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 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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Romero & Miller Rioja Rentas de Fincas Reserva 2005Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Bodegas Valdemar Conde de Valdemar Gran Reserva 2005Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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Ercavio Tempranillo 2005Tempranillo from Spain
Campo Viejo Crianza 2005Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Frontaura Toro Reserva 2005Tempranillo from Spain
Finca Allende 2005Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Kenneth Volk Starr Ranch Vineyard Tempranillo 2005Tempranillo from Central Coast, California
Resalte de Penafiel Crianza 2005Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2005Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Sierra Cantabria Cantabria Coleccion Privada 2005Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Sierra Cantabria Rioja Tinto 2005Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Mirto 2005Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Castell del Remei Gotim Bru 2005Tempranillo from Spain
Cayuse Impulsivo Tempranillo 2005Tempranillo from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington