Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Tempranillo has been planted so enthusiastically in Spain that it was the world’s fourth most popular wine grape variety in 2010. In some ways it is Spain’s answer to Cabernet Sauvignon, the vine variety that puts the spine into a high proportion of Spain’s most respected red wines, and is increasingly planted elsewhere. Its grapes are thick skinned and capable of making deep-coloured, long-lasting wines that are not, unusually for Spain, notably high in alcohol. Often replacing garnacha, bobal, or monastrell, it became the most popular red wine grape in Spain in the early 21st century and by 2011 was planted on a total of more than 206,000 ha/508,800 acres in virtually all regions except for those in the far south and north west, and challenged airén as the country’s most-planted variety of either colour.