The Tempranillo Grape
That Tempranillo grape tho… delishhh.
Tempranillo has the perfect name to describe the grape, “temprano”. It means early which is fitting because Tempranillo grapes are known to be “early risers” which means they are ripe and ready for the vinification process substantially sooner than the rest of the grapes.
Tempranillo is the third most planted wine grape in the world as of 2015. It also forms the backbone for some of the finest wines in the world. There are a lot of reasons for this, such as its large variety of tasting notes ranging from cherries and strawberries all the way to prunes and chocolate. But just between us, in my humble opinion when it comes to the “brass tax” there’s one primary reason why the Tempranillo shines.
Drumroll please ………… Tempranillo marries exceptionally well with Oak!
It's relatively neutral profile, as opposed to more aromatic varieties favored in the States like Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon grant it exceptional aging qualities. The result being delicious evolved wines all springing from a base Tempranillo.
You could start with a Tempranillo Roble which is usually aged approximately 3 to 6 months in Oak Barrels and gain a completely different experience than say a Tempranillo Crianza. A Tempranillo Crianza (one of my personal favorites) has to have spent at least 1 year, aging in Oak barrels. A step above from that would be the Reserva which has been aged and additional year, even before entering the oak barrel stage.
Please take some time to explore the Tempranillo grape and all it has to offer.