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Grape Varieties


Glossary terms

Tannat (red)

Deep-hued, intense, spicy red known best for the wines of Madiran in south-west France, but also the foundation of Uruguay's best reds and grown in Argentina

 

Tempranillo (red)

Spain's most important quality red variety, forming the backbone of Rioja and Ribera del Duero, where it's known as Tinto Fino (other synonyms include Ull de Llebre, Tinta del Pais, Tinta de Toro, Cencibel and, in Portugal, Aragonês and Tinta Roriz).

Capable of making juicy young reds as well as serious, well-structured, fine, oak-aged reds with vanilla, tobacco spice and strawberry flavours, usually blended with Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano, but sometimes made on its own. One of the major red varieties of Argentina and grown also in Languedoc-Roussillon, California and Australia.

What does it taste like?

  • strawberry flavours
  • a veneer of vanilla and tobacco-spice


  • The mainstay of Rioja and a host of other Spanish reds, TEMPRANILLO is a versatile grape which is equally well used to making juicy young strawberryish reds as well as more serious, oak-aged reds with a veneer of vanilla, liquorice and tobacco spice characters overlaying the strawberry flavours. Like SANGIOVESE, it can be very savoury, a quality often defined as tobacco leaf, and it becomes leathery with age.

Teroldego (red)

A red variety from Trentino, aka Teroldego Rotaliano, which is deep-hued and capable of producing lively, juicy, Italian Beaujolais-style reds.

 

Tinta Barroca (red)

This is a robust Portuguese variety used as a blender in port but also popular in South Africa and known in Australia too.

 

Tinto Cao (red)

One of the rarest, high quality port grapes grown in the Douro Valley, highly prized for its spicy character.

 

Tocai Friulano (white)

No relation to the Hungary's Tokaji or Alsace's tokay Pinot gris, tocai friulano, also known as Sauvignon vert or Sauvignonasse, is at its best in the hills of Friuli, where it makes a refreshingly crisp, nutty dry white style.

 

Torrontes (white)

Fragrant, grapey, Muscat-like Spanish variety common in Argentina, to which it may have been originally transported from Galicia.

 

Touriga Francesa (red)

This scented red is one of the five main grape varieties grown in the Douro Valley to make port and also good in the Trás-os-Montes region of Portugal.

 

Touriga Nacional (red)

Although not widely known as a varietal, this rare, small-berried, dark-skinned Portuguese variety is nevertheless the highest quality grape that goes into the Douro Valley melting pot.

It is mainly blended with Touriga Francesa, Tinto Cão, Tinta Barroca and Tinta Roriz. Still in Portugal, it' also one of the major grapes of Dão and is grown in Australia, where it's known simply as Touriga.

Trebbiano (white)

The most widely planted white variety in Italy, quantity does not however bring quality in its wake.

It's an insipid variety, known in France as Ugni Blanc, where its use as the basis for brandy (as in Mexico too) speaks volumes. There are a handful of producers however, most notably in Lugana and Abruzzo, who, thanks to low-yields and careful winemaking, manage to squeeze some Chardonnay-like character out of this ubiquitous vine. Widely planted too in Argentina, South Africa and Australia.

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