Facebook friends voted and the Grape Miniseries won for the topic this week! So for the first podcast of 2013 we tackle the King of the Spanish reds: Tempranillo. It has more...and less... to it than meets the eye.
After lots of wonderful thanks and fun comments, we get to this fascinating, native Spanish grape. A few notes on it...
- The grape is from northern Spanish and gets its name from “Temprano” which means early, since it ripens 2 weeks before Rioja's other important grape – Garnacha
- The wine is deep-colored, lower in acid and alcohol, and has amazing ageability but a lot of times it's kind of bland on flavor. If it's got any flavor it's kind of like berries, plum, tobacco, vanilla, leather, and herbs. It can be a lot better in a blend, as the folks in Rioja can tell you.
- Climate and elevation is everything for Tempranillo -- it does best in cool climates and at elevation. Yields HAVE to be controlled to produce a good wine.
- We say it a few times, but the Tempranillo grape itself often lacks character, but it's lower alcohol, lower acid, great color, and earthy notes contribute great things to a blend.
- We cover some history -- from the Phoenicians to the Conquistadores, from jug wine to pilgrimages.
After that dork out, we hit the regions around the world...
- Spain: Rioja, Penedes, Valdepeñas, Ribera del Duero, Navarra, Castilla-La Mancha, Toro
- Portugal: Douro, Alentejo
- Argentina: The grape is called Tempranilla and it's kind of lean and mean
- California and it's highs and lows
A quick bit on pairing and we're done! Hope you enjoy!
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