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 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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Marques de Caceres Rioja Crianza 2017Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Emilio Moro Malleolus 2017Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
Bodegas Ontanon Crianza 2017Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Teso la Monja Almirez 2017Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
Torre de Ona by La Rioja Alta Finca San Martin Crianza 2017Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Artadi Vinas de Gain 2017Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
CVNE Vina Real Crianza 2017Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Sierra Cantabria Seleccion 2017Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Bodegas Volver La Mancha Single Vineyard Tempranillo 2017Tempranillo from La Mancha, Spain
Hacienda Lopez de Haro Tempranillo 2017Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Dominio de Eguren Codice 2017Tempranillo from Spain
Vina Bujanda Crianza 2017Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Familia Montana Rioja Crianza 2017Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Dominio Basconcillos Vina Magna Crianza 2017Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
Teso la Monja Victorino 2017Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
Arzuaga Crianza 2017Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain