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

  • 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"...

  • Tempranillo

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Malbec

    History of the grape: Some believe Malbec is named after a Hungarian peasant who spread plantings along the French co...

  • Macabeo

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

Subregions of Rioja

Popular Wineries in Rioja View all

  • Bodegas Palacios Remondo

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

  • Marqués de Vargas

    Winery The winery Marqués de Vargas was built in 1989 on the Hacienda Pradolagar Estate in Lo...

  • Bodegas Baron de Ley

    A dream come true, BARÓN DE LEY is a winery which was devised and founded in 1985 by a small grou...

  • Bodegas Ondarre,S.A.

    Bodegas Ondarre, founded in 1986, belongs to the Bodegas Olarra Group, one of the most famous nam...

  • Herederos Del Marques de Riscal

    Wines of the Herederos de Marqués de Riscal has always been a leading and pioneering company in t...

  • Bodegas LAN

    Year… 1972. Bodegas LAN is founded and named after the initials of the 3 provinces in the Rioja D...

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Rioja on Snooth

  • Al - it means nothing legally in the US. Jess Jackson made himself a ... ... nothing to do with a reserve Rioja. And because the requirement in Rioja has to do with aging, people are making non-reserve wines and selling them at higher prices than the reserves, calling them things like Vendimia Seleccionada, Roble, Viñas Viejas, or something of... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Value Wines - under $20 USD...


  • Emark - you're right to a large extent, and there's a LOT of swill in ... from Marques de Riscal in Rioja, you can get the reserve for around $15. They've been making wine since the 1800s and aren't amortizing any of their acquisition costs any more. And that cheap wine can age for years. We don't have anything comparable.Yet. Maybe in time we... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Value Wines - under $20 USD...


  • Great time with my "Somm Ladies" tasting a good variety of ... Conte ... ... Conte Valdemar '15 - Rioja Rosé• Château d'Aqueria '14 - Tavel Rosé• Domaine Queylus '13 - Pinot Noir• Reif Estates '14 - Pinot Noir• Domaine Queylus '12 - Merlot/Cabinet Franc• Casal Garcia Duoro '15Honorable mentions: • River Road ' 15 - Cabernet• River Road ' 16 - ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines - Post Pictures...


  • Inspired by VV, I had Rioja last night.  But first some catching up:Saturday went out with friends to a Burmese place in Larkspur (Marin County for folks not familiar with it). We were trying to get into Village Sake in Fairfax, but that was going to prove impossible, so we went with Plan B.  Brought wines I thought would be flexible.  For reaso... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • If I stand across the room it's fine! Love that Rioja. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Sipping on this most excellent '05 Rioja from Lopez de Heredia.  Loads and loads of ripe red and black cherry, fine grained tannins and some lively acidity. It is drinking quite nicely now but is still very young and fresh and has lots of aging potential if I can wait that long on my other bottle.(Brian, can you read the label?  I wouldn't want ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Pata Negra Rioja Reserva 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Quite simply, this is a nasty bad wine. Tastes as though extremely over-ripe grapes, to the point of being raisins, were vinified and then aged in extremely over-charred barrels, and left in those over-charred barrels for about 4 years too long. I cant believe a) that other people liked this wine, and b) that based upon that, I bought more than ... Read More

    Wine review by Dougman


  • Emark: Tough work, but someone's gotta do it.  Sounds like a pretty ... still be scavenging great Rioja deals, especially when I have all that time on my hand Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • We need a bigger event soon.  Let's plan something for the summer at ... it was burgers and a 2009 Rioja Reserva from Pata Negra, a label of Garcia Carrion, which is basically something like the Gallo or Jackson family of Spain, the way I see it.  Lots of regions and labels, low prices.  This is an 8 Euro bottle over there, if you buy a six pa... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Okay, I still disagree.  We have a good selection of European wines here, ... Thankfully I found a decent Rioja Reserva, but our hosts literally had ONE bottle of wine in their house, some meh Cali chardonnay.  You still can't buy wine in a grocery store in Massachusetts, and a college town like Cambridge should be teeming with good wine store... Read More

    Forum post in the topic The wine geeks holy grail, I...


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