Deep in color, low in acid, with only moderate alcohol, Tempranillo is most frequently associated with Spain. While hot regions are typically associated with big, bold, brutish reds, Tempranillo is actually more refined. Tempranillo has had a slightly troubled history. In the 1970’s there was a heavy focus on oak, and tasted unnaturally smokey, woody, and unfruity. Modern wines from Spain share none of this, and are getting increasingly good with every year that passes.
In it’s youth, Tempranillo positive bursts with cherries. As it ages in oak (usually american oak) barrels, it takes on a more earthy vanilla flavor.
Style: Primarily dry, oaked. Used as one of the grapes blended to make Porto.
Notable Growing Locations: Spain: Rioja / Ribera del Duero (known as tinto fino) / Penedès, Portugal (known as tinta roriz)