Wines by Grape
Tempranillo is the most important grape variety in the production of Rioja, where it is traditional to blend with other varietals (Garnacha, Mazuelo (Carignan) and Graciano are regularly used). However, many pure Tempranillo wines of excellent quality are now being made.
In the Ribera del Duero region of Spain the grape is also known as Tinto Fino or Tinto Pais – familial strains of Tempranillo, as too is Tinta de Toro native to the Toro wine region – and it is also known as Cencibel in La Mancha and Valdepeñas and Ull de Llebre in Catalonia.
It is capable of making long-lived wines of finesse and complexity. The wines made from Tempranillo often have big red and black fruit flavours of raspberries, ripe strawberries, plum and blackberry, giving the wine a softer taste. Oak usage is common with Tempranillo wines. Historically American oak was used giving notes of dill, coconut and vanilla. More modern styles use French oak which produces wines with more spice, elegance and restraint.