Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins and bright acidity ...
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.
In the Glass
Tempranillo produces medium-weight reds with strawberry and black fruit characteristics and depending on yield, growing conditions and winemaking, can produce hints of spice, toast, leather, tobacco, herb or vanilla.
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.
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 somewhere in between.
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Marques de Arienzo Crianza 2000Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Marques de Murrieta Rioja Neonato 2000Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Clos du Bois Alexander Valley Tempranillo 2000Tempranillo from Sonoma County, California
Remelluri Rioja 2000Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Berberana Vina Alarde Rioja Tempranillo 2000Tempranillo from Spain
Fuentespina Ribera Del Duero Cosecha 2000Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
Condesa de Leganza Crianza 2000Tempranillo from Spain
El Coto Crianza Rioja 2000Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Dominio de Eguren Codice Tierra de Manchuela 2000Tempranillo from Spain
Berberana Dragon Tempranillo 2000Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Breton Lorinon Crianza Rioja 2000Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Allozo Tempranillo 2000Tempranillo from Spain
Lorinon Tinto Crianza 2000Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Bodegas Orvalaiz Tempranillo Navarra Septentrion 2000Tempranillo from Spain