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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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  • La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Rioja Gran Reserva 2014  Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Rioja Gran Reserva 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS96
    • D96
    • RP90
    4.0 85 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Valderiz Tomas Esteban 2014  Front Label
    Bodegas Valderiz Tomas Esteban 2014
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • RP93
    • JS93
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  • Siglo Reserva 2014  Front Label
    Siglo Reserva 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WE90
    3.8 17 Ratings
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  • 12 Linajes Crianza 2014  Front Label
    12 Linajes Crianza 2014
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • WE92
    3.9 17 Ratings
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  • Era Costana Reserva 2014  Front Label
    Era Costana Reserva 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS90
    3.9 47 Ratings
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  • Calma  2014  Front Label
    Calma 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V91
    3.9 23 Ratings
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  • Carlos Serres Reserva 2014  Front Label
    Carlos Serres Reserva 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      3.9 26 Ratings
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    • Vivanco Reserva Rioja Seleccion de Familia 2014  Front Label
      Vivanco Reserva Rioja Seleccion de Familia 2014
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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      • Protos Gran Reserva 2014  Front Label
        Protos Gran Reserva 2014
        Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
        • W&S92
        • D92
        4.9 28 Ratings
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      • Ostatu Rioja Reserva 2014  Front Label
        Ostatu Rioja Reserva 2014
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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        • Vina Herminia Crianza 2014 Front Label
          Vina Herminia Crianza 2014
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
          • WW90
          3.9 53 Ratings
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        • Benjamin Romeo La Cueva del Contador 2014 Front Label
          Benjamin Romeo La Cueva del Contador 2014
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
          • V93
          • D91
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        • Dominio de Atauta Parada de Atauta 2014  Front Label
          Dominio de Atauta Parada de Atauta 2014
          Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
          • WS91
          • RP90
          0.0 0 Ratings
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        • Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza Trasnocho Rioja 2014  Front Label
          Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza Trasnocho Rioja 2014
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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          • Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Gran Reserva 2014  Front Label
            Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Gran Reserva 2014
            Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
            • WE94
            • V93
            • JS93
            • WS93
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          • Portia Triennia 2014  Front Label
            Portia Triennia 2014
            Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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            • JS92
            • V92
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          • Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza Fincas de Ganuza Rioja Reserva 2014  Front Label
            Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza Fincas de Ganuza Rioja Reserva 2014
            Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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            • CVNE Vina Real Gran Reserva 2014  Front Label
              CVNE Vina Real Gran Reserva 2014
              Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
              • RP94
              • JS93
              • WW93
              • WE92
              • WS91
              • D91
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            • CVNE Vina Real Reserva 2014 Front Label
              CVNE Vina Real Reserva 2014
              Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
              • RP91
              4.1 6 Ratings
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              Currently Unavailable $31.99
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              31 99
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