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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 2020 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.

Premium: Transforming Tempranillo

Premium: Beyond Spain: Tempranillo around the world

Results from the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) are exemplar of this experimentation and growth of plantings worldwide with award-winning examples coming from Argentina and Australia to Mexico, Morocco, Moldova, Greece and Turkey.

Spain, however, remains Tempranillo’s mainstay with almost 700 wines – varietal or blended – awarded a medal at DWWA 2020.

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 Costers del Segre and Castilla y Léon, 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 2020 Co-Chair and Spanish wine expert Sarah Jane Evans MW commented, ‘For me, Spain is the most exciting country in the world so I come as a convert, but I think I can convert anyone.

‘I think of the judging I’ve done so far, all over Spain, each flight supports something super great… and then the classics, you know, eventually you get to taste the classics and you are like, Wow, this blows me away. It’s been a great voyage.’

Search all DWWA 2020 results from Spain

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 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards, we highlight the competition’s 95+ point varietal Tempranillo wines, plus tasting notes from the expert DWWA judges…

DWWA 2020: Top Tempranillo wines

(All wines below are 100% Tempranillo. Select the wine of interest for additional wine details and stockists)

Heredad Pangua Sodupe, Tempranillo, Crianza, Rioja, Spain 2016

Platinum, 97 points
Stupendous toast, sweet spice, vanilla and coffee nose. Dark plums and vanilla dominate the palate. Rich and sweet-fruited, complex and very classic. Youthful, unshackled glory; deliciously well played.

Marqués de Riscal, Barón de Chirel, Reserva, Rioja, Spain 2016

Platinum, 97 points
Fascinating savoury, tomato leaf and red fruit nose. Rich, voluptuous, very concentrated, with plenty of graphite and concentrated black fruit. Showy, very wooded but in the modern style with abundant primary fruit. A real masterpiece of control.

Virtus, Alma, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2014

Platinum, 97 points
Stylish wine with a stunning nutmeg and red fruit nose. The palate displays generous, very well-handled oak and gushing blackcurrant and bramble fruit flavours. Zippy and svelte with a long, layered, creamy finish. Perfection in a glass.

Bodegas Rodero, Carmelo Rodero, Pago de Valtarreña, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2016

Gold, 96 points
Glamorous toffee, cocoa, molasses and prune nose. Rich and opulent, with a brocade of red berry fruits garnished with spice and toasty oak. Opens a conversation that will continue for some time to come.

Finca La Rinconada, Barcolobo Lacrimae Rerum, Castilla y Léon, Spain 2019

Gold, 96 points
You can’t say no to a wine such as this with complex grapefruit, wild strawberry, citrus, herby and floral scents. It’s crisp on the palate with a pink grapefruit and redcurrant core, great texture and a long finish.

Bodegas Cornelio Dínastía, Cornelio Imperial Autor, Rioja, Spain 2016

Gold, 95 points
Inviting camphor, clove, cinnamon spice and vanilla bouquet. The tannins are huge at this stage but have a velvety texture. The freshness carries through to the finish. Will richly repay patience

La Luz Del Duero, Cinema Paraiso, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2015

Gold, 95 points
Sweet black fruit and oriental spice dominate the nose. There is an interesting salty and umami note here, too. Very dense and deeply-flavoured on the palate with chunky tannins and spicy oak. Needs time.

Familia Torres, La Carbonera, Las Pisadas, Rioja, Spain 2016

Gold, 95 points
Inviting aromas of fennel and thyme alongside sweet spice from oak and a raspberry coulis undertone. Fresh and juicy with velvety tannins and a complex and layered profile. The finish is textbook quality. Bravo!

La Rioja Alta, The Society’s Exhibition, Reserva, Rioja, Spain 2013

Gold, 95 points
Complex tanned leather, wild strawberry and aged wood bouquet. The palate is super fresh and still full of red fruit. Refreshing acidity complements the strawberry fruit and silky tannins. Long and supple.

Marqués de la Concordia, Reserva, Rioja, Spain 2015

Gold, 95 points
Polished, evolved yet with plenty of lively fruit on the nose; very pleasant Rioja with subtle balance. Delicious, with good fruit on the length and will keep. Persistent cherry fruit finish.

Nuntium, De Rodrigo, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2015

Gold, 95 points
Attractive and warming nose of Christmas spices and sandalwood, alongside vivid black cherry and blackberry fruit. Dense and structured palate with layered fruit and warm spice notes, as well as subtle coffee bean and liquorice notes.

Protos, 27, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2017

Gold, 95 points
Wonderful raisin, creamy vanilla, caramel and cherry aromatics. Bright orange peel fruit on the palate where a lick of sassy vanillan oak and grippy tannin stamps added authority. It’s long, distinguished and eminently food-friendly.

Valduero, Gran Reserva, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2011

Gold, 95 points
A supremely elegant, well-integrated and powerful effort at the summit of its achievements. Clean, satisfying drinking with bags of savoury, sweet, ripe and bottle-derived tertiary flavours and complexities. Bravo!

See all DWWA 2020 results

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