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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 Vina Ardanza Reserva 2012 Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2012
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS95
    • RP94
    • D94
    • WW92
    • WS91
    4.4 191 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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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
    • JS96
    • WW94
    • V94
    • D94
    • RP94
    4.4 29 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $71.99
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  • Bodegas Muga Reserva 2017  Front Label
    Bodegas Muga Reserva 2017
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WW93
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Reserva 2015  Front Label
    Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Reserva 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS92
    • TA91
    • WW90
    4.0 34 Ratings
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  • Faustino I Gran Reserva 2009  Front Label
    Faustino I Gran Reserva 2009
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WE93
    • JS92
    • WW92
    4.6 12 Ratings
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  • Teso la Monja Almirez 2017  Front Label
    Teso la Monja Almirez 2017
    Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
    • JD92
    • WW91
    • RP91
    3.6 14 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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  • Bodegas Muga Seleccion Especial Reserva 2016  Front Label
    Bodegas Muga Seleccion Especial Reserva 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS95
    • JD94
    • WW94
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  • Teso la Monja Romanico 2018  Front Label
    Teso la Monja Romanico 2018
    Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
    • V92
    • JS91
    • JD90
    • WW90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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  • Sierra Cantabria Crianza 2017  Front Label
    Sierra Cantabria Crianza 2017
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WW91
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  • La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011  Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS96
    • WW94
    • D94
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $164.99
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