path, led to some left field thinking about what may constitute a red fruit-centric medium-bodied style. Armed with access to a few obscure (by Australian standards) varieties and an intangible feeling for the aroma, flavour and texture profile that was desired, and so a new project was born. The Iberian brings together seven varieties that are mainstays or blending components with a historical origin on the Iberian Peninsula that covers Spain, Portugal and the Southern Roussillon of France. A thoroughly enjoyable trial and error blending process settled on an assemblage of Tempranillo, Touriga Nacional, Garnacha, Syrah, Monastrell and Malbec.
Fruit was fermented for three weeks on skins using natural yeasts. Maturation in 20% new French oak Hogsheads provides a subtle hint of oak support whilst allowing the primary fruit characters unhindered expression. The use of selected French cooperages (Seguin-Moreau, Nadalie, Marsannay, Dargaud & Jaegle) in a mix of puncheons, hogsheads and barriques provides complexity, integration and harmony with our intended style. One racking and regular topping are the only time the wine is disturbed post malo with 11 months spent in wood. The traditional approach used to make The Iberian precludes the use of the additives and fining agents such as tannins, enzymes, egg, fish or milk products. Bottled unfined and unfiltered in March of 2023.
Deep garnet red in colour. Perfumed aromas of bergamot, raspberry and fragrant spice is supported by subtle savoury cedar nuances. A softly textured palate dovetails into black cherry flavours intermingled with fruit pastille, Turkish Delight and game nuances. A long length of finish is supported by layers of fine tannins and a refreshing acid backbone. Drink now to 2030. 200 cases made.
Alcohol – 14.0% by volume Residual sugar – <1.0 g/L
Total Acidity – 6.7 g/L Volatile Acidity – 0.65 g/L
pH – 3.57 Sulphur Dioxide – 90 mg/L Total; 28 mg/L Free
Reviews (2021 The Iberian)
Score 92 James Suckling
Aromas of red cherries, blackberries, chocolate, coffee and black tea. Full-bodied with silky tannins. Juicy and succulent red and black fruit wash over the palate, accented by savory spice. Slight chew at the finish. Drink now. Screw cap
Score 93 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Erin Larking)
I like the Coates wines. I've liked all of them that I've tasted this year. Lovely, plush, succulent, polished house style, the wines all capture, as this one does, the clarity and purity of the fruit that they are made from. This 2021 The Iberian has raspberry leaf, licorice root, red apples, pomegranate, red licorice, layers of red earth, star anise and satsuma plum. Really attractive.
Score 93 Wine Front (Mike Bennie)
McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills join forces here. All the things – tempranillo, touriga nacional, syrah, monastrell, grenache, malbec. Wild ferment, no filtering or fining. Get it in ya. Also, this is too cheap.
Wonderful wine. Perfumed, savoury and sweet scents, earth and cherry/raspberry fruit, a bit of game meat, paprika, mint and sage – huge perfume, wonderful. Sloshy texture with very fine and good, Italianate tannins, shimmers with red fruits, spice, some garam masala flavours. Sheesh. This rips along with joyous deliciousness. Serious wine, but with ease of drinking, a great feel and that fanciness of fine wine to boot. All the touchstones. You gotta try this.