Tempranillo, Spain

Tempranillo is a native Spanish grape varietal which is primarily used in the production of Rioja. Grown throughout the north of Spain, Tempranillo is an early ripening grape. High altitudes and cool climates help the keep the grapes acidity and make for more elegant wines with red fruit profiles.

When young, plums and cherries shine through in Tempranillo wines. With age and oak, the fruit becomes more subdued. Notes of leather and tobacco leaves are more pronounced in more mature Tempranillo wines.
Spain is definitely one of the new-world players to keep an eye on. It is the land of old-vines, american oak and sherry! The main varieties grown in Spain are Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache) in the reds, and Airén, Viura/Macabeo, Verdejo and Albarino for the whites. Lesser grown whites include Palomino. Other reds successfully cultivated include Carignan, Mourvedre and Mencia.

Although Spain can be quite a warm country, the vast majority of vineyards are 600m or so above sea level, so the cooler nights allow the grapes to develop full colour and acidity.

Rioja is undoubtedly the long-standing king of all the Spanish wine regions, where Tempranillo and Garnacha are commonly blended. However more recently many more regions have come to the forefront of interest. Ribera Del Duero is producing excellent Tempranillo blends rivalling those coming out of Rioja. Jerez in the South is the home of the fortified wine Sherry.

Spanish wine laws created the Denominación de Origen (DO) system in 1932 and were later revised in 1970. These include:
  • - Denominación de Origen Calificada (formerly called DOCa) Priorat calls itself DOQ for Denominació d'Origen Qualificada in Catalan and has a track record of consistent quality and is meant to be a step above DO level.
  • - Denominación de Origen (DO)- Used for mainstream-quality wine regions. Nearly two thirds of the total vineyard area in Spain is within the boundaries of a DO region.
  • - Vino de Calidad Producido en Región Determinada (VCPRD) - This is somewhat of a stepping stone to DO status.
  • - Vinos de la Tierra (VdIT) - A level similar to France's vin de pays system, where the regions are much larger.
  • - Vino de Mesa (VdM)- The equivalent of 'table wines' from France or Italy
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  1. Marques De Tezona Tempranillo 2018
    An impressively complete and versatile wine suitable for immediate appreciation. Rich, yet elegant with beautiful flavours, softness and very approachable - this is great quality for the price! The nose shows ripe redcurrants, wild strawberries, dried herbs and some savoury ... Learn More
  2. Marques De Tezona Tempranillo 2017
    An impressively complete and versatile wine suitable for immediate appreciation. Rich, yet elegant with beautiful flavours, softness and very approachable - this is great quality for the price! The nose shows ripe redcurrants, wild strawberries, dried herbs and some savoury ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  3. Alegro Rioja Tinto Tempranillo 2019
    A fun, fruity wine, perfect to enjoy every day with a snack or any Mediterranean dishes, like rice, vegetable or pasta. This wine is representative of the virtues of the Tempranillo variety: intense floral aromas, very fresh red and dark ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  4. Vina Muriel Rioja Crianza 2015
    Very bright and cherry red in colour leading to ripe red fruited aromas and flavours combined with subtle vanilla, mocha and liquorice notes. The palate is fleshy and mouth-filling with soft, juicy fruit, soft acidity and supple tannins. A very ... Learn More
  5. Alegro Rioja Crianza 2017
    A representative wine of the new Rioja style, interpreted from modernity. Elegant, balanced and reliable on any occasion, with classic aromas of red fruit and vanilla and subtle hints of liquorice and toffee. Versatile with all kinds of Mediterranean dishes ( ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  6. Vina Muriel Rioja Reserva 2015
    Classic ruby red with a terracotta hue. Lifted aromas of red berries, cola, vanilla and subtle garden herbs. Ripe fruit flavour is pulled elegantly firm with fine sandy tannins and perky, refreshing acidity. This is an expressive yet refined Tempranillo ... Learn More
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    James Suckling
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    Decanter
  7. Alegro Rioja Reserva 2014
    A clear example of the elegance and silkiness of Rioja Reservas but with a more modern profile. With the complexity of long ageing in the barrel and bottle, and the delicateness of the Tempranillo. A wine with intense aromas of ... Learn More
  8. DEHESA 'LA GRANJA' TINTO 2007
    Alejandro Fernandez's Dehesa La Granja is a striking 100% ungrafted, 'old-clone' Tempranillo. Highly aromatic, there are plenty of dark cherry, cola, and anise notes and hints of blood and earth as well. Although gorgeous right now, this has the depth and ... Learn More
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    Mike Bennie
  9. Alegro Rioja Gran Reserva 2012
    A clear example of the elegance and silkiness of Rioja Reservas but with a more modern profile. With the complexity of long ageing in the barrel and bottle, and the delicateness of the Tempranillo. This Gran Reserva spends an incredible 24 ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  10. Valenciso Reserva Rioja 2012
    It's naturally fermented, vinified in concrete vats and aged in low toast French and Russian oak for just 12 months. Forest fruits on the nose with some cherry aromas. There are also some earthy notes and hints of liquorice. Has liquorice, ... Learn More
    Out of stock
  11. La Rioja Alta Rioja Reserva ‘Vina Alberdi’ 2012
    100% Tempranillo sourced from an estate-owned vineyard in Rioja. ... Learn More
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