The Riedel Sommelier Tinto Reserva glass is the first wine glass ever designed for one of the Iberian Peninsula's great, highly idiosyncratic grape varieties: the red Tempranillo, which dominates the fine Rioja and Ribera del Duero wines, in addition to being a major cultivar in many of Spain's other Denominaciones de Origen (Do).
Like Tinta Roriz or Aragonez, Tempranillo is also a major grape variety in Portugal. After a protracted, highly meticulous testing process which involved three major tastings between late 1997 and late 1998, it became apparent that Tempranillo presented some of the same challenges as another 'chameleon' grape variety, Syrah.
Younger, less extracted, less tannic, more floral types of wine made with Tempranillo behave in a markedly different way from more tannic, oak-aged wines such as the top Gran Reservas from Ribera del Duero or Rioja.
The three successive panels of Spanish tasters appreciated the general shape - wider bottom, narrower mouth - that has been so successful in Riedel's Hermitage glass. But they came to the conclusion that a smaller size accommodates young Tempranillo's voluptuous aromatic qualities perfectly, while a larger liquid volume is preferable in order to equally highlight the flavours and finish of the top oak-aged Tempranillo wines, whose tannic structure makes them eminently ageable.
Therefore, the final panel unanimously recommended a twin solution to perfectly suit both styles of wine, after testing the top glasses developed from prior panel sessions - a smaller Tempranillo glass and a markedly larger (but identically shaped) Tempranillo Reserva glass.