Tempranillo is Spain's premier and recently, most planted black grape. It is concentrated in the northern and central wine regions where its name varies among the different localities. In one of Spain's highly regarded regions for red wine, the Ribera del Duero, the grape is known as Tinto Fino.
Its concentration of flavour and intense personality is the result of the high altitude, with some vineyards at 850 metres. The high altitude can have a 20°C drop in temperature in summer nights. This cooling effect helps lengthen the ripening season and gives the vines in the Ribera del Duero time to develop thicker skins, giving deeper colour with richer aromas and flavours than in other regions.
The resulting wines' concentration and robust richness benefits the process of aging in oak barrels for added spiciness.
Roble is a style that is growing in popularity in this premium red wine region. It relates to ageing a red wine for only a few months in new oak barrels, rather than the usual 12 months for traditional Crianza style. This kiss of raw oak gives a little vanilla and peppery spice to season and enhance the wine. It adds another dimension to the pleasure of less is more.
1) Finca Resalso 2013, Emilo Moro 13.5pc
Attractive ripe mulberry and dark chocolate aromas. Delicious palate of spiced plum with vanilla pod and black pepper. Match with shredded duck in a hoisin sauce.
€16.99 at Next Door off-licences nationwide; No. 21 Cork and Joyce's Supermarket, Galway. In Dublin at Redmond's, Ranelagh; Deveney's; On The Grapevine; Thomas's, Foxrock and Martin's, Fairview.
2) Roble 2012, Vega Real 13.5pc
Woody and oaky scents are mirrored on the palate with firm black plums and tannins. Partner with a peppered steak.
€12 at O'Driscoll's Ballinlough. In Dublin at Deveney's, Dundrum; JC Savage's, Swords and Jus de Vine, Portmarnock.
3) Roble 2012, Valdubón 13.5pc
Ripe fruity compote aromas. Juicy blackberry fruits with a little nutmeg to add interest. Serve with lamb and a roasted bulb of garlic.
€14.99 at Marks & Spencer nationwide.
4) Tempranillo 2013, Valdimójenes 13pc
Fresh and juicy red with black berries. Well balanced with moderate tannins and alcohol.
Good with chicken legs baked in a smoked paprika and tomato casserole.
€14.99 at No. 21, Midleton; Lakeview Filling Station, Ballincurra and Red Door, Thomastown. In Dublin at Whelan's, Wexford Street and Simply Delicious, Foxrock Avenue.
5) 56. Roble 2012, Mayor de Castilla 13.5pc
Jammy blackberry aromas with assertive tannins which demand beef. Chewy and chunky black fruits. Try with a beef burger and spicy tomato chutney.
€15 at Tesco nationwide.
6) 55. Roble 2012, Protos 14pc
An earthy and spicy black fruity palate. Full-bodied, rustic and robust. Enjoy with spicy lamb kekabs and stuffed peppers.
€16.99 at The Vintry, Rathgar; Donnybrook Fair; Blackrock Cellars and La Touche, Greystones.
Great Irish food stories at the Eighth West Waterford Festival of Food, Dungarvan from April 9 to 12.
Sample wine, Irish craft beers and ciders and learn about the ancient art of cooperage, independent micro-distilleries and speciality teas.
Tickets are available at westwaterfordfestival offood.com