Tempranillo, il vitigno spagnolo per eccellenza: caratteristiche e abbinamenti

Tempranillo, the Spanish vine par excellence: characteristics and pairings

The Spanish vineyard is the largest in the world! With an area of ​​969,000 hectares it precedes France and Italy. If the first productions of Spanish wines date back to antiquity, the production of great wines is more recent. The heat and the lack of water are the biggest challenges for viticulture in Spain . For this reason the various vineyards are located rather on the coastal areas and along the water courses which act as a moderating element.

Tempranillo is the number one grape variety in Spain, as well as the fourth most planted variety in the world. With the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon and the meaty nature of Carignano, Tempranillo is a wine that, when young, can be surprisingly fresh and fruity. However, with oak and aging, it gives the tobacco and leather aromas that wine lovers crave so much.

Tempranillo, characteristics

The name, Tempranillo , comes from the Spanish "temprano" ("early" in Italian) , which is fitting, as it ripens earlier than other native grapes of Spain. Tempranillo vines are one of the easiest to identify in the vineyard thanks to their serrated, deeply lobed leaves.

Tempranillo is a very old variety. Although the first official mention of the variety dates back to 1807, the general theory is that Tempranillo was introduced to the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) by the Phoenicians over 3,000 years ago. A bizarre clue that questions the Iberian origin of Tempranillo are the scattered plantings found in Tuscany and Basilicata, Italy.

Tempranillo produces wines with a moderately colored color (intense ruby) which can evolve towards coppery and orange tones. We generally distinguish aromas of red fruits with nuances of spices , tobacco and leather . As we age, we will be able to perceive more aromas of red and black fruits as well as hints of aromatic herbs. On the palate the wines are warm with more or less soft tannins and a sometimes high alcohol content.

Tempranillo and pairings

While renowned for pairing with red meat and cured ham , Tempranillo is a surprisingly versatile wine that can pair well with roasted vegetables, well-seasoned pastas, and even Mexican cuisine.

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