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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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  • R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva 2008  Front Label
    R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva 2008
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS95
    • RP95
    • D92
    • W&S91
    4.2 115 Ratings
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  • R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2008  Front Label
    R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2008
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS95
    • RP95
    • D92
    • W&S91
    3.7 5 Ratings
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    29 99
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  • Dominio de Atauta  2008 Front Label
    Dominio de Atauta 2008
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • WS92
    • WE92
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    32
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  • Vivanco Rioja Seleccion de Familia 2008 Front Label
    Vivanco Rioja Seleccion de Familia 2008
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WS90
    • RP90
    3.9 8 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Crianza 2008 Front Label
    Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Crianza 2008
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • El Coto Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva 2008 Front Label
      El Coto Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva 2008
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      • WE91
      0.0 0 Ratings
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    • Bodegas Vega Sicilia Unico Tinto 2008  Front Label
      Bodegas Vega Sicilia Unico Tinto 2008
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
      • RP96
      • WS94
      0.0 0 Ratings
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    • Numanthia Toro 2008 Front Label
      Numanthia Toro 2008
      Tempranillo from Spain
      • RP93
      • WE92
      • WS91
      • W&S91
      0.0 0 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $65.99
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    • Bodegas Volver La Mancha Single Vineyard Tempranillo 2008 Front Label
      Bodegas Volver La Mancha Single Vineyard Tempranillo 2008
      Tempranillo from Spain
      • RP90
      3.8 9 Ratings
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    • Bodegas El Indiano El Brozal 2008 Front Label
      Bodegas El Indiano El Brozal 2008
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      • RP92
      • W&S90
      0.0 0 Ratings
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    • Abacela Tempranillo Cuvee 2008 Front Label
      Abacela Tempranillo Cuvee 2008
      Tempranillo from Umpqua Valley, Oregon
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      • Vinedos Alonso del Yerro Ribera del Duero 2008 Front Label
        Vinedos Alonso del Yerro Ribera del Duero 2008
        Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
        • RP93
        0.0 0 Ratings
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      • Sierra Cantabria Reserva Unica 2008 Front Label
        Sierra Cantabria Reserva Unica 2008
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • RP92
        • WS90
        0.0 0 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $27.99
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      • Bodega Vina Mambrilla Alidis Robles 2008 Front Label
        Bodega Vina Mambrilla Alidis Robles 2008
        Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
        • RP90
        0.0 0 Ratings
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      • Sierra Cantabria Rioja Tinto 2008 Front Label
        Sierra Cantabria Rioja Tinto 2008
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • RP89
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      • Bodegas Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva 2008 Front Label
        Bodegas Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva 2008
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • WW91
        • D91
        4.0 10 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      • Bodegas y Vinedos Maurodos Prima 2008 Front Label
        Bodegas y Vinedos Maurodos Prima 2008
        Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
        • RP91
        4.0 7 Ratings
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      • Artadi Vina el Pison 2008 Front Label
        Artadi Vina el Pison 2008
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • RP97
        0.0 0 Ratings
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      • Finca Villacreces Pruno 2008 Front Label
        Finca Villacreces Pruno 2008
        Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
        • RP91
        0.0 0 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      • Familia Torres Celeste Crianza 2008 Front Label
        Familia Torres Celeste Crianza 2008
        Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
          4.9 9 Ratings
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        • Bodegas Muriel Crianza 2008 Front Label
          Bodegas Muriel Crianza 2008
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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          • R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Reserva 2008  Front Label
            R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Reserva 2008
            Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
            • JS94
            • V94
            • RP93
            3.8 45 Ratings
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            Currently Unavailable $52.99
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          • Bodegas Muriel Reserva 2008 Front Label
            Bodegas Muriel Reserva 2008
            Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
            • D95
            3.9 93 Ratings
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            Currently Unavailable $18.99
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            20
            18 99
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          • Carlos Serres Gran Reserva 2008 Front Label
            Carlos Serres Gran Reserva 2008
            Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
            • JS92
            • WE90
            3.7 10 Ratings
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            29 99
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          • Pesquera Dehesa La Granja 2008 Front Label
            Pesquera Dehesa La Granja 2008
            Tempranillo from Spain
              0.0 0 Ratings
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              Currently Unavailable $24.99
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