International Tempranillo Day 2018

Tempting Tempranillos

Hot on the heels of International Merlot Day it’s International Tempranillo Day on November 8th, and with it no doubt some special offers in the supermarkets.

Our Wotwine experts have picked out some of the best value wines to look out for.

Tempranillo is a high quality and versatile variety and now accounts for around 40% of red vine plantings in Spain.  In the past, you rarely saw it on the front label but it’s the workhorse variety in Rioja, Toro and Ribera del Duero, where it is known as Tinto Fino.  It is also grown widely in Portugal under the local names of Tinta Roriz and Aragones, the later indicating its origins in North East Spain.


First, one of the new generation of Tempranillos, from La Mancha, south of Madrid.  This vast, arid plain south of Madrid was traditionally the source of grapes for Spanish brandy and cheap Cava but, increasingly, higher quality varieties like Tempranillo are being planted.  This is an approachable, wine and offers genuinely good value.

Sainsburys Phantom River Tempranillo

Phantom River Tempranillo 2017 🇪🇸
From: Sainsbury’s
Price: £5.00
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £6.00
Tasting note: Clean, juicy, fruity wine with ripe plum fruit and an easy drinking, friendly character.


The second wine is also labelled Tempranillo and, unusually for a bottle labelled simply “Wine of Spain” rather than a specific region, it has some bottle age which delivers some added complexity.

Morrisons-Castillo del Sabio Tempranill

Castillo del Sabio Tempranillo 2013 🇪🇸
From: Morrisons
Price: £5.75 (2 for £10 until 06/11/2018)
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £6.00
Tasting note: Rustic, genuine wine with lighter bramble fruit, dried herbs and fallen leaves.


The heart of Tempranillo country remains Rioja and this is a Crianza, which means it must have been aged for at least 24 months, including 12 months in oak barrels, in this case traditional American oak which famously gives a vanilla and even coconut aroma to the wine.

 IcelandBurgo viejo crianza

Burgo Viejo Crianza 🇪🇸
From: Iceland
Price: £7.25
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £7.50
Tasting note: Traditional style, with spicy, sweet oak, balsamic notes and savoury red fruits.


Rioja Riservas are a step up in quality and have to be aged for 36 months, again including 12 months in oak.  This is well-priced and an example of the more mature style.  Tesco is moving from the 2012 to 2013 vintage so you may find both on the shelf.

Tesco Finest Vina de Cura Rioja Reserva Tempranillo

Tesco Finest Vina de Cura Rioja Reserva 2013 🇪🇸
From: Tesco
Price: £8.50
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £9.00
Tasting note: Well made, fully mature, soft wine with good red fruits, warm baking spices, leather and toffee character. Ready to drink now.


The top Riojas are Gran Reserva. They have to be aged for 60 months prior to release, including 24 months in oak.  That is expensive, which is reflected in the price, but this remains Fair Value and is a high quality wine.

Waitrose El Piadoso Rioja Gran Reserva

El Piadoso Rioja Gran Reserva 2008 🇪🇸
From: Waitrose
Price: £16.99
The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £17.00
Tasting note: Well made, mature wine with red cherries, red plums and elegant oak usage. Drink now!

So enjoy International Tempranillo Day 2018 – Next up it’s Beaujolais Nouveau day on 15 November.

*Note – Prices and availability correct at time of research, we cannot guarantee that all stores stock the listed items and price may vary or be subject to change.