Grape that Reigns in Spain
Most often associated with Spain, Tempranillois the backbone of wines made in the well-known Spanish regions
Riojaand Ribera del Duero. On the scale of light to heavy, Tempranillo leans on the light side. It tends to be higher in acid and lower in alcohol - common for Old World wines, and perfect for matching to food.
As a flavor profile, red fruits like strawberries and cherries can predominate - but with a rustic edge. Many wine made from Tempranillo will spend a few years in barrel and bottle before reaching the consumer. Spanish wine laws are very specific about
ageing wine and oak is a big part of that. Many Tempranillo-based wines see a few years of oak - add that to a few years of bottle and the wine can give a subtle - and occasionaly not-so-subtle - leathery mouthfeel. The combination of the tart fruit and tannins make this wine very food friendly. Tempranillo is also a popular
blending partner for Garnacha.
In Ribera del Duero in particular. It lends a nice structure to the more plush Garnacha
grape. Some winemakers in Australia are also experimenting (quite successfully as we've tasted) with Tempranillo plantings
and blending with Grenache and
Summing it up
Spain; Rioja and Ribera del Duero, more recently, Australia
red fruit, cherry, plum, tobacco, leather, herb