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Tempranillo

Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins and bright acidity ...

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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.

In the Glass

Tempranillo produces medium-weight reds with strawberry and black fruit characteristics and depending on yield, growing conditions and winemaking, can produce hints of spice, toast, leather, tobacco, herb or vanilla.

Perfect Pairings

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 Secret

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 somewhere in between.

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    Castillo Labastida Reserva Tempranillo 2001
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WS90
    • RP90
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    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2001
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • RP93
    • WS92
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    La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 890 Tinto 2001
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP95
    • WS93
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    R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva 2001
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • JS95
    • W&S93
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    Currently Unavailable $69.97
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    La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial (375ML half-bottle) 2001
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS97
    • RP93
    • WS92
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    Currently Unavailable $19.97
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    Bodegas Valdemar Conde de Valdemar Gran Reserva 2001
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • TA94
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    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2001
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • JS95
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    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto 2001
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP96
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    4.0 18 Ratings
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    Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Gran Reserva 2001
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    Bodegas Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva 2001
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial 2001
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS97
    • RP93
    • WS92
    4.0 40 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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    La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2001
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP96
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    Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva 2001
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • W&S94
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    3.9 66 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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    Bodegas Muga Torre Muga 2001
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    Vina Mayor Reserva 2001
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    Finca Allende Rioja Aurus 2001
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • RP95
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