Wine Lexicon


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Tempranillo - (Temp-rah-NEEL-yo)

Excellent Spanish red-wine grape. Like Nebbiolo and Sangiovese in Italy, it historically takes a second place to Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir in the world "noble grape" sweepstakes but probably shouldn't; it makes wines in Rioja and Ribera del Duero (which see) that are arguably world-class. Black fruit is the usual descriptor, although most Tempranillo-based wines show spicy oak as an integral component, and are also characterized by the hearty, robust and acidic structure that the grape imparts.

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