Last updated: August 11, 2021

Our method

12Products analysed

26Hours spent

14Evaluated articles

94User reviews

Welcome to our big Tempranillo wine test 2021. Here we present all the Tempranillo wines that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best Tempranillo wines for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer you interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a Tempranillo wine.




The most important Facts

  • Tempranillo is a grape variety from Spain, which was already cultivated by monks in Rioja. Tempranillo is also the basis for Rioja wine.
  • The name comes from the Spanish "temprano", which means early or early. This name also refers to the harvest time of the grape variety.
  • Depending on the growing region, this grape variety has a different name.

The Best Tempranillo Wine: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying Tempranillo Wine

Where is the Tempranillo vine grown?

The Tempranillo vine is very popular with many winemakers because, among other things, it can be harvested early and it is very robust.

It needs an average amount of water and a location with not too much sun. If these two factors coincide, then this vine can grow almost anywhere.

Rioja is a large wine region in Spain. The wine region has an area of about 5000 km2. The most cultivated vine there is the Tempranillo vine. (Image source: pixaby.com/ Pradillacarlos)

But basically, the Tempranillo vine is mainly found in Spain. And La Rioja is the main wine region of this vine. But this grape variety can also be found in other countries such as Switzerland and Argentina. Worldwide, the area under cultivation is about 232,500 ha.

How much does wine from the Tempranillo grape cost?

You can already buy wine from this grape for less than 5€. But if you really want to spend a lot of money on this wine, you can also buy a bottle for around 900€.

Of course, there are often big differences in quality between these wines, from storage to vine quality.

wine cost
Pradorey Roble about 50€
Pradorey Lia about 10€
Feinkost Käfer about 5€
Pradorey El Cuentista about 120€
2011 Artadi Viña El Pisón Rioja DOCa about 300€

What do Tempranillo vines and grapes look like?

The grape is woolly at the top and has a lot of felt-like hairs. They also have a greenish white tinge with a hint of the colour pink. The leaf is five-lobed and still slightly downy and bronzed when young.

On the underside, the leaf is woolly, like the grape itself at the tip. What not every vine leaf has is that the Tempranillo leaf has a hairy red edge.

An adult leaf of this vine has a stalk cove that resembles a lyre. Furthermore, the berries set on the grape very easily. The berries themselves are medium-sized and have a thick blue-black skin.

What are the characteristics of a wine made from the Tempranillo grape?

Wine from this grape can take on different tastes. Of course, it also depends on which barrel it was stored in and for how long.

A young bottled Tempranillo wine contains very subtle aromas. A light berry aroma, such as blueberry and blackcurrant. But the wine from this grape also takes on a light leather aroma.

The wine contains very few tannins and little acidity. This is also a reason why it cannot be stored for a long time, as the bacteria have no nutrients and die off. The wine takes on the flavour of the dead bacteria if it is stored for too long.

young bottle wine old cask wine
little tannin several tannins
little acid much acid
light berry aroma strong berry aroma
blueberry wild berry
currant overripe blackberry
light leather earthy truffle

Wine from the Tempranillo grape can of course also be stored in barrels, which of course gives it a different flavour. Through the barrel storage, the wine contains tannins and thus it can be stored for a long time. The wine then takes on the aromas of the stored barrel.

The aromas of these wines that have been stored in a barrel then contain aromas such as wild berries, overripe blackberries, a strong earthy truffle smell and strong spice aromas.

What dishes does the wine go with?

Basically, one can say that this wine goes well with any food, as different wines can be obtained from this grape.

A young wine from this grape goes perfectly with light dishes such as various salads or clear soups.

For dishes with a high fat content, an older wine with a high tannin content is perfect because it neutralises the dish. A Crianza that has been aged for at least two years is best served with poultry or fish.

A quick and light fig and goat cheese salad. A young Tempranillo wine goes perfectly with this light dish, especially with the ripe fig. (Image source: pixabay.com/ RitaE)

So just check where the wine has been stored and for how long, then you can pair it with the perfect food.

Buying Criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate Wine from the Tempranillo Grape

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many different wines made from the Tempranillo grape.

The criteria with which you can compare Tempranillo wines are as follows:

In the following paragraphs we will explain what each criterion means.

Vintage

You can find out the quality of the wine by looking at the vintage. If the wine is from a year in which the climate was excellent for the wine, you can assume that the wine has a better quality than in the year before.

But also the storage time or the vegetation cycle is given by the vintage. This is how you find out whether it is a young, sweet wine or an older, stronger wine.

Normal red wines usually have a storage time of up to two years. Quality wines up to four years and Spätlese up to five years.

But why do people always say that the longer a wine is stored, the better it is? This is not true for all wines, but Beerenauslese wines can last up to 20 years or more.

Closure

What types of closures are there? In the following section, we will show you exactly which properties different closures have.

Cork

Many people think that any wine with a cork is a much better quality wine than one with a screw cap. But this is not the case. Even with corks, there are black sheep that do not have the best quality.

There are cheap pressed corks that are made of natural cork granulate, which means that they crumble much more easily when pulled out.

Even with real natural corks, it is possible that the wine takes on a different taste and then begins to cork, for example.

If the wine corks, it is usually possible that you can return the wine to the winegrower. (Image source: pixabay.com / Gadini)

Of course, the natural cork also has positive sides, because the wine matures faster with a natural cork, as the wine gets more oxygen than with a screw cap.

Screw cap

With the screw cap, the wine is 100 per cent sealed, and it is also not possible for the wine to take on an undesirable taste.

