Learn about Tempranillo — taste profile, popular regions and more ...
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 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.
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 Secrets for 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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Bodegas Muga Torre Muga 2003Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Artadi Pagos Viejos 2003Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Bodegas Muga Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2003Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Finca Allende 2003Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Reserva 2003Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Bodegas Muga Reserva 2003Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Vinas del Cenit Venta Mazarron 2003Tempranillo from Spain
Sierra Cantabria Cantabria Coleccion Privada 2003Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Javier Asensio Tinto 2003Tempranillo from Navarra, Spain
Familia Torres Coronas Tempranillo 2003Tempranillo from Spain
Faustino VII Tempranillo 2003Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Pesquera Ribera del Duero Tinto 2003Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva 2003Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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Campo Viejo Crianza 2003Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Marques de Arienzo Crianza 2003Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Castell del Remei Gotim Bru 2003Tempranillo from Spain
Marco Real Tempranillo 2003Tempranillo from Spain
Marques de Riscal Tempranillo 2003Tempranillo from Rueda, Spain