Tempranillo is, no doubt, one of the major grape varieties of the world and the most important grape in Spain. In fact, it can hold its own among the red wine champions like Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.
The first official mention of Tempranillo is from 1807, but there is a theory that suggests that the grape was actually introduced to Spain by the Phoenicians over three thousand years ago.
Now, many of Tempranillo’s alter egos often refer to clones of the grape. Due to different climates around the world, clones are created to suit the soil, temperature and humidity of the region. In fact, famous grape varieties all have clones that are suited for specific regions.
Tempranillo translates to “little early one,” due to the fact the grape indeed ripens noticeable earlier than Garnacha, another popular Spanish grapevine. Generally, Tempranillo is a full-bodied red wine with a lot of tannin and plenty of acidity.
The flavour profile leans towards red fruit and flowers, tobacco, savoury herbs, spice and earth. While often sold young, meaning fresh and fruity, this red grape takes well to aging in American or French oak that adds notes of vanilla and coconut. Reserva and Gran Reserva collections feature much deeper, darker fruit notes, dry leaves and leather flavours.
Tempranillo is quite a versatile food wine that will likely match most dinners. While most red wines go well with red meat and ham that are rich in fat, Tempranillo also pairs nicely with roasted veggies, hearty pastas and Mexican food!
If you’d like to try it, buy a bottle of Tempranillo at the ZYN liquor store in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, or shop online at ZYN.ca!