Tempranillo, Grenache and Graciano. Learn about all our varieties of red grapes!
If you were impressed with our range of white grapes, you’re really going to love the varieties of red grapes that we use at El Coto de Rioja. Do you want to learn more about them? Learn everything about each of them and what they bring to our 10 Rioja reds. You’re going to find out about our 3 favourite varieties of red grapes.
Here we go!
We could say that Tempranillo is the red grape variety par excellence. While Grenache has always been very important, Tempranillo has been growing in relevance in recent years, which has turned it into one of the most popular red grape varieties in Spain.
Originally from La Rioja, Tempranillo makes for excellent wines that are up to the standards of the Designation of Origin. Did you know that it's the most common grape in DO Rioja? It actually takes up 75% of all of the vineyards.
When we talk about Tempranillo, we’re talking about a grape with a short ripening cycle, (its name comes from the Spanish word ‘temprano’ meaning ‘early’), which is hugely versatile, since it adapts perfectly to the climate of our vineyards in La Rioja.
Even though it is known for being particularly hardy, it does have some weak spot, such as its sensitivity to droughts and pests. However, with the right controls in place from our expert winemakers, we can ensure that the final product is of the utmost quality.
This grape variety makes for very balanced wines that are very easy on the mouth with a fruity flourish in the younger wines (such as our 875m Tinto) and velvety in more aged wines (such as Coto Real Reserva or El Coto Crianza).
Within the range of Spanish red grapes, Red Grenache is one of the most common ones in DO Rioja and across all of Spain. Did you know that it’s the most grown Spanish variety in the world?
Grenache is a very interesting grape because of the different results, depending on the area in which it’s grown. In colder areas, it's excellent for creating rosé wines such as El Coto Rosado, which is made at very low temperatures throughout the entire process. In warmer areas, we get exceptional red wines, which are what gives this grape its fame.
Of all of the El Coto de Rioja wines, the most emblematic red wine from this variety is El Coto Crianza Garnacha, a fresh and balsamic crianza with delicate aromas of cherries and red fruit mixed with mocha and cocoa. Has that piqued your interest?
They say Grenache is the perfect grape for mixing with other varieties. Particularly with Tempranillo, since Grenache stands out with its aromatic qualities and clear freshness. Unlike, the previous variety, Grenache is very hardy when it comes to droughts, diseases and pests.
Now that you know about the two main varieties of red grapes, now it’s time for one that’s not so common in DOCa Rioja but does make for some really spectacular red wines. This is the Graciano variety.
This is a grape from the Rioja region that, unlike Tempranillo, is late to ripen. The two varieties actually go perfectly together for ageing. That’s why it’s a very attractive variety.
Our Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva is a perfect example of how to blend these two grapes. It’s a red with an amazing aromatic richness (another quality that Graciano provided), that’s also mature and elegant. It has notes of toasting and coconut met with tertiary aromas (leather, damp earth), and red fruit and nuts. The aftertaste is complex and lingering.
In general, wines made with Graciano are quite acidic with a high polyphenol content. This makes them ideal for crianza wines.
Take a look at our online store to see which of our wines are made with these varieties of red grapes. You can get there in just one click:
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Here’s a selection: