Tempranillo is a red wine grape that is widely grown throughout its native Spain. It is often described as Spain’s most noble grape due to its ever noteworthy presence in many of its regions. The name Tempranillo derives from temprano or “early”—referencing the grape’s trait of ripening early as compared to other local varietals. In Portugal, the Tempranillo grape goes by many synonyms. It is known as Aragonez (air-uh-goan-ehz) and used in red table wine blends of variable quality. Specifically in the Douro region of Portugal, this grape is known as Tinta Roriz (ROR-eesh) and is prominently blended in the fortified wines of Port. This grape can be produced as a stand-alone varietal but shows more complexity when blended with grapes such as Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Tempranillo is capable of producing deeply colored and fruity wines for early consumption, or richly flavored, complex, age-worthy wine for later enjoyment.
Tempranillo offers fairly aromatic nuances of dried red fruits (dark cherry, strawberry, and plum), garden (earth, soil, and wet leaves), bakeshop (vanilla, spice, and cocoa), tobacco (leather), and floral.
This grape varietal produces dry red wines that are typically medium in body with medium acidity and tannin levels.
Tempranillo is native to northern Spain and widely cultivated as far south as La Mancha. Some of Spain’s major areas that grow Tempranillo include Rioja and Ribera del Duero. And as mentioned previously, Tempranillo is also grown throughout Portugal.