Tempranillo features flavors of red fruits like sweet strawberries and tart cherries, backed by a rustic edge. Tempranillo takes well to oak, and many Spanish wines from this grape will spend a few years in barrel and bottle before reaching the consumer. Spanish wine laws are very specific about ageing wine, both in barrel and bottle. Many Tempranillo-based wines see a few years of oak – add that to a few years of bottle and the wine can give a subtle – and occasionally not-so-subtle – leathery mouthfeel. The combination of the tart fruit and tannins make this wine very food friendly. Additionally, Tempranillo blends well with Garnacha, a match particularly popular in Ribera del Duero. Some winemakers in Australia are also experimenting (quite successfully as we’ve tasted) with Tempranillo plantings, as are those in California and other New World regions.