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Tempranillo Wine

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

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Tempranillo is Spain’s premier and most planted grape variety, accounting for around 20% of all Spanish plantings. Tempranillo translates to “a bit early” in Spanish and its name refers to the grape’s growing cycle, since it both buds and ripens early. Tempranillo is the base of many of Spain’s iconic wines and it is highly regarded by winemakers because of its tremendous versatility and adaptability. Tempranillo wine 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.

Tempranillo Tasting Notes

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. Tempranillo is extremely sensitive to both its growing environment and to winemaking techniques, which makes it difficult to list the most representative aroma descriptors.

Tempranillo Food Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained soft tannins and good acidity make it extremely food friendly. Tempranillo wine can be paired with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew or paella. Tempranillo also pairs well with traditional dishes from Castile and León (Castilla y León) like roasted lamb or sucking pig (lechazo and cochinillo respectively) or pork chops Sarmiento style (chuletillas al sarmiento). The young wines, in which Tempranillo dominates, offer bright red fruit and licorice flavors that are a good match for the many vegetable dishes that La Rioja de Navarra has to offer.

Sommelier Secrets for Tempranillo Wine

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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  • Marques de Murrieta Premium Bag with Two Bottles of 2016 Rioja Reserva 2016  Gift Product Image
    Marques de Murrieta Premium Bag with Two Bottles of Rioja Reserva 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP94
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    • WS91
    4.2 37 Ratings
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  • CVNE Vina Real Crianza 2017  Front Label
    CVNE Vina Real Crianza 2017
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • V90
    3.7 328 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5 2016  Front Label
    Bodegas Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5 2016
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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  • CVNE Crianza 2018  Front Label
    CVNE Crianza 2018
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS92
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  • Bodegas Valderiz Ribera del Duero 2018  Front Label
    Bodegas Valderiz Ribera del Duero 2018
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • WS95
    • JS93
    4.0 81 Ratings
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  • La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2015  Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS96
    • D93
    • WS91
    4.3 47 Ratings
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  • CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja 2015  Front Label
    CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS97
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    • W&S92
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  • R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva 2008  Front Label
    R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva 2008
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS95
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    • D92
    • W&S91
    4.2 114 Ratings
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  • Bodegas y Vinedos Alion  2018  Front Label
    Bodegas y Vinedos Alion 2018
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Protos Tinto Fino 2019  Front Label
    Protos Tinto Fino 2019
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • JS91
    4.3 63 Ratings
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  • Marques de Caceres Rioja Crianza 2018  Front Label
    Marques de Caceres Rioja Crianza 2018
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS92
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  • Pago de Carraovejas Ribera del Duero 2019  Front Label
    Pago de Carraovejas Ribera del Duero 2019
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • JS91
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  • CVNE Imperial Reserva Rioja 2017  Front Label
    CVNE Imperial Reserva Rioja 2017
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS93
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    • WW91
    3.7 7 Ratings
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  • El Coto Coto de Imaz Reserva 2016  Front Label
    El Coto Coto de Imaz Reserva 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS91
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    • W&S91
    4.1 43 Ratings
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  • Marques de Murrieta Rioja Reserva 2017  Front Label
    Marques de Murrieta Rioja Reserva 2017
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS95
    • RP93
    • WE92
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  • Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri Labastida 2016  Front Label
    Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri Labastida 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP94
    • JS94
    4.2 8 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Reserva 2016  Front Label
    Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Reserva 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • D93
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    • V92
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    • WW91
    4.0 86 Ratings
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  • Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero 2016  Front Label
    Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero 2016
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • JS93
    • RP92
    3.7 19 Ratings
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  • La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Rioja Gran Reserva 2014  Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Rioja Gran Reserva 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS96
    • D96
    • RP90
    4.0 85 Ratings
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  • Artadi Vinas de Gain 2018  Front Label
    Artadi Vinas de Gain 2018
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • RP93
    3.4 16 Ratings
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  • Bodega Lanzaga LZ 2020  Front Label
    Bodega Lanzaga LZ 2020
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS92
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  • Numanthia Toro 2016  Front Label
    Numanthia Toro 2016
    Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
    • JS95
    • WS93
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  • Bodegas Ordonez – Toro Vatan Tinta de Toro 2018  Front Label
    Bodegas Ordonez – Toro Vatan Tinta de Toro 2018
    Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
    • JS92
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  • Torre de Ona by La Rioja Alta Finca San Martin Crianza 2018  Front Label
    Torre de Ona by La Rioja Alta Finca San Martin Crianza 2018
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS91
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  • Bodegas Valderiz Tomas Esteban 2014  Front Label
    Bodegas Valderiz Tomas Esteban 2014
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • RP93
    • JS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $99.99
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