Wine Lists

Tempranillo to try

By Halliday Promotion

6 May, 2022

These five tempranillos are packed with flavour and finesse. And did we mention they're all under $40? Add these wines to your list.

Tempranillo (temp-rah-nee-oh) is Spain's most recognised red wine grape. Boasting flavours of cherry, dried fig, tobacco, dill and cedar, it's most commonly planted in Rioja, and in Portugal (where it's referred to as tinta roriz and aragonéz).

When it comes to New World tempranillo, Argentina and Australia are the largest producers, with tempranillo among the top 10 red wine varieties down under. You will also find it grown in the US (specifically California and Texas), Mexico and France. Mid-weight and sitting comfortably between pinot noir and shiraz, here are five to try (four straight tempranillos and one blended with viognier).

2021 Clarnette Grampians Tempranillo

2021 Clarnette Grampians Tempranillo

A crunchy array of pomegranate and blueberries backed up by some sweet subtle oak. A juicy red wine to enjoy summer or winter.

H. How would you describe this tempranillo to someone who has never tried it before?
Winemaker Leigh Clarnette says: To me, tempranillo is one of the exciting mid-weight wines on the market. It has more oomph than pinot noir and less than shiraz. Tannins are soft and the palate is sweet without being flabby.

Suggested food pairing: Duck breast or a terrine.

RRP $28 | Drink to 2032 |

2020 Oates Ends Tempranillo

2020 Oates Ends Tempranillo

All that is bright and delicious about tempranillo – violets and wild strawberries galore in this fruit driven 'crianza' style. Made in a lighter style with juicy acidity and core of sweet raspberry and strawberry fruit, matured in neutral oak puncheons.

H. How would you describe this tempranillo to someone who has never tried it before?
Winemaker Cath Oates says: A really fresh and approachable style. I try to capture all of the beautiful wild berry fruit that tempranillo can produce. I’m picking quite early to retain natural acidity in Margaret River’s maritime climate so the silky, slightly sappy tannins provide a lovely savoury twist on the finish.

Suggested food pairing: Anything barbecued.

RRP $30 | Drink to 2026 |

2019 Plan B! TV Tempranillo Viognier

2020 Plan B! TV Tempranillo Viognier 

Tempranillo and viognier from 20-year-old vines grown at 220m altitude on north facing slopes of the Ferguson Valley, in WA's Geographe region. Picked on March 19 and 21, 2020 at 14 baumé. The tempranillo was machine-harvested and the viognier was hand-harvested, then pressed with 10% whole bunches and left on skins for eight days. Innoculated with Clos yeast and matured for 20 months. A 2.5% highlight addition of lees worked, barrel matured viognier adding aromatics, texture and polish. Dry wit and brooding stare flirting openly with a splash of sexy viognier (the life of the party). Rusty on one side, shiny on the flip side.

H. How would you describe this tempranillo blend to someone who has never tried it before?
Winemaker Vanessa Carson says: This tempranillo eschews the characteristic rusticity that tempranillo often shows for a wine that is more medium-bodied, fresher and fruit driven in style. We add a small (2%) amount of viognier to the wine, to help lift the aromatics as well enhance the fruit concentration on the palate.

Suggested food pairing: Slow-cooked lamb ragu.

RRP $33 | Drink to 2030 |

2021 Samuel's Gorge Tempranillo

2021 Samuel's Gorge Tempranillo

The 2021 tempranillo is a medium bodied, textural wine. It is more lifted and ethereal than previous vintages with aromas of forest fruits, juicy mulberry and cherry cola. It has an underlying earthiness of tobacco and dusty boot strap that grounds the lighter, lifted notes with fine tannins and a bright, balanced acidity.

H. How would you describe this tempranillo to someone who has never tried it before?
Winemaker Justin McNamee says: This tempranillo is made from a vineyard constantly touched by sea breeze – producing small grapes akin to ball bearings packed full of flavour. The resulting wine is bright and textural, with lashings of fresh cherry and an underlying earthiness. This medium-bodied, savoury leaning wine will be perfectly at home on your dinner table.

Suggested food pairing: Pair with roasted Kangaroo rump, pickled beetroot and seasonal greens.

RRP $40 | Drink to 2030 |

2021 Weathercraft Tempranillo J (Joven)

2021 Weathercraft Tempranillo J (Joven)

Deep cherry red with violet hues and intense aromas of juicy, dark cherries and red cranberries. Smooth tannins frame the overall palate. Slightly savoury, with an interplay of dried herbs and meat juices, intermingled with ripe fruits. The acidity is well balanced and the finish quite long, completing the picture for a deliciously enjoyable drop.

H. How would you describe this tempranillo to someone who has never tried it before?
Winemaker and viticulturist Raquel Jones says: Imagine a super juicy, rich, pinot noir with a touch more oomph, and you have yourself a joven (young) tempranillo.

Suggested food pairing: Grilled meats, charcuterie or pizza. This vegan wine is equally delicious with grilled mushrooms, chickpea curry or eggplant moussaka. Or try it with a salad of cooled, roasted vegetables with crumbled feta and toasted almonds.

RRP $38 | Drink to 2029 |

Learn more about tempranillo in our essential guide.
This article was produced by Halliday Wine Companion in partnership with the featured wineries.
Top image credit: Samuel's Gorge