Rioja Wine

The Rioja region of Spain produces one of the world’s finest, and most long lived wines: Rioja. Rioja's renaissance, in the latter half of the 19th century, was a direct result of the phyloxera bug that decimated vineyards around the globe. While English merchants came to Rioja to replace their French imports, the wines here actually have much more in common with Chianti. Both wines are blend relying heavily on one grape, in this case Tempranillo. Like Chianti’s Sangiovese, Tempranillo usually produces a relatively high acid wine of medium to medium-full body. Tempranillo tends to produce wines with a dusty, leathery edge to their raspberry and blackberry fruit tones. With additions of Graciano, Mazuela and Grancha the wines of Rioja can take on additional layers of flavor and aroma but the tradition of extended oak aging for Rioja's great wines contributes an even more obvious imprint. While the Spaniards have traditionally been a fan of the strong vanilla and coconut component that American oak Read more »

Mentor for Rioja Wines

Richard Jennings

Wine writer (and HR exec). I write a weekly column for Huffington Post, wine book reviews for NY Journal of Books, and my blog is http://www.RJonWine.com. I have over 38,000 tasting notes on CellarTracker, where I'm the most "favorited" TN author.

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Popular wines made in Rioja under $20

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Varietals Produced in Rioja View all

  • Tempranillo

    History of the grape: Origins of Tempranillo are murky. It could be indigenous to the Spanish countryside, or it coul...

  • Torrontes

    Torrontes is really three closely related grape varieties -- Torrontés Riojano, the most common, Torrontés Sanjuanino...

  • Macabeo

    Macabeo is Spain’s most widely planted grape. From there, it has made its way to southern France’s Roussillon region,...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Graciano

    Though it is easily the most interesting and unique red grape in Rioja, its yields are low, it is prone to downy mild...

  • Grenache

    You’re a member of the ‘Rhône Ranger’ band. Your groupies think you’re ‘hot’, even when you're boozy and "strung out"...

Subregions of Rioja

Popular Wineries in Rioja View all

  • Bodegas Olarra, S.A,

    Bodegas Olarra is located on the outskirts of Logroño, right in the heart of the Denominación de ...

  • Bodegas Marques de Caceres

    The name of this wine. Marques de Caceres was lent by D. Vicente Noguera y Espinosa de los Monter...

  • Bodegas Palacios Remondo

    Palacios focused his efforts on the Crianza, La Montesa, a Garnacha-based blend from south-faci...

  • Viña Ijalba

    Built in 1991, with a modernist style, it is provided with the best existing technology in the ma...

  • Bodegas Ramón Bilbao

    Bodegas Ramón Bilbao was established in 1924 by wine trader Ramón Bilbao Murga in the Rioja re...

  • Castillo Labastida

    Labastida Wineries and Vineyards combines the traditional wine-making ethos with the latest techn...

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Rioja on Snooth

  • Hi!, Best regards from Spain. I like overall Rioja Luis Cañas. Its taste really good. Taste it friends!.

    Comment by 460403ivanvi 460403 ivanvi


  • Guys anyone had a 2000 Murrieta Castillo y Ygay Rioja Gran Reserva ? If you love Rioja wines this is a sensual seductress that you do not want to pass up - she is as intoxicating as she is enchanting - with the first sip she will entice you in a world of pleasure and passion that will leave you wanting for another last kiss.... ;P http://sho...

    Comment by 255446neale1 255446 neale1


  • RBA - My wife will be happy to hear that other wine enthusiasts share her ... ... QPR wines.  Here is a a Rioja Reserva for 7 bucks.  24 months in American and French Oak Barrels and another year in bottle.  2009 RIoja Reserva for 7 bucks?!  Yep  And it is tasting real nic Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Graciano is thought by some to be the better grape of Rioja, but it's finicky to grow.!By whom?I guess I've had a few, although not many from CA. But I'm interested in those for exactly the reason you mention - sometimes a grape that's not particularly exciting in one place can be very interesting somewhere else. Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...


  • Bodegas Ondarre Rioja Reserva 2002

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by xfer


  • I've had the Graciano (still have a bottle, was bought at slight discount ... to be the better grape of Rioja, but it's finicky to grow.  Interestingly, some problems with grapes like bunch rot and the like (petite sirah's bugbear in France) turn out not to be a big problem in a place where you have low humidity and virtually no rainfall after... Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...


  • Rio Madre Rioja Graciano 2011

    Snoothrank:

    From what I read, most rioja's use tempranillo grapes more than graciano, whereas this wine is 100% graciano. I absolutely loved this rioja and it's one of my favorites. Very intense wine, complex, heavy tannins. Would definitely buy again. Read More

    Wine review by alex7ktrc


  • Robo, sounds like your experience with the Rioja was similar to mine, lots of red and black cherry, light tannins and a decent amount of acidity. I was expecting more but wasn't totally disappointed either.RBA, just saw that $60 Malbec on sale on WTSO.com for $20 (minimum 4 bottle purchase) so I think you still got a good deal at $16. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • RoboWino,I had a similar experience, but it was so much so that I couldn't ... ... it.  I usually LOVE Rioja, but this was definitely a weird Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • I don't know what the science would be. I generally don't open a wine ... things, we drank an older Rioja and a few old sherries that he brought. There's nobody in the world who knows more about sherry than he does and he thought that they were just fine. As was his Rioja. We talked about travel shock but nobody at the table could detect any p... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What are your thoughts on...


  • GregT's list is great.  I love things like that.Since he doesn't ... ... Albarinos) and reds from Rioja.  I quoted the word "tasted" becasuse, really, this annual evening is about the alcohol buzz more than anything else.  Anyway, I guess that friend Bill did not get the memo that California is no longer a part of Spain.  He brough a Trader Jo... Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...


  • Good to see you back, Terence.Had another '96 Les Forts at the end of the ... old? Had a much younger Rioja, a Marques de Riscal (one of the few Spanish labels easy to get in Japan) Gran Reserva 2005, tonight. Was leftovers night so I made a risotto with the remains of a baby squid, tomato, garlic, leek and green olive stew. Excellent match, a... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Cune, pronounced C.V.N.E, not...


  • I spent over 20 years travelling throughout all of Spain. Their wines are tremendous and, not to mention, their people, their rich culture, their unbelievable foods. I am presently trying to locate a Distributors in the USA who would be able to send me ETXEKO PATXARANA DESTILERIAS VIANA, S.A. I am also trying to obtain a vintage chart coveri...

    Comment by 925520ABIERTO 925520 ABIERTO


  • why i can't find rioja olagosa reserva 2005 in Marbella whole sale

    Comment by 740029a a n 740029 a a n


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