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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Viña Valoria

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

  • Marqués de Vargas

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

  • Bodegas Roda

    At this particular moment, Mario Rotllant and Carmen Daurella came to La Rioja, with the passiona...

  • 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 Marques de Caceres

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

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Rioja on Snooth

  • Murrieta Rioja Reserva 2004

    Snoothrank:

    Hot rocks, candied licorice and smoky tobacco dominate the upright and focused ... orange juice edge. Solid. Rioja. 90p Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Tempranillo 2004

    Snoothrank:

    Lightly smoky and funky on the nose with subtle tones of leather and moist ... ... ... A solid entry-level Rioja 88p Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Bodegas Valdemar 2004

    Snoothrank:

    This opens with a big fruity nose touched with a bit of chalky soil, white pepper and milky oak but air turned this into a box of woody pencils. Big acids that are definitely a little orange juicy wash away an initial blast of soft and creamy fruit. The wood is a bit too raw as are the copious wood tannins that overwhelm the simple core of red c... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Rioja Vega Young Tempranillo DOC 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Light and gentle on the floral spiced nose with a noticeable edge of ace bandage and a hint of game to the candied raspberry fruit. Bright, easy and fresh in the mouth, though a bit loose across the palate, with simple candied raspberry fruit. Refreshing and simple with a long, fruity finish with just a hint of spice 86pts Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Rioja Vega S. A. Tempranillo Blend Rioja Crianza 2006

    Snoothrank:

    Stinky barnyard nose that follows thru into the taste, lots of earth, both obscure the fruit flavors, seemed a bit flabby lacking in both acidity and tannins. A definite pass. Read More

    Wine review by ekw590


  • Lopez de Heredia Bosconia Rioja 2000

    Snoothrank:

    Since my Dec 08 review I've tried some old barolos, and this shares some of their round fungal acidic traits, but with more of an acidic greeting. Sublimely mellow and loud at the same time. With each sip I taste something new, but I'll be damned if I can name them all. Read More

    Wine review by solomania9


  • Bodegas Valdemar 2004

    Snoothrank:

    picked up for $12.99Amazing concentration of developed fruit, spice and earth aromas and flavors. One of the best Crianza I've ever had for the money. Read More

    Wine review by RBoulanger


  • R. López de Heredia Tempranillo Blend Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Bosconia 1981

    Snoothrank:

    The lovely wild cherry fruit on the nose is gently dusted with warm cinnamon spice and dried floral tones that are backed up by a touch of green tea and a musky, gamy note. Pristine and transparent in the mouth with bright, zesty acids that accentuate the raspberry fruit and balance the earthy, leathery notes that frame the fruit. Turns a touch ... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva Rioja 1976

    Snoothrank:

    A minor terpene note on the nose quickly blows off revealing a complex and compelling nose of roast tangerine, mineral, honeycomb, brushfire, and caramel corn, though more corn than caramel. The bright acids wash across the palate and lift the pink grapefruit, pomegranate and ranier cherry tones through to the rich, long finish with it's more ci... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Campo Viejo Tempranillo Blend Rioja Crianza 2000

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by cbarbata


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