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Tempranillo

Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity...

Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

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    Bodegas Vega Sicilia Unico Tinto 2005
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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    4.8 8 Ratings
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    Faustino I Gran Reserva 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    4.1 14 Ratings
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    La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Reserva Tinto 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS94
    • W&S91
    • RP90
    4.0 122 Ratings
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    Numanthia Termes 2014
    Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
    • JS94
    • RP91
    4.0 28 Ratings
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    La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2008
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • D95
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    • WS90
    4.2 102 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $31.99
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    R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • D96
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    • RP93
    • W&S90
    4.2 23 Ratings
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    La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Rioja Reserva 2009
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS96
    • RP90
    4.1 33 Ratings
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    Bodegas Muga Seleccion Especial Reserva 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • RP92
    4.2 43 Ratings
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    Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva 2012
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WS93
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    3.8 129 Ratings
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    Bodegas Muriel Crianza 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS90
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    Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS92
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    4.1 61 Ratings
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    La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto 2009
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP95
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    Carlos Serres Old Vines Tempranillo 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS92
    3.4 27 Ratings
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    Bodegas y Vinedos Alion 2013
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • JS94
    • WS91
    4.4 7 Ratings
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    Marques de Riscal Proximo 2012
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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      Bokisch Vineyards Tempranillo 2014
      Tempranillo from Lodi, California
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      La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 890 Tinto 2004
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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      Bodegas Muga Torre Muga 2014
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      • JS96
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      La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2007
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      • JS97
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      Condado de Haza Ribera del Duero Tinto 2014
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
        4.7 8 Ratings
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        Dominio de Pingus Flor de Pingus 2015
        Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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        Marques de Murrieta Rioja Reserva 2013
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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        Vina Eguia Tempranillo 2015
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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          Bodegas Bilbainas Vina Pomal Reserva 2013
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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          CVNE Vina Real Crianza 2014
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
          • JS92
          3.8 11 Ratings
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