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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 wines 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 Secrets for 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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  • Sierra Cantabria Cantabria Coleccion Privada 1996  Front Label
    Sierra Cantabria Cantabria Coleccion Privada 1996
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • Bodegas Campillo Reserva Rioja 1996  Front Label
      Bodegas Campillo Reserva Rioja 1996
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      • W&S90
      3.3 7 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $39.97
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    • Bodegas Ismael Arroyo Val Sotillo 1996
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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      • Artadi Pagos Viejos 1996
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • RP93
        • W&S91
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      • Dominio de Pingus Flor de Pingus 1996 Front Label
        Dominio de Pingus Flor de Pingus 1996
        Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
        • WS90
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        Currently Unavailable $109.00
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      • Bodegas Vega Sicilia Unico Tinto 1996 Front Label
        Bodegas Vega Sicilia Unico Tinto 1996
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • RP96
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        Currently Unavailable $369.00
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      • Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza Rioja Reserva 1996
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • RP91
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        Currently Unavailable $149.97
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        149 97
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      • Artadi Vina el Pison Riserva 1996 Front Label
        Artadi Vina el Pison Riserva 1996
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • RP97
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        Currently Unavailable $249.99
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