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Now that we are in harvest, we share with you some small monographs on the main varieties of grapes with which we make our wines. These case are going to start with the queen variety in red wines: Tempranillo.
The Tempranillo grape named after the diminutive of "early" because it matures weeks earlier than other red grapes.
Tempranillo is a grape variety with dark skin, which by their special characteristics, has become the backbone of some of the best wines from Spain and Portugal. Almost all red wines Valdepenas, Rioja and Ribera del Duero Tempranillo has at its core. Tempranillo has been adopted successfully in the New World, especially in California, Argentina and Australia.
Until recently, it was suspected that tempranillo was related to the pinot noir, but recent genetic studies tend to dismiss that possibility.
The Spanish culture of Vitis vinifera, the common ancestor of most of the vines that currently exist, soon started with the Phoenician settlement in the southern provinces of the Peninsula. Later, as the Roman writer Columella, the vine was cultivated throughout Spain, although there are only a few scattered to "tempranilla" name references. This may be because in many places, such as in the region of Valdepeñas, was the main indigenous variety and assumed it was a different grape.
An early reference to this grape is in the Book of Alexandre (XIII century), referring to the region of Ribera del Duero, which mentions the Castilian grapes by name:
Ally fallaría ommes las bonas cardeniellas
e las otras mejores que son las tempraniellas
Until the seventeenth century, the vines of Tempranillo type remained limited to where you were more suited to slightly cooler weather in the northern provinces continental Spain. Here the regions of La Rioja and Valdepeñas historically made of tempranillo their more important variety. The grapes were brought to America, possibly in seeds, with the Spanish colonizers of the seventeenth century, which has largely retained its genetic identity and still looks very much like their Spanish ancestors.
Due to its high sensitivity to diseases and pests, particularly phylloxera that devastated the vines in the nineteenth century and now threatens the vineyards, the Spanish tempranillo has often been grafted onto rootstocks more resistant, resulting in style slightly different from those today cultivated grapes in Chile and Argentina. Despite its apparent fragility, tempranillo traveled widely over the last century, after much trial and error, has been established in a surprising number of countries worldwide.
In 1905, Frederick Bioletti tempranilla led to California where he received a cold reception, not only due to the rising Prohibition, but also because the grapes do not like hot, dry climates. It was much later, during the 1980s when it began to bloom Californian wine production based on tempranillo, after establishing it in suitable mountainous areas. Production in this area has more than doubled since 1993.
Warm, sunny days allow grapes tempranillo, maturing completely, while cool nights help maintain the natural acid balance. The result is the achievement of bright, cheerful, fruity wines with the right balance of warmth and acidity, and this is where Tempranillo reaches its potential. It is no wonder, then, that the continental terroirs of Argentina and Australia have been the first regions of the New World to adopt Tempranillo.
As is the case with the Garnacha (Grenache), Tempranillo is well suited to cultivation under glass (strain), which is the way it has traditionally been grown in the Iberian Peninsula.
Tempranillo is a red grape with a thick, whose cluster mature skin with a beautiful blue-black. Clusters have cylindrical shape and are compact. The berries are spherical, purple black color with a colorless pulp. The berry is very dark and shaped sphere.
It is very safe in the mincemeat, very sensitive to pests and disease and not very resistant to drought and high temperatures. The grape is very susceptible to the weather as it is prone to balloon effect grapes. It retracts when there is drought and increases in size when humidity is high. This increase in size decreases the quality as a loss of color. The "balloon" effect is attenuated in clayey soils, because clay dosed moisture to the roots. Conversely, sandy soils favor the "balloon" effect. Similarly, the young vines of less than 12, who have the most shallow roots also favor the "balloon" effect.
The root of tempranillo easily absorbs potassium, which contributes to its low acidity. When absorbs too much potassium salt wort is what slows the disappearance of malic acid which results in a higher pH. The skin does not present any herbaceous character.
Escobera and chinchillana: Badajoz
Cencibel: Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Guadalajara.
Tinto Fino: Madrid.
Tinta de Toro Zamora.
Tinto del País: Burgos, Soria and Valladolid.
Tinto Madrid: Toledo, Salamanca, Cantabria, Soria, Valladolid.
Ull Lebre: Barcelona.
Valdepeñas: San Joaquin Valley (California-USA).
Tinta Roriz: Portugal.
The tempranillo, at optimum harvest yields crisp, dry wines in the mouth, unlike most Spanish varieties that have the warmth and review of reference. Very dignified aging of maintaining a harmonious balance between structure, color and acidity.
The oak and Tempranillo really goes well together. American oak, in particular integrates seamlessly with notes of vanilla and coconut imparted by the oak barrels. French oak barrels Tempranillo make shine with a focus more spicy flavors. As time passes the two styles are being consolidated and the consumer is being rewarded with more complex wines.
Organoleptic characteristics of Tempranillo's wines
Flavors: strawberry, plum, herbal, vanilla and snuff.
Flavors: strawberry, plum, herbal, vanilla and chocolate oak.
View: bright red, purple hues in its youth; tile color over the years.
Profile and character: full body, soft acidity and dry tannins.