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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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    4.5 13 Ratings
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    La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2009
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • RP93
    • D91
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    Marques de Caceres Rioja Gran Reserva 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    Bodegas Muga Gran Reserva Prado Enea 2011
    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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    El Coto Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva 2012
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    CVNE Gran Reserva 2010
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • RP91
    4.1 93 Ratings
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    R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva 2006
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • WS92
    • W&S90
    4.2 57 Ratings
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    R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Reserva 2007
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    Carlos Serres Gran Reserva 2010
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WE93
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    • TA90
    4.0 12 Ratings
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    R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2006
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2006
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    Bodegas Montecillo Gran Reserva 2009
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WE91
    • WS90
    4.1 17 Ratings
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    Faustino I Gran Reserva 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WS93
    4.0 42 Ratings
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    La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Rioja Reserva 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • RP91
    4.4 11 Ratings
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    R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza 2010
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • RP93
    • TA91
    3.4 10 Ratings
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    Perez Pascuas Ribera del Duero El Pedrosal Reserva 2006
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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      Conde de Hervias Rioja 2008
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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      Convento San Francisco Ribera del Duero 2013
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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        Bodegas Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva 2009
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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        Condado de Haza Ribera del Duero Gran Reserva 2006
        Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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          La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto 2000
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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            Bodegas Vega Sicilia Unico Tinto 2006
            Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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            4.9 5 Ratings
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            R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Reserva 2005
            Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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              Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Mirto 2009
              Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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