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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 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 Secretsfor 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 Seleccion Especial 2010
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    Marques de Caceres Rioja Gran Reserva 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    Bodegas Muga Gran Reserva Prado Enea 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    El Coto Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva 2012
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    CVNE Gran Reserva 2010
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    4.1 93 Ratings
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    Numanthia Toro 2015
    Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
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    R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva 2006
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • W&S90
    4.2 57 Ratings
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    CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja 2012
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva 2009
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • WS94
    4.6 14 Ratings
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    Bodegas y Vinedos Pintia 2014
    Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
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    Bodegas Cepa 21 Hito 2017
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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    Dominio Basconcillos Vina Magna Crianza 2015
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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    Bodegas Cepa 21 Ribera del Duero 2015
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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    4.4 6 Ratings
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    CVNE Imperial Reserva Rioja 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    4.8 5 Ratings
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    Bodegas Bilbainas Vina Pomal Reserva 2013
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • TA91
    3.8 9 Ratings
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    Marques de Murrieta Rioja Reserva 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2009
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    3.8 8 Ratings
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    Numanthia Termes 2016
    Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
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    CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    4.5 12 Ratings
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    Bodegas Montecillo Gran Reserva 2009
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    4.1 17 Ratings
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    Faustino I Gran Reserva 2005
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    Bodegas Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva 2009
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    CVNE Crianza 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    Emilio Moro Malleolus 2016
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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    Bodegas Volver La Mancha Single Vineyard Tempranillo 2016
    Tempranillo from La Mancha, Spain
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