Tempranillo - Spain's most distict red wine
In Spain, the name Rioja is synonymous with a popular, reliable good tasting local wine. The tempranillo grape occupies more than 60% of the Rioja vineyards. The tempranillo grape has been associated with a similar ancestry as the pinot noir grape. The tempranillo grape is a thick, black skinned variety used to create some of Spain's most distinct red wines. Often blended with merlot, cabernet sauvignon, but more frequently with garnacha, as there are no restrictions for the blending with the garnacha grapes.
The flavors associated with the tempranillo grape include vanilla, cedar and soft spice. The reason for its name, although it may be referred to by other pet names depending on the region on Spain where it is being grown, is to mirror is growing characteristics that are different to most other grapes. It is ripened as much as two weeks earlier than other grapes.
The rich, smooth, full bodied flavors that this grape yields make choosing any of the varieties of red from the Rioja repertoire a sure bet that you will not be disappointed. Spanish wines may not be considered to rank in the epitome of grape growing regions as those of France and Italy, but anyone who has had the pleasure to experience the wines of this unique region, La Rioja, will find that the tempranillo grape is equally as satisfying as those specialty grapes in more popularly acclaimed wine growing regions.
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