Tempranillo

Tempranillo

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Tempranillo, a black grape, is native to the Iberian peninsula and it dominates so many of the greatest Spanish wines. It is one of the primary grapes in such regions as Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Priorat, and Toro. But even then, Tempranillo is flexible enough to be grown down in some of the southern regions of Spain, like Ribera Guadiana or La Mancha.

Depending on where a Tempranillo wine comes from, it could be as full-bodied as a California Cabernet or Bordeaux, or have the delicateness and sophistication of a Burgundy. The main flavors and aromas are that of dark berries (raspberries, blackberries etc.) and violets. Tempranillo is also a great grape to use in blending. In Rioja (the "Bordeaux of Spain") the grape blends perfectly with Grenache or even Graciano. In Priorat, some winemakers blend it with Syrah, or even Cabernet.

The flexibility and variety of Tempranillo wine is astonishing. If you want some adventure in your life (and wine), grab some Spanish wine with Tempranillo and enjoy all that the Iberian peninsula can offer.

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  1. Escondido

    2017 / 750 ml. | Item#89372

    JS9393 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Friday, July 26, 2019
    Some modern, meaty oak and spice, laid across ripe dark cherries and plums here. The palate has a very smooth and slick feel with a succulent, juicy and attractively fresh, dark-plum finish. Handy depth. Drink or hold.
    Premier SelectPremier Select wines are handpicked by our staff from amongst thousands of wines for their exceptional quality. They're made by a top producer and comparable to wines at twice the cost.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: Tempranillo

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  2. La Legua Parcela “El Transformador”

    2014 / 750 ml. | Item#89367

    JS9292 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Monday, July 24, 2017
    A big ripe wine with a touch of caramel alongside the big black plum note. A massively tannic but relatively plush wine that has a certain freshness. This ought to age well. Better from 2020.
    RP8787 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 28th Feb 2017
    There is a new red blend of Tempranillo with some 13% Cabernet Sauvignon called 2014 El Transformador, from grapes mostly from a plot that names the wine. The vines were planted in the 1970s on limestone soils. It fermented with indigenous yeasts after a cold soak with dry ice, followed by ten months in second and third year French oak barrels. It showed very high ripeness and some volatility that made it a little blurry. The palate showed similar flavors and some dusty tannins. 8,000 bottles produced.
    Premier SelectPremier Select wines are handpicked by our staff from amongst thousands of wines for their exceptional quality. They're made by a top producer and comparable to wines at twice the cost.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: 92% Tempranillo

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  3. Mano a Mano

    2016 / 750 ml. | Item#84810

    SP8787 pts. - Wine Spectator - Web only – 2018
    Ripe cherry, cola and toasted vanilla flavors give this red a hard-candy character. Light, firm tannins and sweet-tart acidity keep this focused and fresh. Lively, with some depth. Tempranillo. Drink now through 2022. 8,500 cases made, 3,800 cases imported.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: Tempranillo

    $9.99

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  4. Finca Costanillas

    2018 / 750 ml. | Item#89375

    JS9292 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Monday, November 2, 2020
    Very pretty Rioja with ripe berries, chocolate, walnuts and hazelnuts. Full-bodied with juicy fruit and a flavorful finish. Nice length. Needs another year or two to come around. Drink after 2021.
    Premier SelectPremier Select wines are handpicked by our staff from amongst thousands of wines for their exceptional quality. They're made by a top producer and comparable to wines at twice the cost.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: 86% Tempranillo

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  5. Monte Hiniesta

    2016 / 750 ml. | Item#91972

    JS9191 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Thursday, August 2, 2018
    Very ripe and slightly raw oak over black fruit and coconut candy. The palate has dense, chewy fruit and really assertive tannins. Needs a year or two to settle in.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: Tinta de Toro

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  6. Viña Vilano Crianza

    2014 / 750 ml. | Item#91657

    SP9090 pts. - Wine Spectator - Sep 30, 2017
    This lively red delivers black cherry and licorice flavors, with smoky and leafy notes. Fresh and focused, in a balanced structure that is energetic and graceful. Made in a clean, modern style. Drink now through 2024. 8,850 cases made.
    WE8989 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 2/1/2018
    Straightforward berry and cherry aromas control a nose with spice and cocoa notes. A high-toned, tannic palate carries fresh plum and raspberry flavors end, with hard tannins, barrel-based notes and general dryness. Drink through 2021.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: 100% Tempranillo

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  9. Muga Selección Especial

    2016 / 750 ml. | Item#94953

    JS9595 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Tuesday, December 15, 2020
    A very pretty, manicured young red with plum, berry and dark-chocolate character. Medium body and round tannins that are focused and firm. Delicious, succulent finish. Plenty of subtle fruit and supple tannins take you to where you want to go in fine Rioja red. Drinkable now but linear and tight. Give it some time. Better after 2021.
    RP94+94+ pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 30th Oct 2020
    The current vintage of the red that is their first option to have with food is the 2016 Selección Especial, whose grapes are selected from terraced vineyards in the Montes Obarenes and the Sierra Cantabria, from vines averaging 35 years of age. It fermented in oak vats and matured in French oak barrels for 26 months, and it’s kept in bottle for at least 18 months before it’s sold. This is serious and has freshness and some restraint in the palate; it’s much more expressive, floral and aromatic and with more-integrated oak than the wines from five+ years ago. It’s a more elegant vintage than the 2015 and every bit as good, or a tad better. Winemaker Isaac Muga considers 2016 a very good harvest. It was bottled in April 2019. This is among the best vintages of Selección Especial. 288,000 bottles produced.
    VN9494 pts. - Vinous - Apr 2021
    Dark ruby. Vibrant, smoke- and spice-accented cherry and cassis aromas show very good clarity and a hint of candied rose. Sappy, penetrating and focused on the palate, offering finely etched and appealingly sweet dark berry, cherry cola and spicecake flavors along with a subtle chewing tobacco nuance. Closes impressively long and lively, with resonating florality and chewy, youthfully gripping tannins adding final grip. Raised in new and used French oak barrels.
    JD9494 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - October 21, 2020
    Always a terrific wine, the 2016 Selección Especial is based on 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, and the rest Graciano and Mazuelo. Almost Rhône-like with its spicy, meaty, gamey style, this beauty offers lots of red and black currants, cedary spice, incense, and tobacco aromas and flavors. It’s medium to full-bodied, has terrific balance, silky tannins, and is just a class act. The 2015 is a richer, more opulent wine, while the 2016 shows a touch more freshness and elegance. Both are beautiful vintages worth buying, cellaring, and drinking.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: Tempranillo

