(V) An intense aroma combining ripe sloes and black fruit with a floral lift and tobacco/chocolate notes from the oak. Silky-textured and fresh in the mouth, with ample fruit fleshing out the supple structure.
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At first glance, the many appellations of Spain‘s and Portugal‘s top red wines are based on an equal number of obscure local grapes. What do the Tinta Roriz of the Douro, Aragónez of the Alentejo, Ull de Llebre of Penedès, Tinta del Toro of Toro, Cencibel of Valdepeñas and Tinto Fino in Ribera del Duero have in common? They‘re all genetically the same grape. Thought to have existed in Northern Spain since antiquity, it is there making up the blends in almost all of the Iberian Peninsular‘s great red wines, even to some extent, Port. As Rioja is Spain‘s most successful liquid export, it is understandable that their name for this ubiquitous variety is the one the world has become familiar with. The name comes from its ripening habits; Temprano means ‘early‘, as Tempranillo tends to beat the other Rioja black grapes to the winery by around two weeks. Its thick skins give wines deep colour and longevity, but it doesn‘t race to high levels of potential alcohol like many of its Spanish peers. With an appealing range of uncomplicated flavours and an affinity with oak, it is rapidly being eyed by winemakers in other warm parts of the world, particularly Australia.