Best Tempranillo Wine


Tempranillo is a native grape from Spain, and many believe, the most important grape for Spanish wine. The name Tempranillo comes from the Spanish word “temprano” which means “early” and is a reference to the fact that this grape ripens earliest of all other grapes in the country.

Tempranillo is most commonly known as Tempranillo, but it does have as many synonyms as there are dialects of Spanish. Here are a few more names commonly encountered: Tinto Fino, Tinto del Pais, Ull de Llebre, Cencibel, Tinto Roriz.

Tempranillo can be notoriously difficult to grow as it ripens so early the buds can be susceptible to spring frosts, and the skins are very thin making them a likely candidate for rot. The vines are often grown at a high altitude as it helps gain the diurnal shift (hot days and cool nights). The grape needs to achieve sugar content and a balancing acidity.

My reviews of these Tempranillo red wines are updated weekly. These Tempranillo red wines offer great taste at a good price. You'll find a definition of Tempranillo wine at the bottom of this page as well as food pairings for Tempranillo in my wine matcher. This is just a small set of my reviews, but you can get all of them when you join my wine community.

Conde de Valdemar Crianza Tempranillo 2005
Rioja, Spain
Some lovely mature aromas here of leather, cigar box, dried herbs and black cherries. Old World elegance and patience. Mouth-watering and absolutely tasty. Full-bodied and supple. Alcohol: 13.5%  750 ml  Price: $13.95 Score: 87/100

This Tempranillo was reviewed September 2, 2009 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 356089  Check Stock
BC: 339622  Check Stock
SAQ: 897330  Check Stock

Vega Moragona Viñas Viejas La Magdalena Sociedad Cooperativa De Castilla-La Mancha Tempranillo 2007
D.O., Ribera Del Júcar, Spain
Rustic and robust with straight-forward pleasure. Cedary blackberries. Decant 1-2 hours. Alcohol: 14%  Sweetness: Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2011‐2013  Price: $14.95 Score: 87/100

This Tempranillo was reviewed May 14, 2011 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 211037  Check Stock

The Spanish Quarter Cabernet Sauvignon Tempranillo 2006
A blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Tempranillo with notes of sweet, ripe cherries, raspberries and plums. Smooth and full-bodied. Cabernet Sauvignon Tempranillo food pairings: chicken, pork, hamburgers, lasagna, seared tuna. Alcohol: 13%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Price: $13.95 Score: 88/100

This Cabernet Sauvignon Tempranillo was reviewed December 4, 2008 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 72546  Check Stock

Senorio De P. Tempranillo Blend Pecina Reserva 1999
D.O.C.A., Spain
Vintages Wine Panel: This reserva is a blend of 95% Tempranillo and just a pinch of Graciano and Garnacha. While this property is an organically farmed estate, it is not certified organic. Aged 36 months in American oak. My note: A Bordeaux-like red of balance and elegance. Black fruit and oak notes. Full-bodied. Alcohol: 14%  Sweetness: Extra Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2008‐2015  Price: $34.95 Score: 92/100

This Tempranillo Blend Pecina Reserva was reviewed October 11, 2008 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 82156  Check Stock

Tapena Tempranillo 2007
Tierra De Castilla, Spain
Made from 100% Tempranillo grapes. The quintessential red wine grape of Spain, Tempranillo (temp-rah-NEE-yo) is a perfect blend of fruit, earth and structure, rounded out by a deliciously soft mouthfeel. Tempranillo is Pinot Noir in blue jeans. Intense ruby red color with violet-blue undertones characteristic of young red wines. A plush, luscious wine that rolls with ripe black plum flavor. Lovely notes of dark chocolate on the end. Full-bodied Tempranillo food pairings: grilled fish, vegetables, pizza, pasta, grilled lamb skewers, garlic prawns, broiled salmon, paella. Alcohol: 13%  750 ml  Price: $13.95 Score: 87/100

This Tempranillo was reviewed March 24, 2009 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 72942  Check Stock

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Tempranillo soils vary in each vineyard over the Spanish countryside, but typically they are croppings of limestone, alluvial, and clay. Tempranillo is typically blended with Garnacha in Spain and Syrah in New World countries.

Tempranillo’s two most famous regions of Spain are the Rioja and the Ribera del Duero. Rioja was the first to gain international notice with Tempranillo from such producers as Muga, Campo Viejo, Marques de Caceres, and La Rioja Alta. However, the Ribera del Duero has taken huge strides forward to garner notice in the last few decades. The region’s best known producer, Vega Sicilia, was the first to prove it could produce a fine Tempranillo, but other big names include The Dane maker of Dominio de Pingus, Spain's most expensive wine, Mauro, and Torres.

While Spain is hardly the only country growing this finicky grape, it seems to be its true home. Other countries growing this grape include: Argentina, Chile, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Mexico, and the United States where some believe Texas has the right conditions to produce a fine Tempranillo. However, the most important second home of Tempranillo is in Portugal, where it goes by the name Tinto Roriz and is a key component of Port wine.

The wine Tempranillo itself has aromas of tobacco leaves, leather, and a spicy quality, and can sometimes display berry flavours. Tempranillo pairs nicely with a traditional Spanish dish like Cuchifritos which is a roast of goat or lamb done with bay leaves, rosemary, some garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. Researched by Lesley Quinn