Tempranillo (Red) [temp-rah-NEE-yo] means "little early one", a name given to it by Spanish growers who observed its habit of ripening earlier than Garnacha, its traditional Spanish blending partner. Tempranillo may be an Old World grape, but producers there are taking the New World’s lead when it comes to bottle labeling. It is increasingly common to see Tempranillo proudly displayed on wine labels in conjunction with the more traditional geographical indicator.
Tempranillo is capable of greatness in the best Rioja. It can make a full-bodied wine, but tends to be a bit lighter than Syrah or Cabernet, producing beautiful red fruits which have a supple and caressing texture and lovely aromatic complexity which brings Pinot Noir to mind.