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Tempranillo

Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins and bright acidity ...

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.

In the Glass

Tempranillo produces medium-weight reds with strawberry and black fruit characteristics and depending on yield, growing conditions and winemaking, can produce hints of spice, toast, leather, tobacco, herb or vanilla.

Perfect Pairings

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 Secret

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 somewhere in between.

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    Teso la Monja Victorino 2013
    Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
    • RP94
    • WE93
    • WS92
    4.3 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $56.99
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    Abadia Retuerta Pago Negralada Tempranillo 2013
    Tempranillo from Spain
    • WE92
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $119.99
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    119 99
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    Parador Tempranillo 2013
    Tempranillo from Napa Valley, California
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      Currently Unavailable $41.99
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      No Girls La Paciencia Vineyard Tempranillo 2013
      Tempranillo from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
      • WE94
      • RP92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $129.99
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      129 99
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    • Flat front label of wine
      Numanthia Termanthia Toro 2013
      Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
      • W&S94
      • JS94
      • WS91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $234.99
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