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Tempranillo

Learn about Tempranillo — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins and a bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions and important throughout most of Spain. Depending on location, it takes on a few synonyms; in Penedès, it is known as Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Furthermore in Portugal, known as Tinta Roriz, it is a key component both in Port and the dry red wines of the Douro. The New World regions of California, Washington and Oregon have all had success with Tempranillo, producing a ripe, amicable and fruit-dominant style of red.

Tasting Notes for Tempranillo

Tempranillo is a dry, red wine and produces medium-weight reds with strawberry and black fruit characteristics. Depending on growing conditions and winemaking, it can produce hints of spice, toast, leather, tobacco, herb or vanilla.

Perfect Food Pairings for Tempranillo

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

Sommelier Secretsfor Tempranillo

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a naming system is in place to indicate how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release. Rioja labeled Joven (a fresh and fruity style) spends a year or less in oak, whereas Gran Reserva (complex and age-worthy) must be matured for a minimum of two years in oak and three years in bottle before release. Requirements on Crianza and Reserva fall in between.

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    La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva Seleccion Especial 2010
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2009
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • D91
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    Marques de Caceres Rioja Gran Reserva 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    3.8 28 Ratings
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    Bodegas Muga Gran Reserva Prado Enea 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    Aalto PS 2016
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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    El Coto Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva 2012
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero 2017
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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      CVNE Gran Reserva 2010
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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      4.1 93 Ratings
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      Numanthia Toro 2015
      Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
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      CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja 2012
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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      Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva 2009
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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      4.6 14 Ratings
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      Aalto 2016
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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      4.4 10 Ratings
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      Bodegas y Vinedos Pintia 2014
      Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
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      • WS90
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      R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva 2006
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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      4.2 57 Ratings
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      Torres Celeste Crianza 2015
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
      • JS92
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      El Coto Crianza 2015
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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      Dominio de Eguren Protocolo Tinto 2017
      Tempranillo from Spain
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      4.4 10 Ratings
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      Marques de Caceres Rioja Crianza 2015
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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      Bodegas Cepa 21 Hito 2017
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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      Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Limited Edition Rioja 2015
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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      Dominio Basconcillos Vina Magna Crianza 2015
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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      Bodegas Cepa 21 Ribera del Duero 2015
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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      Dominio de Atauta Torre de Golban Reserva 2015
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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      CVNE Imperial Reserva Rioja 2014
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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      4.8 5 Ratings
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