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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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  • Marques de Murrieta Premium Bag with Two Bottles of 2016 Rioja Reserva 2016  Gift Product Image
    Marques de Murrieta Premium Bag with Two Bottles of Rioja Reserva 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP94
    • JS94
    • W&S93
    • V93
    • WS91
    4.2 36 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5 2016  Front Label
    Bodegas Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5 2016
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • W&S96
    • RP96
    • JS95
    • WS94
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  • Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Reserva 2016  Front Label
    Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Reserva 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • D93
    • W&S92
    • JS92
    • V92
    • WE92
    • WW91
    4.0 84 Ratings
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  • El Coto Coto de Imaz Reserva 2016  Front Label
    El Coto Coto de Imaz Reserva 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS91
    • WS91
    • W&S91
    4.1 43 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Cepa 21 Ribera del Duero 2016  Front Label
    Bodegas Cepa 21 Ribera del Duero 2016
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • RP90
    3.8 15 Ratings
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  • Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero 2016  Front Label
    Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero 2016
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • JS93
    • RP92
    3.7 19 Ratings
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  • Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri Labastida 2016  Front Label
    Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri Labastida 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP94
    • JS94
    4.2 7 Ratings
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  • Numanthia Toro 2016  Front Label
    Numanthia Toro 2016
    Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
    • JS95
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Eguren Ugarte Cincuenta 2016  Front Label
    Eguren Ugarte Cincuenta 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS93
    • W&S92
    • WW90
    4.1 44 Ratings
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  • PenaMonte Seleccion 2016  Front Label
    PenaMonte Seleccion 2016
    Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
    • RP90
    4.5 47 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Pujanza Finca Valdepoleo 2016  Front Label
    Bodegas Pujanza Finca Valdepoleo 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS94
    • RP93
    3.8 20 Ratings
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  • Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva 2016  Front Label
    Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • TP93
    • WS92
    • JS92
    3.8 28 Ratings
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  • Martin Cendoya Rioja Reserva 2016  Front Label
    Martin Cendoya Rioja Reserva 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      4.9 20 Ratings
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    • Bodegas Aster by La Rioja Alta Crianza 2016  Front Label
      Bodegas Aster by La Rioja Alta Crianza 2016
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
      • JS92
      3.8 19 Ratings
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    • Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri de San Vicente 2016  Front Label
      Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri de San Vicente 2016
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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      • Sierra Cantabria Reserva Unica 2016  Front Label
        Sierra Cantabria Reserva Unica 2016
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • JD94
        • JS94
        • WW93
        3.9 71 Ratings
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      • Bodegas Lan Rioja Reserva 2016  Front Label
        Bodegas Lan Rioja Reserva 2016
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • JS92
        • WS91
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      • Baron de Ley Rioja Reserva 2016  Front Label
        Baron de Ley Rioja Reserva 2016
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • JS92
        0.0 0 Ratings
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      • CVNE Real de Asua Rioja Reserva 2016  Front Label
        CVNE Real de Asua Rioja Reserva 2016
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • JS97
        • WE96
        • WS92
        4.3 6 Ratings
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      • Emilio Moro Malleolus de Valderramiro 2016  Front Label
        Emilio Moro Malleolus de Valderramiro 2016
        Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
        • D94
        • RP93
        • JD92
        0.0 0 Ratings
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      • Finca Nueva Crianza 2016  Front Label
        Finca Nueva Crianza 2016
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • RP90
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      • Carlos Serres Crianza 2016  Front Label
        Carlos Serres Crianza 2016
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • JS90
        3.4 14 Ratings
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      • Zuccardi Q Tempranillo 2016  Front Label
        Zuccardi Q Tempranillo 2016
        Tempranillo from Mendoza, Argentina
        • WE91
        0.0 0 Ratings
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      • CVNE Pagos de Vina Real 2016  Front Label
        CVNE Pagos de Vina Real 2016
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • WE97
        • RP94
        • JS93
        • WS92
        0.0 0 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $109.99
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      • Vina Sastre Crianza 2016  Front Label
        Vina Sastre Crianza 2016
        Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
        • JS92
        3.9 8 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $39.99
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        39 99
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