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Tempranillo Wine

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

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins and a bright acidity, 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 Food Pairings

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

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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  • Bodegas Muga Gran Reserva Prado Enea 2014  Front Label
    Bodegas Muga Gran Reserva Prado Enea 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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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
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    • RP90
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  • CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja 2014  Front Label
    CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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  • Torre de Ona by La Rioja Alta Reserva Finca Martelo 2014  Front Label
    Torre de Ona by La Rioja Alta Reserva Finca Martelo 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • JS91
    4.2 79 Ratings
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  • CVNE Gran Reserva 2014  Front Label
    CVNE Gran Reserva 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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  • Portia Triennia 2014  Front Label
    Portia Triennia 2014
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • W&S92
    • JS92
    • V92
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