Synonym: Tempranillo de Rioja, Tinto Fino, Cencibel, Tinto de Madrid, Ull de Llebre, Ojo de Liebre, Tinto de Pais, Tinta Roriz (Portugal), Valdepenas (USA).
Commonly mistaken for: Carignan, Negretto.
Origin: Variety of Spanish red grape, native of the Rioja. Where it covers an important role in the most famous and characteristic wines in this zone; it is cultivated all over the world in many experimental vineyards. The name probably derives from the Spanish word "temprano", which when translated means: precocious, referring to it’s maturation. Not always suited to the warm regions because of the low acidity of its must.
Agronomic and environmental aspects: Adaptable to any type of soil and climate but having a preference for sunny exposures. The production is medium. The traditional training system is "alberello" (sapling or small tree); it has a preference for a short pruning to spur.
Diseases, pests and disorders: Sensitive to botrytis, downy and powdery mildew. Not very sensitive to the spring frosts, but can be adversely affected by warm winds in spring time.
Growing Tip: open, cottony, of white colour with light reddish edges. (carminato)
Leaf: of large dimensions, 5-lobed, with lengthened central lobe. Has a closed U-shaped petiolar sinus, superior side sinuses with overlapped edges, while inferior are deep. The leaves often have a pale, limp appearance provoked by the hairs and by the undulated surface.
Bunch: medium-large, compact, lengthened, of cylindrical form with one wing.
Berry: of medium dimensions, spherical, with thick skin of blue-black colour.
- D8V12 :Davis clone; characterized by small bunches, of cylindrical-pyramidal form, low density of berries; the berry has medium dimension [1.47 g. 8/03/05], with a strong skin. Particularly sensitive during flowering to frosts, rains and dust storms that can cause alternation of production and “hen and chicken”.
Wine is an intense red in colour, very alcoholic, well-balanced, often low in acidity, develops well with ageing showing tobacco, spice and leather flavours. Its aromas and flavours often combine elements of berryish fruit, herbaceousness, and an earthy-leathery minerality. Rarely bottled as a stand-alone varietal, its most frequent blendmates are grenache, (Garnacha in Spain), Carignan (Mazuelo in Spain), Cabernet Sauvignon, Maccabčo, Monastrell and Graciano.