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  11. R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Reserva

    2008 / 750 ml. | Item#94600

    RP9595 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 30th Oct 2020
    The nose of the 2008 Viña Tondonia Reserva is very elegant, fresh and with an herbal twist, starting to show the complexity of the aged wines that are sometimes still too young when they are released 10+ years from the vintage! The palate is medium-bodied, with lightness and depth, very classical with extra freshness and all that is needed for a long development in bottle. This is the more Tondonia of the two vintages I tasted side by side. There are notes of maple syrup, smoke, licorice and crisp fruit. The palate is more austere, crunchy and reveals the chalkiness of the soils. There’s more definition and precision here.
    JS9595 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Monday, November 2, 2020
    Lots of dried fruit with plum, light raisin, chocolate and toasted oak. Some balsamic undertones. White truffles and dried flowers. Medium body, creamy tannins and savory, balsamic undertones. Extreme and unique, as always. Drink now.
    WS9191 pts. - Wine & Spirits - December 1, 2020
    This is a lean and fragrant vintage of Viña Tondonia, the López de Heredia family’s prime Rioja Alta vineyard above a meander along the Ebro River. In 2008, the wine is gamey up front, with sour cherry flavors and a delicate, lasting richness. The wine defines Rioja’s traditional elegance.
    Wine Grapes

    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: 75% Tempranillo

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    Compare at $56.99 $45.59

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  12. R. López de Heredia Viña Cubillo

    2012 / 750 ml. | Item#92324

    JS9595 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Monday, November 2, 2020
    Wonderful aromas of mushrooms, bark, cigar tobacco and plums with just a hint of citrus. Full-bodied with incredible softness and complexity. Subtle chocolate, fruit and walnut in the aftertaste. Goes on for minutes. Fantastic wine. Classic, textbook Rioja. A joy. Incredible value! Drink or hold.
    RP9393 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 30th Oct 2020
    I was quite impressed by the 2012 Viña Cubillo Tinto Crianza, a classical Rioja that is nicely crafted, with less aging in barrel than the rest of reds and therefore with more fruit character and less López de Heredia signature. This was born as a red for tapas, a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacho and 5% each Graciano and Mazuelo with 13.5% alcohol. It matured in well-seasoned American oak barrels for three years. It has ripe fruit (black rather than red) without excess and a pinch of spices and a twist of oak. 94,500 bottles produced. There are seven lots of this. I tasted a bottled that was filled in May 2018.
    VN9292 pts. - Vinous - Apr 2021
    Glistening ruby. Spice-accented aromas of red berries, cherry cola and candied rose, plus a smoky nuance in the background. Supple and energetic in style, with a core of zesty acidity adding lift and cut to bitter cherry and red currant flavors that take a sweeter turn through the midpalate. Finishes long and smooth, delivering gentle tannic grip, a snap of peppery spices and repeating florality.
    Wine Grapes

    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: 65% Tempranillo

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    $29.99

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  14. Cerro Añon Reserva Rioja

    2015 / 750 ml. | Item#82929

    SP9292 pts. - Wine Spectator - Jul 31, 2019
    Cedar and sandalwood notes mingle with flavors of cherry, tobacco, forest floor and licorice in this savory red. Polished and balanced, harmonious and deep. Drink now through 2025. 25,000 cases made, 12,000 cases imported.
    WE9292 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 8/1/2019
    Ripe berry and cherry aromas meld with earth, chocolate and leather on the nose. The full-bodied palate is energized by lemon and supportive acidity, with flavors of toast, wood grain and tobacco in addition to plum and berry fruit. The finish is long in spice and cocoa flavors.
    VN9191 pts. - Vinous - Feb 2019
    Deep ruby. Powerful, spice-accented aromas of cherry, vanilla and candied flowers, with a smoky nuance building as the wine opens up. Lush and broad on the palate, offering ripe dark fruit flavors and an exotic floral nuance. Finishes smooth and very long, with resonating spiciness and a sweetening cola flourish.
    Wine Grapes

    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: 85% Tempranillo

    $16.99

    Only $15.29 each when you buy a solid or mixed case

  15. La Rioja Alta Viña Alberdi

    Reserva
    2016 / 750 ml. | Item#87342

    VN9292 pts. - Vinous - Apr 2021
    Glistening ruby-red. Spice-tinged red fruit and floral aromas pick up hints of coconut and succulent herbs with air. Silky and expressive on the palate, offering appealingly sweet cherry and raspberry flavors and a spicecake nuance that builds steadily in the glass. Closes long and smooth, with repeating florality and subtle tannins that come in late.
    SP8989 pts. - Wine Spectator - Aug 31, 2021
    An engaging, traditional-style red with a thread of balsamic weaving through the red berry, orange peel and spice notes. Drink now through 2027. 41,000 cases made, 14,000 cases imported.
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    Primary Grape: Tempranillo | All Grapes: Tempranillo

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