Artiga & Fustel Castillo de la Pena Gran Reserva 2004
This northeastern Spanish town is believed to be the origin of the grape with the same name. However, Carinena (in French, known as Carignan) has all but been abandoned in favor of Garnacha, which is better suited for its arid climate. The region of Carinena also produces fine examples of whites based on Garnacha Blanca, Macabeo, Parellada and others.
Notoriously food-friendly, long-lasting and Spain’s most widely planted grape, Tempranillo is the star variety of red wines from Rioja and Ribera del Duero. The Rioja terms Joven, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva indicate both barrel and bottle time before release. Traditionally blended in Rioja with Garnacha, plus a bit of Mazuelo (Carignan) and Graciano, the Tempranillo in Ribera del Duero typically stands alone. Somm Secret—Tempranillo claims many different names depending on location. In Penedès, it is called Ull de Llebre and in Valdepeñas, goes by Cencibel. Known as Tinta Roriz in Portugal, Tempranillo plays an important role in Port wine.