Tempranillo is Spain's "noble" grape variety probably best known for it's presence in the fantastic Rioja wines of Spain though is also used widely in producing port in Spain and Portugal. As the variety is known to ripen well ahead of other spanish grown varieties it takes it's name from the Spanish word temprano meaning early. It has many other names across Catalonia, La Mancha and Portugal and is now grown widely elsewhere too, notably in Australia.
Rioja and tempranillo based wines in general vary from elegance to "beefyness" dependant on the coolness or warmth in the growing region in which they are cultivated. At their best they possess a unique balance of acidity and tannins with just the right amount of spiceness. Great on their own or with hearty Spanish style dishes like pork and black bean stew or roasted meats like lamb as well as sausages.
Cheaper Tempranillo wines are bottled young whereas at the other end of the price scale they are aged in oak barrels for several years. Oak barrels and tempranillo have a long and succesful relationship with the vanilla flavour imparted works beatifully with the grape juice. We are now seeing the use of both new and older oak barrels in rioja productions which has served to increase the flavour and complexity of many of the new tempranillo wines offered to us. This can only be a good thing.
This wine exhibits aromatics of black cherries, sweet spice and dark fruits. The palate has an abundance of blackberries and raspberries that are given a lift on the finish by a crisp acidity. A seam of fine tannins runs through the fruit, giving t...
Unique for its production process: double fermentation in a new barrel of American oak with a high degree of toasting, where it remains for over 9 months. This innovative technique gives this wine its unusual bouquet, with undertones of cocoa and mo...
Appearance: Deep blood plum colour. Aroma: Hints of sweet spice, leather and a dusty earth perfume combine with warm red fruits on the nose. Palate: Concentrated core of dark savoury cherry is surrounded by juicy and plump blood plum fruit. The...
I always remember that the late great John Peel loved Rioja so lets dedicate these pages to his memory. It's worth mentioning too that these pages are from our grape variety category. If you are specifically after Rioja you can simply type it into the search box on the top right of the page or click here and browse 144 Rioja wines instead.
We have over 50 to choose from here and again bearing in mind that these wines become more expensive with age, you might find our price range selector useful when making your selection.
In terms of flavour and aroma with Tempranillo spanish wines you can expect wines that are ruby red in colour, with scents and flavors of berries, plum, tobacco, vanilla, leather and herb dependant on age.
The variety although most associated with Spain is now enjoying popularity amongst growers in Argentina, Australia, Chile and even Thailand.