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Tempranillo

Learn about Tempranillo — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

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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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  • La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto 2011  Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WW94
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  • Remelluri Rioja Reserva (375ML Half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
    Remelluri Rioja Reserva (375ML Half-bottle) 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP92
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    • JD91
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  • Vina Herminia Rioja Reserva 2011 Front Label
    Vina Herminia Rioja Reserva 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      4.7 8 Ratings
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    • Ostatu Rioja Reserva 2011 Front Label
      Ostatu Rioja Reserva 2011
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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      • Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Gran Reserva 2011  Front Label
        Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Gran Reserva 2011
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • TA92
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      • R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza 2011  Front Label
        R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza 2011
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • TA93
        4.1 14 Ratings
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      • Bodegas Urbina Crianza 2011  Front Label
        Bodegas Urbina Crianza 2011
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • TA92
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      • Conde de Hervias Torre del Conde de Hervias 2011 Front Label
        Conde de Hervias Torre del Conde de Hervias 2011
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • V93
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      • Bodegas Ontanon Reserva 2011  Front Label
        Bodegas Ontanon Reserva 2011
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • D91
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      • Carlos Serres Gran Reserva 2011  Front Label
        Carlos Serres Gran Reserva 2011
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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        • Benjamin Romeo Contador 2011 Front Label
          Benjamin Romeo Contador 2011
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
          • RP96
          • V94
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