Tempranillo makes up the majority of Spain’s most famous wine, Rioja, where it is blended with Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano. An early-ripening grape with moderate acidity producing dark-coloured wines, it adapts well to being aged in oak barrels, exhibiting aromas of cherries, dried fruit, cedar, leather and tobacco. To the south-west of Rioja, the high-altitude vineyards of Ribera del Duero major heavily on Tempranillo, making higher-acidity, more muscular expressions: the region’s Vega Sicilia ‘Unico’ is one of Spain’s most iconic wines, made from 80% Tempranillo and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Valdepeñas, Navarra and Toro also grow significant amounts, and it is part of the blend in Port, where it’s called Tinta Roriz.
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