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 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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Tempranillo

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

  • Grenache

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

  • Graciano

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

  • 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 Olarra, S.A,

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

  • Bodegas Sierra Cantabria

    The Eguren family, generation after generation since 1870, have been dedicated to grape growing a...

  • Bodegas LAN

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

  • Viña Valoria

    It is an old wine cellar, whose background dates from 1860, that decided to expand and modify its...

  • Señorío de San Vicente

    One winery, one wine, one vineyard and one variety. Respecting the tradition which has been p...

  • Bodegas Ramón Bilbao

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

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Rioja on Snooth

  • After much anticipation Snooths OTBN was apon us! We were meeting in the ... ... my impressions from an old Rioja tasting soon and along with the notes is my take on Tempranillo these days. I go off on a lot of producers who are trying to make Tempranillo in to something its not and while I genuinely believe that sometimes the results make me ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Open That Bottle Night 2009...

  • Bodegas Muga Gran Reserva Prado Enea 2003


    No written review

    Wine review by pchowdhry

  • R. López de Heredia Tempranillo Blend Rioja Reserva Viña Tondonia 1999


    No written review

    Wine review by pchowdhry

  • I was joined recently by some fellow winelovers to share a mixed case of ... ... is worth seeking out.2007 Rioja Vega 12.5% $8It was almost unfair putting this light bargain wine in this line-up though it didnt get as lost as I had feared. Michael found earth and manure on the nose though added that the palate was completely opposite with lots... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Snooth PTP -Tempranillo

  • Campo Viejo Tempranillo Blend Rioja Gran Reserva 2005


    Campo Viejo Crianza 2005 TempranilloFrom Rioja, Spain comes this wonderful Crianza ... aged for 12 months in oak casks and another 12 in bottle. Dark ruby in color with warmer colors around the edges and a medium body, this has rich, jammy aromas and sniff, sniff... hmm, there are some horses in the barn... and a hint of minerality. On the palat... Read More

    Wine review by vigna uva vino

  • Finca Labarca Rioja 2007


    The oak taste does not apply to this one (I guess as it has not been stored for ... a while but have had better Rioja's even at this pric Read More

    Wine review by colinrchorley

  • Marqués de Riscal Tempranillo Blend Rioja Reserva 1925


    Sweet and earthy on the nose with notes of sauteed eggplant, roasted dark fruits and maderized tones in balance. Full and rich in the mouth with lots of dull fruit that is slightly roasted and chunky with a bit of a roasted beet root tone and a medicinal edge. The fruit gains a bit of focus with a nice cherry pie filling tone and a bit of aprico... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Bodegas Palacio "Cosme Palacio Rioja" 2007


    A ton of VA greets the nose followed by stale RC cola, bacon and a touch of fudgy oxidation. There is a subtle note of TCA lurking here with nice mace tones helping to conceal it. In the mouth this is heavy with great acids, crisp tannins and VA helping to keep things lively. I get a bit of TCA on the palate as well but the juicy pruny/dried ch... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Bodegas Riojanas Tempranillo Blend Rioja Viña Albina 1964


    Very smoky apon opening with an herbal/minty cough lozenge tone and a bit of sweet pork fat on the delicate nose, perhaps some faded dried floral tones are lurking in the background as well. In the mouth this is delicate and faded with a bit of bottle sweetness up front then a brittle mid-palate which shows some nice hot iron and raspberry tones... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • R. López de Heredia Tempranillo Blend Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Bosconia 1970


    Opening with an herbal funky edge this gains a green citrus oil element then fermenting tobacco tones and a touch of nut oil sets off the black plum fruit. This is a little leathery with perhaps a touch of brett lurking. In the mouth this is round and rich yet with out the fine balance of the 1970 Tondonia, It comes off as a bit rustic in tonigh... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

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