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 Marques de Caceres

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

  • Marqués de Vargas

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

  • Bodegas Beronia

    Bodegas Beronia is a winery in Rioja founded in 1973 by a group from the local gastronomic soci...

  • Castillo Labastida

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

  • Viña Ijalba

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

  • Bodegas Olarra, S.A,

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

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Rioja on Snooth

  • Vina Bosconia 1970


    What a wonderful nose with smoky, earthy dried thyme tinged wild raspberry fruit that has a slight sweet/spicy cinnamon tone adding warmth and sweetness to the fruit. in the mouth this is just brilliant with a seamless quality to the transparent slightly jammy wild berry flavors. Fine and precise with perfect integration of the structural compo... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Cvne Rioja Gran Reserva "Imperial" 1970


    Herby and a bit of dry compost on the nose over clay and iron flecked rich red berries with a touch of coffee bean laid on top. Lacks the intensity of the 73. In the mouth this is a different story though as it remains rich with sweet, round fruit. The bright acids and polished tannins keep it relatively mouthfilling though it is elegant. With a... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Cvne Rioja Gran Reserva "Imperial" 1973


    Lovely warm fruit on the nose with a slightly jammy tone and backing elements of ass, ash, and polished leather. This gains a nice violet top note and has a deep, powerful bouquet. In the mouth this is elegant yet a touch shallow with nice fruit across the palate and on to the shortish finish. It's vibrant but fading a bit. 90pts Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Bodegas Y Viñedos del Contino Tempranillo Blend Rioja Contino Reserva 1974


    Wonderfully perfumed and floral on the nose with a gamy, white pepper edge and cranberry fruit. In the mouth this is relaxed and quite resolved with a dried out character. There is some nice bitter fruit but the wine is more about structure than flavor in the mouth, very leathery and dry as well as clumsy feeling. 85pts. Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Bodegas Y Viñedos del Contino Tempranillo Blend Rioja Contino Reserva 1976


    A fine and complex nose with subtle balsamic, lemon blossom, vanilla, sandlewood and dried juniper tones framing nice wild cherry fruit. This is youthfully erect in the mouth with a layered elegance and lovely vibrancy right through the earthy, dried raspberry and strawberry filled palate. There's iron and spice on the backend that leads to a lo... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Bodegas Y Viñedos del Contino Tempranillo Blend Rioja Contino Reserva 1978


    Double decanted. Dark smelling with notes of freshly tilled earth, toast, grafite and black currant jam over subtle undertones of herbs and a little bubble gum. Opulent and soft in the mouth with anise seed tinged black raspberry fruit that is a bit creamy and one dimensional with a bit of distracting drying wood tannin on the finish. A fresh bo... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Marqués de Cáceres Rioja 2003


    No written review

    Wine review by nancy f

  • C.V.N.E. Compania Vinicola Norte de Espana Vina 2004


    Lots of oak - this is a powerful wine. Well aged, lots of drying tannins balancing out plums and prune flavors. Finish on drying tannins. Read More

    Wine review by 1Philip James 1 Philip James

  • C.V.N.E. Compania Vinicola Norte de Espana Vina 2004


    The nose is intense and layered with buttered herbs, leather, black raspberry ... as a nice modern powerful Rioja with a few years in the cellar. 92p Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Bodegas Valdemar 2004


    Slight vegetation over hints of oak that leads to wet earth and spice, very pithy (woody) in the after-taste. Read More

    Wine review by ekw590

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