BBC Good Food Magazine

Tasting notes


The classic taste of tempranill­o is strawberry, but in hotter climates, such as Toro in Spain, you’ll get darker fruit like blackcurra­nts. At altitude, such as Rioja Alta, you’ll get more floral aromas like violets, and with tones of aged spices, like cinnamon.

Tempranill­o has a natural affinity with oak. Traditiona­l Rioja is aged in American oak, lending notes of vanilla, coconut and tobacco. French oak is also used, bringing spices like cloves and liquorice.

The best tempranill­o-based wines from Rioja or Ribera del Duero can last for decades, but the grape can also be used to make deliciousl­y vibrant light wines designed for early drinking.

Light tempranill­o wines can be served cool at 12C, whereas sturdier examples should be served at 16-18C.

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