Bunches are large, spherical and compact with medium-sized purplish black, spherical grapes with thick skins and particular jammy and fruity flavours. This variety is versatile and its quality varies depending on factors like the age of the vine, whether or not production is limited, etc. It generally has a good polyphenol content (making it perfect for long periods of barrel ageing), low acidity (this is usually remedied by blending it with more acidic varieties such as Graciano, Garnacha, Mazuelo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon), and a high concentration of tannins (which allows long periods in oak casks and the bottle and is one of the secrets of its longevity). The wines are usually deep ruby red with aromas of red fruit and berries, tobacco, vanilla and leather. Reservas or Grandes Reservas made from it are generally single-varietal.

Interesting Information

Origen: It is the Spanish grape par excellence and the variety that is best known outside Spain. Originally from northern Spain (La Rioja), it is currently grown practically all over the country (and is considered the “noble variety” of Spain), in more than 30,000 hectares of land, and accounts for 61% of vineyards in the D.O.Ca. Rioja. Its name refers to the fact that it ripens early (temprano in Spanish), before most Spanish red grapes. It was traditionally cultivated in the regions of Valdepeñas and La Rioja, where it is the most important variety. Settlers took it to America in the seventeenth century, and from there it spread all over the world (Chile, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, California, Australia, United States, South Africa…). It is also a very important variety in Portugal. Today’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero wines are chiefly made from this variety, which has very good ageing potential.

Sinónimos: Tinto fino, Tinta del país, Tinta de Toro

Resistance to pests and diseases: This variety is very delicate and highly susceptible to the inclemency of the weather. It is very prone to pests (especially pylloxera, which ravaged vines in the nineteenth century and is still a threat to vineyards) and diseases and has little resistance to drought and high temperatures.

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