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Top Tempranillo wines of the Decanter World Wine Awards

To celebrate International Tempranillo Day, we highlight the top-scoring 100% Tempranillo wines, all 95+ points, from the 2021 Decanter World Wine Awards.

Tempranillo, Spain’s most important red grape variety, is versatile – capable of producing juicy, red-fruit driven young wines as well as wines that can withstand long ageing periods in oak, gaining complexity with layers of vanilla, leather, tobacco spice and liquorice.

Considered native to Rioja, Tempranillo is now a key variety in Spain’s most prominent wine regions, notably Ribera del Duero where it is known as Tinto Fino, and with its popularity worldwide, Tempranillo is now grown in wine regions across the world.

Scroll down to see tasting notes for the 95+ point Tempranillo wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards

Results from the 2021 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) are exemplar of this experimentation and growth of plantings worldwide, with award-winning examples coming from New Zealand, Australia and the US to Mexico, Morocco, Moldova, Portugal, Turkey and Ukraine.

Spain, however, remains Tempranillo’s mainstay with almost 750 wines – varietal or blended – awarded a medal at DWWA 2021.

While a majority of the competition’s top-scoring Tempranillo wines come from Rioja and Ribera del Duero, award-winning examples, including 95+ point Tempranillo wines from Cigales and Arlanza, can be found throughout many of Spain’s wine regions.

Tempranillo grape variety

Tempranillo is an authorised grape variety in more than 25 Designations of Origin in Spain. Of these, 12 DOCs consider Tempranillo their main or preferred variety.

During judging month, DWWA 2021 judge Aleesha Hansel commented, ‘From Spain, I was really impressed with Cigales and Arlanza, both for really great Tempranillo. Located near Ribera del Duero, the regions are in the shadow of Ribera, but actually, there are some fantastic wines coming from there; Toro as well.

‘I think sometimes certain regions can be dismissed as being one thing or stereotyped as being another, but coming here and being able to taste such a wide range really shows the quality, what’s up and coming and the experimentation of it all.’

Search all DWWA 2021 results for Tempranillo wines

While Tempranillo excels when blended with other varieties, to celebrate International Tempranillo Day and narrow an incredible list of top-scoring Tempranillo wines from the 2021 Decanter World Wine Awards, we highlight the competition’s 95+ point varietal wines, plus tasting notes from the expert DWWA judges…

DWWA 2021: Top Tempranillo wines

Bodegas Santa Rufina, Viña Rufina Tempranillo, Cigales, Spain 2019

Value Platinum, 97 points
Bright, vivid red fruit appeal, with bags of energy and vitality, power and warmth. Shows great concentration without being too wild. An altogether supremely satisfying glass of wine that isn’t tiring or overbearing. A great price too. Outstanding!

Cillar de Silos, La Viña De Amalio Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2016

Platinum, 97 points
Lovely herbal nose. Nicely oaked with layers of spice and herbs, fine, firm tannins, considerable length and a sure-footed finish. Good acidity for a Ribera too. This wine will age well for many years. Impressive offering.

Eguren Ugarte, Anastasio Tempranillo, Rioja, Spain 2017

Platinum, 97 points
Divine dark berry, chocolate, earth and blackcurrant aromas. Round and juicy with silky tannins and poised acid. Some black fruits, tar and chalky minerals on the long, savoury finish. A stunning mouthful which has some way to go.

Valduero, 6 Años, Reserva, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2014

Platinum, 97 points
You want more? This will give it to you in spades starting with a stunning toasty oak, coffee, creamy, blackberry bouquet. The palate is super supple and rounded with plush tannins. Very well done indeed. Finishes lengthily. A very compelling wine.

Alvides, Tercera Generación, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2018

Gold, 96 points
Lots of wood and cocoa on the nose. Palate is concentrated, juicy and spicy with balsamic sweet oak and black fruit notes. Still young but can be enjoyed now as the tannins are ripe and well integrated. Bravo!

Bodega Ascension Repiso Bocos, Veronica Salgado Viñas Viejas Vino De Autor, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2018

Gold, 96 points
Rich and opulent with plenty of dark fruits, mocha, chocolate and coconut. Rich and concentrated, with oak very well integrated, plenty of bramble fruit and spices; layered and complex. Superb!

Hammeken, Oráculo, Crianza, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2015

Gold, 96 points
Rich and heady sweet spice, tobacco leaf and ripe black fruit bouquet. Intense and spicy on entry but with refreshing acidity, complex and concentrated black fruits, well-integrated oak and chocolaty tannins. Long, creamy finish.

Pata Negra, Tempranillo, Crianza, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2018

Gold, 96 points
Pretty floral and spice aromas. Lovely ripe fruit on the palate: red cherry, strawberry, vanilla and toast. Great expression of Crianza, generous and classy. Terrific value. Steak please!

Torre del Conde de Hervías, Rioja, Spain 2015

Gold, 96 points
Classy offering with a no-expense spared approach. Discreet oak with layers of ripe fruit, alcoholic power, well-managed, sandy-grained tannins. Powerful, impressive, modern and not like a traditional Rioja at all.

Trus, Crianza, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2018

Gold, 96 points
A plush and fabulous expression of variety and provenance with well-integrated alcohol, tannin and acidity. Will continue for several years and mellow. Be warned – one glass will be quickly followed by the next.

Bodegas Pinea Del Duero, 17 by Pinea, Crianza, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2018

Gold, 95 points
Expressive ripe raspberry fruit, cinnamon and vanilla nose. Palate is firmly structured and multi-layered, with lovely purity, ripe and round tannins and really good persistence of flavour. Well made and stylish.

Buezo, Nattan Reserva, Arlanza, Spain 2005

Gold, 95 points
Dark fruit-scented style with some serious layers of baking spices and black and blue fruits. Shows a remarkable strength, some serious depth and well-integrated alcohol and oak. Drink soon.

Condado de Haza, Reserva, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2018

Gold, 95 points
Bags of fruit and lovely purity here! Dense bramble fruit and new oak nose. Superb structure, well-integrated alcohol and fine tannins. Good texture on the palate and a fine, complete finish.

Portia, Summa, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2018

Gold, 95 points
Huge, muscular wine with a swathe of sweet oak. Spice and incense dominate the palate. There is a core of dark, plummy fruit, with smooth tannins. Needs time. Great potential though!

Valduero, Una Cepa Premium, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2011

Gold, 95 points
Huge palate, full of fruit liqueur, oatmeal cookies, dried herbs and sweet spices. Flavours go on and on. Balanced and memorable. Still youthful, too. Much promise here. Bravo!

Valduero, Tierra Alta en 2 Maderas, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2018

Gold, 95 points
Wet stone, flint and raspberry jam nose. Palate has lovely fruit concentration, with layers of spice and lifted herbal notes intermingling with mocha and liquorice on the finish. Beautifully complex and more to come.

Search all DWWA 2021 results

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