Blend of Tempranillo and Graciano.
Delicate. Expressive. Elegant. Lively. Fresh.
Tempranillo (also known as Ull de Llebre, Cencibel, Tinto Fino and Tinta del Pais in Spain, Aragonez or Tinta Roriz in Portugal, and several other synonyms elsewhere) is a black grape variety widely grown to make full-bodied red wines in its native Spain. Its name is the diminutive of the Spanish temprano (“early”), a reference to the fact that it ripens several weeks earlier than most Spanish red grapes. Tempranillo has been grown on the Iberian Peninsula since the time of Phoenician settlements. It is the main grape used in Rioja, and is often referred to as Spain’s noble grape. The grape has been planted throughout the globe’s wine regions.
In 2015, Tempranillo was the fourth most widely planted wine grape variety worldwide with 574,670 acres under vine, of which 87% was in Spain where it is the most planted red grape variety.
Unlike more aromatic red wine varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Pinot noir, Tempranillo has a relatively neutral profile so it is often blended with other varieties, such as Grenache and Carignan (known in Rioja as Mazuelo), or aged for extended periods in oak where the wine easily takes on the flavor of the barrel. Varietal examples of Tempranillo usually exhibit flavors of plum and strawberries.
Tempranillo is an early ripening variety that tends to thrive in chalky vineyard soils such as those of the Ribera del Duero region of Spain. In Portugal, where the grape is known as Tinto Roriz and Aragonez, it is blended with others to produce port wine.
Tempranillo is a black grape with a thick skin. It grows best at relatively high altitudes, but it also can tolerate a much warmer climate. With regard to Tempranillo’s production in various climates, wine expert Oz Clarke notes:
To get elegance and acidity out of Tempranillo, you need a cool climate. But to get high sugar levels and the thick skins that give deep color you need heat. In Spain these two opposites are best reconciled in the continental climate but high altitude of the Ribera del Duero.
In the Ribera del Duero the average July temperature is around 70.5° Fahrenheit, though temperatures in the middle of the day in the lower valley can jump as high as 104 °F. At night the region experiences a dramatic diurnal temperature variation, with temperatures dropping by as much as 30 °F from the daytime high. The Tempranillo grape is one of the few grapes that can adapt and thrive in continental Mediterranean climates like this.Pests and diseases are a serious problem for this grape variety, since it has little resistance to either. The grape forms compact, cylindrical bunches of spherical, deep blue-black fruit with a colorless pulp. The leaves are large with five overlapping lobes. By Wikipedia.
Graciano is a Spanish red wine grape that is grown primarily in Rioja. The vine produces a low yield that are normally harvested in late October. The wine produced is characterized by its deep red color, strong aroma and ability to age well. Graciano thrives in warm, arid climates.
- In Australia, Graciano is used either in blends with Tempranillo or as varietal
- In France, the grape is grown in Languedoc-Roussillonas Morrastel or Courouillade
- In Spain, the grape produces low yields, but it’s a key component of Gran Reservas in Rioja and Navarra, contributing structure and aging potential. In the Rioja DO, 395 ha (0.7%) are planted with this variety.While primarily used as a blending partner, some Rioja bodegas produce varietal Graciano wines.
- In California, Graciano is sometimes known as Xeres.
- The grape is also grown in Argentina.
- In the US, Graciano is also grown in Oregon and Washington.
Pairing and Cellaring