Thursday, November 9, 2017, is International Tempranillo Day. Why not celebrate this Spanish grape by having your favorite Tempranillo. Questioning what to drink on this day, check out my suggestions.
Tempranillo day was organized by TAPAS, Tempranillo Advocates Producers and Amigos Society in 2011, as a way to celebrate this indigenous Spanish grape that usually comes from either the Rioja or Ribera Del Duero region of Spain.
Celebrating Tempranillo can also mean drinking Rosé of Tempranillo. Over the years I have sampled some excellent Rosés using the Tempranillo grape.
Tempranillo Wine From Arínzano
Introduction to the wines of Arínzano, a winery located in the Navarro DO region of Spain, occurred earlier this year. In fact, Arínzano is the first winery in Northern Spain and the Navarra DO to receive the Pago classification. This designation happened in 2007. A Pago is a title awarded to individual vineyards or wine estates. Furthermore, regulations require that a winery utilize only those grapes grown on their properties for the wines they create.
2016 Hacienda de Arínzano Rosé of Tempranillo: This Rosé, I found to be vibrant and bright yet complex and textured with a gorgeous deep ruby color. The complexity allows for pairing with a variety of foods including steak. My first exposure to this Rosé featured flavors of strawberry and watermelon with a nice spicy zing on the finish. On a second visit, several months later, the wine exhibited strawberry, raspberry, and pineapple flavors. The minerality and acidity were perfectly balanced on both occasions. The grapes for this wine come from a Rosé dedicated vineyard.
2012 Hacienda de Arínzano Red: Combining primarily Tempranillo with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine delivers very smoky aromas. On the palate, one discovers a smooth texture with hints of tobacco and flavors of currants and plum.
2010 Arízano Le Casona: The wine consists of predominately Tempranillo but also features a small percentage of Merlot, which gives the wine its softer quality. Hints of mocha accent flavors of blackberries, plums, and dried fruit. By far my favorite of all the Arínzano wines sampled.
Other Spanish Tempranillo
Viña Zaco 2014 Tempranillo, Rioja Alta: I found the wine very authentic yet bright and fresh. This very drinkable wine displays aromas of licorice and flavors of dark fruit and cherry.
Cepa 21 2011 Tempranillo, Ribera Del Duero: With smoky aromas that include some tobacco and leather, the wine exhibits a meaty quality, which makes for a more masculine wine. The flavors are those of dark fruit. There is a woodsy, earthy quality to the wine that grows on you with each sip. I recommend airing the wine before drinking.
La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza: If you can get your hands on any year of these Rioja wines, I highly recommend them. The most recent release, 2008 celebrates the winery’s 75th anniversary. I found this particular vintage to be exceptionally together and bright.
Tempranillo Wine from California
2014 Artisan Uprising Tempranillo, Paso Robles: Although this Tempranillo is young, I loved its bright and upbeat demeanor that enhances the flavors of cherry and tobacco. I would like to revisit this wine in a couple of years to see how it develops with age.
2010 Cantara Cellars Amador Tempranillo: With the grapes coming from the Sierra Foothills, this is a lighter Tempranillo, which after aging for three years, comes across as a very full-bodied wine.
Enjoy International Tempranillo Day.
Note: Common to the wine industry, this writer was hosted to several of the wines sampled. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure.