Category Archives: Tempranillo

Tempranillo and blends

Ramón Roqueta Las Barracas Tempranillo – Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva 2017

Ramón Roqueta Las Barracas Tempranillo - Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva 2017This wine, Ramón Roqueta Las Barracas Tempranillo – Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva 2017, has perhaps the longest name of any wine we’ve reviewed here. It was a WSJ Wine Club selection, which, as part of their initial subscription offer, brought the price down to under $7 – a big savings from the average $17 price reported by Vivino. Continue reading

Seven Red Table Wine

Seven Red Table Wine

Seven Red Table Wine

Price: $19
Maker: Bodegas Osborne, Malpica de Tajo, Spain
Varietal: Red Blend
Packaging: 3-liter box
Alcohol: 13.5%
Our Rating: 8.6 out of 10

Seven Red Table Wine is one of the newer boxes available in mass distribution. It’s from Spain, it’s in a cool octagonal bag-in-box package, and it’s surprisingly good. Seven is so named because it’s a blend of seven red grapes, with Tempranillo being the largest component. It’s not too complex, but offers a pleasant mix of chocolate cherries and a little black pepper. The tannins are soft, and the finish reasonably long. Continue reading

Campobarro Tempranillo

Price: $21
Maker: San Marcos Winery, Almendralejo, Extremadura, Spain
Varietal: Tempranillo
Packaging: 3-liter box
Alcohol: 13.5%
Our Rating: 8.3 out of 10

Campobarro Tempranillo 3LSlowly but surely, more interesting boxed wines are appearing on store shelves. A good example is Campobarro Tempranillo (non-vintage) from Spain. This is the first Spanish Tempranillo I’ve seen in a box. Like many inexpensive Tempranillos, this is a fine, if undistinguished, table wine. It has a fruity nose, with red berries and medium tannins on the palate. It’s not overly complex and the finish isn’t memorable, but for the equivalent of less than six bucks a bottle it’s very drinkable.

The wine is labeled as “Vino de la Tierra Extremadura,” indicating that it is from the Extremadura region of western Spain. The winery seems to be Bodega San Marcos, and the importer San Antonio-based Makin Wines International. The San Marcos website doesn’t reveal too much about the winery, sadly, and I haven’t seen any other boxed products from them.

Don’t expect to wow your oenophile friends with this one, but if you are looking for a chance of pace from the more common-seen boxes of California Cabs and Australian Shirazes, Campobarro Tempranillo may be just the ticket.

Tempra Tantrum 2008 Tempranillo/Cabernet

Price: $9
Maker: Osborne Seleccion SA, Toledo, Spain
Varietal: Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, screw cap
Alcohol: 13.5%
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10

In an age when wine names are often cute or funny, Tempra Tantrum 2008 Tempranillo/Cabernet scores big on the cuteness scale. The wine itself isn’t bad either. This blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon is very juicy, with spicy blackberry and raspberry notes on the front end. There’s a hint of chocolate in there, too, followed by a long-lasting tannic finish. This isn’t a complex wine, but it’s highly drinkable and fine for party or picnic fare.

According to the Tempra Tantrum website, this Cab mashup is one of four Tempranillo blends offered by 6th-generation winemaker Rocio Osborne. The website describes the aging process, or lack thereof:

Once fermentation is complete the wine is aged for a short time using a cutting edge technique called micro-oxygenation, which softens the wine and brightens the fruit flavors. Because the wines are made in such a novel soft/gentle style, they require minimum bottle-aging.

They describe the wine as stylish and modern, which I interpret as “not too challenging for the casual wine-drinker.”

Not everyone likes this wine. The Wine Cask Blog thought that, “overwhelming bitter acids and unbalanced blanching tannins make this actually unpleasant.” Ugh, bad bottle, I guess. The Kitchn had better luck, reporting the whole Tempra Tantrum line to be tasty and well balanced. In the Cab blend, they found “Classic cassis and blackberry aromas, with earthy, peppery notes. Vibrant flavors, ripe but slightly firmer tannins.”

For $8-$10 bucks, you shouldn’t go too far wrong with Tempra Tantrum 2008 Tempranillo/Cabernet. It’s a crowd pleaser with a terminally cute (but clever) name.

Fuente del Ritmo Tempranillo 2004

Fuente del Ritmo TempranilloPrice: $9
Maker: Bodegas Centro Espanolas, SA, Tomelloso, Spain
Varietal: Tempranillo
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Alcohol: 13%
Our Rating: 8 out of 10

Fuente del Ritmo Tempranillo 2004 has a fairly dark garnet color and an aroma of cherries, vanilla, and chalk. The flavor is fruity, with black cherry and currant notes, leading into a finish with lots of tannins and a bit of pepper. This wine should definitely be allowed to breathe – out of the bottle, even with a bit of air, the wine was somewhat harsh. Time and breathing mellowed it out into a smoother and more balanced structure. The fruit notes strengthened, while the acidity was muted. After breathing, the wine remains quite dry, but is far more drinkable.

This is a wine we couldn’t learn much about on the Web. It was apparently awarded 87 points by Wine Advocate, but hasn’t received blogging attention.

Funky Llama Tempranillo 2004

Funky LlamaPrice: $9
Maker: Funky Llama
Variety: Tempranillo
Packaging: Bottle, artificial cork
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Tempranillo tends to be a lighter wine than many other reds, but Funky Llama Tempranillo 2004 is no wimpy wine. It has a prominent raspberry jam nose. On the palate, it’s juicy but well balanced, with red berries and cherries up front and a lengthy finish that’s a bit spicy and tart. This Tempranillo has a lot of character, and will stand up to heavier fare than most examples of this varietal.

Funky Llama has a nice marketing approach – a cute name suggestive of South America, brightly-colored neon corks, and drinkable wines. Not a bad approach in a crowded market for cheap wines.

Manyana Tempranillo 2005

Manyana TempranilloPrice: $7
Maker: Bodegas San Valero Soc. Coop, Cariñena, Spain
Varietal: Tempranillo
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Alcohol: 12.5%
Our Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Manyana Tempranillo 2005 is a surprisingly light shade of red in the glass, and has a mild fruit nose with berries and licorice. The wine is light-bodied, starting with cherries and strawberries leading into a moderately dry finish. This wine wasn’t particularly to my taste – light, dry reds just aren’t in my sweet spot (no pun intended, of course).

Manyana Tempranillo is imported by the ubiquitous Prestige Wine Group – they also offer a Crianza and a Shiraz from this winery.

Santana Tempranillo 2004

Santana TempranilloPrice: $9
Maker: Bodegas Victorianas, Spain
Varietal: Tempranillo
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Alcohol: 13%
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10

We tried Santana Tempranillo 2004 as part of Wine Blogging Wednesday #35. For WBW #35, Passionate Spain, our assignment was to try a wine from Spain, preferably under $10.

We found Santana Tempranillo had a very nice licorice and raspberry nose with some spicy and woody notes. On the palate, this wine was light-to-medium-bodied. It wasn’t overly fruity, with dark berries yielding to herbal, woody flavors; mild pepper and prominent tannins dominated the slightly acidic finish. This wine was a bit less fruity than we usually find in wines in this price range, but was surprisingly accessible and well balanced. This wine grew on us, and we found it to be more sophisticated than one might expect for a $5 wine. All in all, Santana Tempranillo is a great value, particularly if you are looking for a red that’s a bit less fruity than similarly priced California or Aussie wines.

Santana Tempranillo is made by Bodegas Victorianas, part of the Spanish firm Grupo Faustino. We couldn’t learn too much about Bodegas Victorianas from their website. It appears that this Tempranillo is part of their New Santana line; they also have Don Hugo, Don Darias, and Santana Classic lines. We don’t see all that much Spanish wine in our local shops; if Santana Tempranillo is an indication of what they can produce in a bottle that retails for $5 (in a strong Euro environment to boot), these wines have a lot of potential. Can “Two Peseta Pedro” be far from reality? 😉 (I know Euros are now standard, but I couldn’t come up with a good nickname to fit “Two Euro ____” – suggestions are welcome!)

