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Tempranillo Wine

Learn about Tempranillo — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

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Tempranillo is Spain’s premier and most planted grape variety, accounting for around 20% of all Spanish plantings. Tempranillo translates to “a bit early” in Spanish and its name refers to the grape’s growing cycle, since it both buds and ripens early. Tempranillo is the base of many of Spain’s iconic wines and it is highly regarded by winemakers because of its tremendous versatility and adaptability. Tempranillo wine 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.

Tempranillo Tasting Notes

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. Tempranillo is extremely sensitive to both its growing environment and to winemaking techniques, which makes it difficult to list the most representative aroma descriptors.

Tempranillo Food Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained soft tannins and good acidity make it extremely food friendly. Tempranillo wine can be paired with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew or paella. Tempranillo also pairs well with traditional dishes from Castile and León (Castilla y León) like roasted lamb or sucking pig (lechazo and cochinillo respectively) or pork chops Sarmiento style (chuletillas al sarmiento). The young wines, in which Tempranillo dominates, offer bright red fruit and licorice flavors that are a good match for the many vegetable dishes that La Rioja de Navarra has to offer.

Sommelier Secrets for Tempranillo Wine

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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  • Marques de Murrieta Premium Bag with Two Bottles of 2016 Rioja Reserva 2016  Gift Product Image
    Marques de Murrieta Premium Bag with Two Bottles of Rioja Reserva 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP94
    • JS94
    • W&S93
    • V93
    • WS91
    4.2 46 Ratings
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  • CVNE Vina Real Crianza 2017  Front Label
    CVNE Vina Real Crianza 2017
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS93
    • WE91
    • RP91
    • V90
    3.7 345 Ratings
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  • CVNE Crianza 2018  Front Label
    CVNE Crianza 2018
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS92
    4.4 11 Ratings
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  • La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2015  Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS96
    • RP94
    • D93
    • WS91
    4.2 60 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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  • La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Reserva Tinto 2018  Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Reserva Tinto 2018
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS93
    • RP92
    3.9 11 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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  • La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Rioja Gran Reserva 2014  Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Rioja Gran Reserva 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS96
    • D96
    • RP90
    4.0 89 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $41.99
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  • Matsu El Picaro 2021  Front Label
    Matsu El Picaro 2021
    Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
    • JS90
    • WW89
    5.0 22 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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  • Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2011  Front Label
    Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WE97
    • V95
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $219.99
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    229
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  • Bodegas Muga Seleccion Especial 2016  Front Label
    Bodegas Muga Seleccion Especial 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS95
    • JD94
    • WW94
    • RP94
    4.3 129 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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  • Hidalgo Tradicion H Gran Reserva 2012  Front Label
    Hidalgo Tradicion H Gran Reserva 2012
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WE93
    3.9 246 Ratings
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  • R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva 2010  Front Label
    R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva 2010
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS97
    • RP96
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $55.99
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    55 99
    55 99
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  • Aalto PS 2019  Front Label
    Aalto PS 2019
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
      0.0 0 Ratings
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    • Bodegas Valderiz Ribera del Duero 2018  Front Label
      Bodegas Valderiz Ribera del Duero 2018
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
      • WS95
      • JS93
      4.0 84 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $36.99
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      36 99
      36 99
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    • Contino Rioja Reserva 2017  Front Label
      Contino Rioja Reserva 2017
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      • JS95
      • WS90
      • W&S90
      0.0 0 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $45.99
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    • Marques de Caceres Rioja Crianza 2018  Front Label
      Marques de Caceres Rioja Crianza 2018
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      • JS92
      0.0 0 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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    • Bodegas Valderiz Tomas Esteban 2014  Front Label
      Bodegas Valderiz Tomas Esteban 2014
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
      • RP93
      • JS93
      0.0 0 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $99.99
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      99 99
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    • Bodegas Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5 2016  Front Label
      Bodegas Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5 2016
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
      • W&S96
      • RP96
      • JS95
      • WS94
      0.0 0 Ratings
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      Currently Unavailable $219.99
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      219 99
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    • Pago de Los Capellanes Reserva 2018  Front Label
      Pago de Los Capellanes Reserva 2018
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
        0.0 0 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $70.99
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        70 99
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      • Bodegas Lan Rioja Crianza 2018  Front Label
        Bodegas Lan Rioja Crianza 2018
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • WW91
        4.7 31 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $14.99
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        14 99
        14 99
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      • Torre de Ona by La Rioja Alta Finca San Martin Crianza 2018  Front Label
        Torre de Ona by La Rioja Alta Finca San Martin Crianza 2018
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • JS91
        0.0 0 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $21.99
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        21 99
        21 99
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      • Campo Viejo Tempranillo 2020  Front Label
        Campo Viejo Tempranillo 2020
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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        • Cuerno Ribera del Duero 2015  Front Label
          Cuerno Ribera del Duero 2015
          Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
          • WS92
          3.9 46 Ratings
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          Currently Unavailable $21.99
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          21 99
          21 99
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        • La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015  Front Label
          La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
          • JS96
          • D93
          • WS91
          0.0 0 Ratings
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          Currently Unavailable $109.99
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          109 99
          109 99
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        • CVNE Real de Asua Rioja Reserva 2016  Front Label
          CVNE Real de Asua Rioja Reserva 2016
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
          • JS97
          • WE96
          • WS92
          4.4 7 Ratings
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          Currently Unavailable $109.99
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          109 99
          109 99
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        • Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri Labastida 2016  Front Label
          Remelluri Lindes de Remelluri Labastida 2016
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
          • RP94
          • JS94
          4.1 9 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $32.99
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          36
          32 99
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