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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 38 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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  • CVNE Vina Real Crianza 2017  Front Label
    CVNE Vina Real Crianza 2017
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS93
    • WE91
    • RP91
    • V90
    3.7 329 Ratings
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    17
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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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  • La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2015  Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS96
    • D93
    • WS91
    4.3 48 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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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 $199.99
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  • CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja 2015  Front Label
    CVNE Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS97
    • WS94
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $84.99
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  • Bodegas y Vinedos Alion  2018  Front Label
    Bodegas y Vinedos Alion 2018
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • JS96
    • RP95
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    Currently Unavailable $109.99
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    126
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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 85 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $41.99
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    46
    41 99
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  • Emilio Moro Malleolus de Valderramiro 2017  Front Label
    Emilio Moro Malleolus de Valderramiro 2017
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
      0.0 0 Ratings
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    • Aalto  2019  Front Label
      Aalto 2019
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
        3.9 5 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $65.99
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      • CVNE Imperial Reserva Rioja 2017  Front Label
        CVNE Imperial Reserva Rioja 2017
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • JS93
        • WS91
        • WW91
        3.8 8 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $41.99
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      • Dominio del Aguila Picaro Tinto Vinas Viejas 2019  Front Label
        Dominio del Aguila Picaro Tinto Vinas Viejas 2019
        Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
        • RP94
        0.0 0 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $40.99
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        40 99
        40 99
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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 45 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $21.99
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        21 99
        21 99
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      • Dominio de Eguren Protocolo Tinto 2019  Front Label
        Dominio de Eguren Protocolo Tinto 2019
        Tempranillo from Spain
        • WW88
        3.3 24 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $8.99
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        8 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 $41.99
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        41 99
        41 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 $23.99
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        23 99
        23 99
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      • Protos Tinto Fino 2019  Front Label
        Protos Tinto Fino 2019
        Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
        • JS91
        4.3 63 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $15.99
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        15 99
        15 99
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      • Bodega Lanzaga LZ 2020  Front Label
        Bodega Lanzaga LZ 2020
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • JS92
        0.0 0 Ratings
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        23 99
        23 99
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      • Bodegas Ordonez – Toro Triton Tinta de Toro 2018  Front Label
        Bodegas Ordonez – Toro Triton Tinta de Toro 2018
        Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
        • WW90
        4.1 37 Ratings
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        Currently Unavailable $16.99
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        20
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      • Condado de Haza Ribera del Duero Tinto 2018  Front Label
        Condado de Haza Ribera del Duero Tinto 2018
        Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
          4.3 69 Ratings
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          Currently Unavailable $24.99
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          24 99
          24 99
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        • Bodegas Pujanza Finca Valdepoleo 2016  Front Label
          Bodegas Pujanza Finca Valdepoleo 2016
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
          • JS94
          • RP93
          3.8 20 Ratings
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          Currently Unavailable $35.99
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          50
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        • Bodegas Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva 2012  Front Label
          Bodegas Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva 2012
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
          • JS93
          • WE92
          • WS92
          3.8 14 Ratings
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          Currently Unavailable $29.99
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          29 99
          29 99
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        • Bodegas Ordonez – Toro Vatan Tinta de Toro 2018  Front Label
          Bodegas Ordonez – Toro Vatan Tinta de Toro 2018
          Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
          • JS92
          0.0 0 Ratings
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          Currently Unavailable $38.99
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          45
          38 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
          99 99
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        • Matsu El Picaro 2020  Front Label
          Matsu El Picaro 2020
          Tempranillo from Toro, Spain
          • WW90
          4.3 69 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $15.99
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          15 99
          15 99
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