Discovery of the Tempranillo grape variety, the emblem of wine-growing Spain!

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Tempranillo, which has made the reputation of Spanish wines , is a grape variety that has captured the hearts of wine lovers around the world. Its name, which means “the early one”, refers to the fact that it ripens very early. This particularity allows us to offer early vintages, with a rich taste and aroma.

It is the star red grape variety in Spain, covering more than 230,000 hectares of vineyards in Spain.

The history of the Tempranillo grape variety: a Spanish heritage of reference

Tempranillo is one of the grape varieties that has a long history , dating back several centuries. This variety was born from the passion of winegrowers and the natural evolution of this grape variety, the cultivation and development of which has proven very fruitful.

It is the result of a cross between Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc , brought by pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain.

Tempranillo is found in Spain in the regions of Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Cigales and Toro. It has different names depending on the region, such as:

  • Tinto Fino;

  • Tinta del País;

  • Tinta de Toro.

Tempranillo is a grape variety that has made a place for itself in the world of wine thanks to its quality and versatility. Whether from Rioja, Ribera del Duero or other regions, it constitutes the foundation of very fine red wines, highly prized for their fruity notes and their beautiful structure on the palate. Whether you are an amateur or a connoisseur, the Tempranillo grape variety fully deserves to be discovered and appreciated.

The aromatic and taste characteristics of Tempranillo wine: a whole bouquet of flavors

Tempranillo produces dark garnet-colored red wines , characterized by aromas reminiscent of cherry, raspberry and dried fig. Each vintage is an experience in its own right.

On the palate, the aromas appear expressively and the wine appears supple. The flavor of the wine is strongly influenced by the climatic conditions specific to each terroir:

  • Cooler regions give a dominant taste of blueberries, raspberries and cherries;

  • Regions with a warmer climate give pride of place to plums and spices.

Tempranillo wines are elegant, full-bodied, very low acid wines that appeal to a wide range of tastes.

The small Tempranillo grapes , which ripen early, are not only the origin of the grape variety's name, but their thick skins also provide a high tannin content. These tannins are absorbed by the wine during the barrel aging process and combined with the latter's tannins, giving it a remarkable shelf life.

A traveling grape variety: the wine regions known for growing Tempranillo

Tempranillo is a grape variety that has been able to adapt and develop according to the different regions of Spain and different climatic conditions.

This grape variety is cultivated in many wine estates around the world , however there are regions which stand out in particular for the quality of their wines made from this grape variety.

La Rioja

Rioja is undoubtedly the wine region most famous for its cultivation of Tempranillo. This region, located in the north of Spain, has a reputation for producing elegant and well-structured red wines.

Rioja wines often come in the form of blends, with Tempranillo being the most dominant grape variety.

Ribera del Duero

Another region of Spain where Tempranillo, known here as Tinta Fina, holds the top spot: Ribera del Duero. The region is renowned for the depth and complexity of its wines. These wines offer a refined expression of the Tempranillo grape variety, called here Tinta del País or Tinto Fino.

Toro

Tempranillo, known as Tinta de Toro, is the origin of full-bodied and powerful wines in the Toro region. Thanks to the climate of this region, we obtain very concentrated and structured wines on the palate.

La Mancha

This region represents the largest wine-growing area in the world in terms of planted area and the Tempranillo grape variety is cultivated there on a large scale.

What food and wine pairings with Tempranillo for a harmonious taste experience?

Tempranillo is a grape variety whose red wines have power, structure and magnificent aromatic complexity. These particularities make it ideal to be combined with very diverse dishes. Here are some suggestions for food and wine pairings that will highlight the richness of Tempranillo.

Roast lamb

The richness and boldness of the flavors of roast lamb combine wonderfully with wines made from the Tempranillo grape variety. For a truly special experience, you can pair your Tempranillo wine with a well-roasted leg of lamb, flavored with herbs and spices.

Grilled steak

Grilled steak is another great choice to pair with a wine of the Tempranillo variety. The strong flavors of grilled steak pair perfectly with the bold flavors of Tempranillo wines.

Mushroom risotto

For a more original combination, taste Tempranillo-based wine with mushroom risotto. Its creaminess will pair perfectly with the sweetness and velvety of Tempranillo wines.

Chocolate cake

If you are looking for an absolutely gourmet combination, try a Tempranillo wine with a good chocolate cake. The rich, sweet taste of chocolate cake pairs beautifully with the bold, fruity flavors of Tempranillo wines.

The most famous Tempranillo wineries

Tempranillo represents the grape variety of choice for many famous wineries, particularly in Spain. Here is an overview.

The Vega Sicilia estate

Vega Sicilia is one of the world-renowned areas of the Ribera del Duero . Its famous “Unico” wine, for example, is the result of a blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon grape varieties, which age for a particularly long time. It is an internationally renowned wine, renowned for its great complexity and exceptional longevity.

The Palacios Remondo estate

The Palacios Remondo family has been linked to the winemaking tradition since the years 1651. With this experience and heritage, José Palacios Remondo took over the family estate and planted the best traditional Rioja grape varieties , thus giving birth to the Palacios Remondo estate .

The estate, which extends over around a hundred hectares of vines, is located in the eastern part of the Rioja Baja region, north of the town of Alfaro, in Spain, and benefits from an ideal location. at the foot of Yerga mountain. Each vintage from this estate is the fruit of an ardent passion for wine and meticulous work.

The vineyards are planted on rolling hillsides, very well exposed to the south-east, at altitudes reaching 550 m. Grenache is the flagship grape variety of the estate, with a marked presence in the house productions, associated with Tempranillo, the well-known Spanish black grape variety.

The Bodegas Muga estate

Bodegas Muga is another renowned Rioja winery. This estate offers a very varied range of wines, most of which are based on the Tempranillo grape variety.

For example, its “Prado Enea Gran Reserva” enjoys great renown and constitutes the most classic expression of the Tempranillo grape variety from Rioja.

The Bodegas Alejandro Fernandez estate

This winery, located in the Ribera del Duero region, stands out for its Tinto Pesquera wine, a wine made from 100% Tempranillo, which wine critic Robert Parker called one of the best wines in Spain.

The aromatic richness of Tempranillo, its softness on the palate and its ability to adapt to different terroirs make it a precious grape variety for oenophiles around the world.

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