Santana Tempranillo 2004 is a pleasant wine that’s a steal at $5, and offers a distinctly different flavor when compared to New World wines in the same price range.

WBW #35 – Passionate Spain

We were happy to see Michelle from My Wine Education’s straightforward selection for Wine Blogging Wednesday #35 – “Passionate Spain.” In addition to leaving the field wide open – a wine from Spain – Michelle encouraged us to select a bottle that cost under $10 – definitely in our preferred “affordable” category here at Box Wines.

Santana TempranilloFor the first time in recent memory, we didn’t have to make a last minute run to the wine shop to find something suitable for this month’s WBW challenge. We had just returned from our Trader Joe’s expedition, and just happened to have a bottle of Santana Tempranillo 2004 in our mixed case. It cost about $5 – just about as affordable as you can get outside of Two Buck Chuck. We haven’t blogged about this varietal much at all. The only one we’ve tried lately has been Infinitus Tempranillo 2004, which we enjoyed. (The Santana Tempranillo is actually a blend that includes 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.)

According to Wikipedia,

Tempranillo is a thick-skinned black grape used to make full-bodied red wines. It grows best in cooler regions as it does not tolerate hot or dry weather well. 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, purplish black fruit with a colourless pulp. The fruit is very dark in colour and forms a bead-like sphere for which it also carries the name of Ull de Llebre (Catalan for “Eye of the Hare”) in Catalunya, a major Tempranillo-growing region. It is known by a bewildering number of other names, usually after the region in which it is, or has been, grown.

Back to the Santana Tempranillo, we found it had a very nice licorice and raspberry nose with some spicy and woody notes. On the palate, this light-to-medium-bodied wine wasn’t overly fruity, with dark berries yielding to herbal, woody flavors; pepper and prominent tannins dominated the slightly acidic finish. This wine was a bit less fruity than we are used to, but was surprisingly accessible and well balanced. This wine grew on us, and we found it to be more sophisticated than one might expect for a $5 wine. We scored it at 8.5 out of ten, which on our scale means we liked it quite a bit and would buy it again. All in all, Santana Tempranillo is a great value, particularly if you are looking for a red that’s a bit less fruity than inexpensive California or Aussie wines.

Santana Tempranillo is bottled by Bodegas Victorianas, part of the Spanish firm Grupo Faustino. (Architecture buffs may be interested in the fact that Grupo Faustino has engaged renowned architect Norman Foster to design their latest winery.)

Kudos to Lenn Thompson for launching WBW and keeping it organized and thriving. We enjoyed this month’s straightforward WBW challenge that encouraged us to try something different in a very affordable price range – we’re looking forward to some of the other great finds by WBW bloggers this month!

Infinitus Tempranillo 2005

Infinitus TempranilloPrice: $9
Maker: CIV USA (Importer)
Varietal: Tempranillo
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Alcohol: 14%
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Infinitus Tempranillo 2005 is a tasty Spanish red wine that offers a great value for under $10. Its aroma is spicy berries with a subtle leather note. The flavor starts off with lots of juicy blackberry and plum flavors, and segues into spice and oak notes with a dry, almost astringent, finish. This combination makes Infinitus Tempranillo more interesting than the typical fruit bomb red wine. We liked this wine a little better than the Infinitus Cabernet Sauvignon – Tempranillo 3004 we tried last year.

Tempranillo is an uncommon varietal in the U.S. It’s native to Spain, and is used to make a variety of wines including the moderately well known Rioja wines. According to the wine’s data sheet, the grapes hail from “the great plains of Central Spain (yes this is where the rain in
Spain falls mainly…) is actually the largest wine growing region in the world. Larger in fact, than Australia and Chile combined!” There are actually six Infinitus wines, all reds except for Infinitus Chardonnay. We’ve only seen two or three of them in our local stores, but we may hunt down a couple of the others.