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Tempranillo

Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and crisp acidity

Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and refreshing acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Duoro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing 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 system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

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  • CVNE Vina Real Reserva 2007
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP 91
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  • Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Limited Edition Rioja 2013
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WS 90
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  • Bodegas Fernandez Rivera Dehesa La Granja 2008
    Tempranillo from Spain
    • V 91
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  • La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Reserva Tinto 2010
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS 95
    • RP 91
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  • Bodegas Volver La Mancha Single Vineyard Tempranillo 2014
    Tempranillo from La Mancha, Spain
    • WS 90
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  • El Coto Coto de Imaz Riserva 2010
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V 90
    • WS 90
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  • Hermanos Pecina Senorio Cosecha 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V 90
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  • Bodegas Izadi Rioja Reserva 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP 92
    • WW 90
    • W&S 90
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  • Bodegas La Emperatriz Finca La Emperatriz Crianza 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP 91
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  • Finca Valpiedra Cantos De Valpiedra Tempranillo 2012
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V 90
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  • Bodegas Muriel Reserva 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WE 90
    • WS 90
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  • Bodegas Bilbainas Vina Pomal Reserva 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • WS 90
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  • Hermanos Pecina Senorio Crianza 2012
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP 91
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  • Bodegas y Vinedos Ilurce Rio Madre Tempranillo 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V 90
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  • Bodegas Vizcarra Senda del Oro 2014
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • JS 91
    • V 90
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  • Sierra Cantabria Seleccion 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V 90
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  • Creta Roble 2012
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • V 90
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  • Vetus Flor de Vetus 2012
    Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
    • RP 92
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  • Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Reserva 2010
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WW 91
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  • Bodegas Ordonez, S.L. Avante 2011
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • V 91
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  • La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2007
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP 94
    • V 92
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  • Bodegas Volver Paso A Paso Tinto 2015
    Tempranillo from La Mancha, Spain
    • V 90
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  • Calma 2012
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V 90
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  • Sierra Cantabria Crianza 2013
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • V 91
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  • Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS 92
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