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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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    • V93
    • WS91
    4.2 36 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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    • RP91
    • V90
    3.7 328 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
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    4.0 84 Ratings
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  • La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto 2011  Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • RP94
    4.4 76 Ratings
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  • CVNE Gran Reserva 2015  Front Label
    CVNE Gran Reserva 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS94
    • V93
    4.4 7 Ratings
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  • Calma  2014  Front Label
    Calma 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V91
    3.9 23 Ratings
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  • Creta Roble 2018  Front Label
    Creta Roble 2018
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • V91
    3.7 13 Ratings
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  • Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2011  Front Label
    Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WE97
    • V95
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Urbina Crianza 2012  Front Label
    Bodegas Urbina Crianza 2012
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V90
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  • Benjamin Romeo La Cueva del Contador 2014 Front Label
    Benjamin Romeo La Cueva del Contador 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V93
    • D91
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  • Hermanos Pecina Reserva 2013  Front Label
    Hermanos Pecina Reserva 2013
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V93
    3.8 12 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Luis Canas Reserva Seleccion de la Familia 2016  Front Label
    Bodegas Luis Canas Reserva Seleccion de la Familia 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V93
    • JS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Sierra Cantabria Gran Reserva 2010  Front Label
    Sierra Cantabria Gran Reserva 2010
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WE94
    • WW93
    • V93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Rosario Vera Rosario Vera 2018  Front Label
    Rosario Vera Rosario Vera 2018
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V90
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  • Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Gran Reserva 2014  Front Label
    Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Gran Reserva 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • V93
    • JS93
    • WS93
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  • Finca Valpiedra Reserva 2012  Front Label
    Finca Valpiedra Reserva 2012
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V92
    • RP91
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  • Marques de Murrieta Dalmau Tinto Reserva 2016  Front Label
    Marques de Murrieta Dalmau Tinto Reserva 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS95
    • RP95
    • V95
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    • W&S93
    • WS91
    4.0 10 Ratings
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  • Portia Triennia 2014  Front Label
    Portia Triennia 2014
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • W&S92
    • JS92
    • V92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Obalo Rioja Crianza 2016  Front Label
    Bodegas Obalo Rioja Crianza 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V91
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  • Faustino V Reserva 2015  Front Label
    Faustino V Reserva 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V91
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  • Orben Rioja Malpuesto 2018  Front Label
    Orben Rioja Malpuesto 2018
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V93
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  • Bodegas Campillo Finca Cuesta Clara Raro Reserva 2015 Front Label
    Bodegas Campillo Finca Cuesta Clara Raro Reserva 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS94
    • WE94
    • V94
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  • Bodegas Mauro Terreus 2017  Front Label
    Bodegas Mauro Terreus 2017
    Tempranillo from Spain
    • RP96
    • V95
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Volver La Mancha Single Vineyard Tempranillo 2018  Front Label
    Bodegas Volver La Mancha Single Vineyard Tempranillo 2018
    Tempranillo from La Mancha, Spain
    • V92
    3.9 48 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    15 99
    15 99
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