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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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  • Numanthia Toro 2005 Front Label
    Numanthia Toro 2005
    Tempranillo from Spain
    • RP95
    • WS94
    • WE94
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  • Ercavio Tempranillo 2005 Front Label
    Ercavio Tempranillo 2005
    Tempranillo from Spain
    • RP90
    2.8 16 Ratings
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  • Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2005  Front Label
    Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS97
    • RP96
    • WE95
    • WS94
    • W&S94
    4.5 25 Ratings
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  • Numanthia Termes 2005 Front Label
    Numanthia Termes 2005
    Tempranillo from Spain
    • WS96
    • RP92
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  • Finca Allende  2005 Front Label
    Finca Allende 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP91
    3.5 8 Ratings
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  • Numanthia Termanthia Toro 2005 Front Label
    Numanthia Termanthia Toro 2005
    Tempranillo from Spain
    • RP95
    • WS95
    • WE94
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  • Condado de Haza Ribera del Duero Tinto 2005 Front Label
    Condado de Haza Ribera del Duero Tinto 2005
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • WS93
    • RP90
    3.9 7 Ratings
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  • Cayuse Impulsivo Tempranillo 2005  Front Label
    Cayuse Impulsivo Tempranillo 2005
    Tempranillo from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP98
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  • Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Mirto 2005 Front Label
    Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Mirto 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP93
    • WS93
    • W&S93
    • WE92
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  • La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto 2005 Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP96
    • WE96
    • WS92
    4.3 45 Ratings
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  • Comenge Ribera del Duero 2005 Front Label
    Comenge Ribera del Duero 2005
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • WE91
    • RP90
    4.4 7 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Muga Aro 2005 Front Label
    Bodegas Muga Aro 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP95
    • WS92
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  • Bodegas Landaluce Capricho de Landaluce 2005 Front Label
    Bodegas Landaluce Capricho de Landaluce 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WE93
    • RP92
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  • Bodegas Luis Canas Reserva Seleccion de la Familia 2005 Front Label
    Bodegas Luis Canas Reserva Seleccion de la Familia 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP95
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  • Pesquera Dehesa La Granja 2005 Front Bottle Shot
    Pesquera Dehesa La Granja 2005
    Tempranillo from Spain
    • RP91
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  • Bodegas Lan Rioja Reserva 2005 Front Label
    Bodegas Lan Rioja Reserva 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP90
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  • R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza 2005 Front Label
    R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • W&S93
    • RP91
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  • Perez Pascuas Ribera del Duero El Pedrosal Reserva 2005  Front Label
    Perez Pascuas Ribera del Duero El Pedrosal Reserva 2005
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • RP95
    4.4 15 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Palacio Especial Reserva 2005 Front Label
    Bodegas Palacio Especial Reserva 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP91
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  • Bodegas Valdemar Conde de Valdemar Reserva 2005 Front Label
    Bodegas Valdemar Conde de Valdemar Reserva 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP90
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  • Abadia Retuerta Seleccion Especial 2005 Front Label
    Abadia Retuerta Seleccion Especial 2005
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • RP90
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  • Vina Gormaz Tempranillo 2005 Front Label
    Vina Gormaz Tempranillo 2005
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • RP90
    3.7 8 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Arrocal Arrocal 2005 Front Label
    Bodegas Arrocal Arrocal 2005
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • RP90
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  • Bodegas Lan Rioja Gran Reserva 2005 Front Label
    Bodegas Lan Rioja Gran Reserva 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP93
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  • Bodegas Baigorri Crianza 2005 Front Label
    Bodegas Baigorri Crianza 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP91
    • WE90
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    25 99
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