So don't be afraid to buy a wine with a screw cap. There are enough wines with screw tops that are of high quality.

Certification

Organic wines are wines that must be certified with the EU organic logo. These wines must meet certain criteria in order to really be called organic wine.

The advantage of these wines is that they are tested for the use of additives, for example, or for concentration through cold. If you want to know more about this, have a look here.

Taste

Every wine tastes different, but you can still divide them into different tastes, because we have five tastes on the tongue. Therefore, you can also divide the wines into these five:

  • Umami: The taste buds of the tongue are stimulated when the wine tastes fleshy
  • Sweetness: Alcohol leaves a slightly sweet taste, which is why every wine tastes slightly sweet. However, there are also many non-alcoholic wines.
  • Salty: Have you ever tasted a salty wine? Not either? That's because wines very rarely have a salty taste.
  • Bitternotes: Bitter notes are often very strong in red wines because they contain tannin, which is bitter.

Acidity

Which wine do you buy now if you want a sweet or acidic wine? Every country has different terms for this. However, there is an EU regulation that there must be a flavour indication.

Dry wines have very little residual sugar, so they are not sweet. If a wine is semi-dry, then some of the residual sugar is still left.

A sweet wine contains much more residual sugar, but if you would rather have a very sweet wine, then you have to buy a dessert wine.

There are different names for dessert wines in different countries, so here is a brief overview. By the way, in Germany Mild means a sweetish wine.

Grape content

Not every wine is made from 100 per cent Tempranillo grapes. If you really want a wine made from 100 percent Tempranillo, you have to read the ingredients more carefully.

However, with some wines you can assume that they contain a high proportion of this grape. Rioja wine is often blended with Tempranillo, for example.

Facts worth knowing about Tempranillo

What does the word Tempranillo mean?

Tempranillo is a Spanish word that comes from "temprano". Temprano means early or early. So if one were to translate Tempranillo directly, it would mean "little early".

Which glass do you drink the wine from?

This cannot be generalised, as wine glasses are subdivided according to the type of wine. You can make several red wines from the Tempranillo grape. For this reason, you will get a very general overview here.

Champagne glass

These glasses are also known as sparkling wine glasses or champagne glasses. Again, there are separate subcategories, such as flutes, tulips, bowls and goblets. Sparkling wines are drunk from these glasses. Well-known sparkling wines are champagne, frizzante and muscato.

White wine glass (rosé wine)

These glasses are specially designed for white wines and rosé wines. These glasses have a more narrow opening and are slightly smaller than red wine glasses.

Well-known white wines that most people know are, for example, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio and Gelber Muskateller.

Bordeux glass

These glasses are very bulbous, they allow the red wine to unfold in the glass. These glasses are well suited for very strong and tannic red wines.

Bordeux is also a wine-growing region in France. Bordeux wines include wines such as Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou, Chateau d'Issan and Chateau De Bel Air.

Burgundy glass

Burgundy glasses are for red wines that are very fruity and aromatic. The Blaufränkisch, Pino Noir, but even white wines like the Riesling or Chardonnay fit this glass. Burgundy is also a great wine region in France.

The Burgundy glass is similar to a white wine glass, except that it is a touch wider and taller. Proportionally, however, they are pretty much the same.

The Burgundy glass is, by the way, the best of the general glasses for a wine from the Tempranillo vine, as it is very fruity and aromatic.

Tempranillo glass

There are, of course, various companies that specialise in producing glasses that are perfect for a wine.

But beware! There is again a difference in the glasses between the younger and the older wines!

At what serving temperature do you serve the wine from this grape?

You drink a young red wine at a temperature between 12 and 16 degrees Celsius and a powerful older red wine at about 18 degrees Celsius.

If you really have a lot of red wine at home, it pays to have a small red wine cabinet where you can store your wine. You can get such a cabinet for 100€ or more.

Under which names is the Tempranillo wine still known?

There are 84 synonyms for this vine, which are collected and stored in the Vitis International Variety Catalogue database of the Institut für Rebenzüchtung Geilweilerhof.

In many regions and countries this vine has a different name. In Argentina, for example, it is called Tempranilla and in Portugal Tinta Roriz.

General information about the main wine-growing region "Rioja

Rioja is the main wine region for the Tempranillo vine in Spain. The wine produced from these vines is also called Rioja wine. Thus, it can easily happen that a Rioja wine does not always have to consist of 100%Tempranillo.

This wine region is one of the most important for Europe because it has an area of about 61,000 ha. There are over 20,000 winegrowers who grow and produce their vines there.

Is there a subdivision in wine maturation?

There are also different subdivisions when it comes to storage. A red wine is not only sold as a young wine that has been filled directly into the bottle. No, you also sell mature wines that have matured in oak barrels.

Each barrel gives a different taste to the wine. If, for example, wine has already been matured in the barrel, the wine tastes completely different than if it were a new barrel.

Stored wine can be assigned to one of the three categories if it meets certain requirements. There is the Crianza, Reserva and Grand Reserva.

Crianza

This comes from the Spanish "criar" and means to ripen or mature. In order to be called crianza, the wine must have matured for at least two years, at least one of which must have been in an oak barrel.

Reserva

This wine is already very far from a young wine. This wine must have been aged for at least four years, at least one of which must have been in an oak barrel.

Grand Reserva

This level is, so to speak, the big sister of the Reserva. The wine must be aged for at least 2 years in oak barrels and 3 years in the bottle. But experience shows that Grand Reserva wines usually come on the market later than after five years.

Image source: unsplash.com / Kym Ellis

Why you can trust me?

Reviews