To begin with a confession: when I started to study blind tasting, Tempranillo was the one red variety that I could rarely spot. Even now I sometimes have to circle round it and eliminate all the others first. Syrah, yes, Cabernet Sauvignon, always, Merlot and Pinot Noir or Nebbiolo, no problem. I can even make a calculated guess at Nerello Mascalese. The problem – for me at least – is that Tempranillo is Spain’s most widely planted red, and has many different profiles. Since Spain is a mountainous country, with seas on several sides, significant rivers and a mix of soils, there is exceptional diversity. No wonder the fruit character varies. Fresh cherry? Morello cherry? Cherry jam? Plum? Blackcurrant? Then there’s its savoury character: sweet spices, a slightly leathery feel, sometimes leafy. There can be a fine freshness too.