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

  • Macabeo

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

  • Grenache

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

  • Malbec

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

  • Graciano

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

  • 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...

Subregions of Rioja

Popular Wineries in Rioja View all

  • Bodegas Sierra Cantabria

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

  • Bodegas El Coto

    It is located in Oyón (Álava), with a total surface of 110.000 m2, more than 50.000 of which are ...

  • Marques de Murrieta Ygay

    Marques de Murrieta is a family business in an almost "romantic" sense of the world. This project...

  • Señorío de San Vicente

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

  • Herederos Del Marques de Riscal

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

  • Bodegas Palacios Remondo

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

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Rioja on Snooth

  • R. López de Heredia Tempranillo Blend Rioja Gran Reserva Viña Bosconia 1964


    This opens with very bad bottle stink, all sour and dirty game. With ari this settles into a fine leather, earth groove with occasional flashes of fine, crystalized raspberry fruit and nuanced tones of coffee cream and menthol. Bright and flesh with decidedly dark fruit that veers into the black cherry realm. There is a lovely background note of... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Viña Tondonia G.r. Lopez de Heredia 1968


    An evolved nose greets the nose with seaweed and iodine tones to the fore. There is a nice seared cherry tone but the nose is more about the musky tones of men's cologne, wood spice and coriander notes, and dusty gravel. In the mouth there remains perfectly ripe fruit that offers a fine bitter/sweet contrast with the slightly candied tart red c... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Vina Bosconia 1970


    What a superb nose, the purity of the raspberry fruit here is compelling but the notes of hung game, limestone, smoldering grapevine and the classic background notes of tobacco, vanilla, herbs, and citrussy fruit are really intriguing. Sweet and rich in the mouth this retains almost chunky fruit that is deep, fresh and layered. It is big and eve... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

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


    This has a fantastic nose with sweet plums, toasted spices popping in a hot cast iron skillet, coffee tones and an enchanting candied violet/rose tone. The wine moves through stages alternately gaining a more roasted, caramelly tone and then reverting to cinnamon and tobacco spice dried raspberry, either way it smells great. In the mouth it is r... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Rioja Blanco Gran Reserva 19 1957


    Very soft and sweet smelling with figgy fruit over a bed of slate, gains lovely spice notes that recall Chinese 5-spice with a strong star anise element and an effusive lanoline note. With air there emerges am iodine element that turns rather seaweedy with time. Resolved and relaxed in the mouth yet with great depth of flavor. The fruit is deep ... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Rioja Blanco Gran Reserva 19 1970


    Fresh and intensely aromatic with layered fruit that suggest mangosteen and waxy yellow cherry, there is a nuance of starchy vegetal that resembles sunchoke but the notes of smoky bacon, almond, licorice all wrapped up with a saline edge are completely intriguing. Smooth and showing excellent integration in the mouth this has a gentle core of ho... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Rioja Blanco Gran Reserva 19 1973


    This opens with a rather intense asparagus note over sweeter braised celery tones. There is an emerging floral note but of a sturdy sort recalling carnations and the vegetal component takes on a fave bean note. Nuances of water chestnut, smoke, and waxy lipstick emerge with air. Freah and coiled on the attack with a burst of yellow cherry fruit ... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Rioja Blanco Gran Reserva 19 1981


    Very honied on the nose with note of dried earth and old wood. Turns a bit vegetal with notes of braised radicchio and anise ut there is a nice core or waxy quince, bitter orange and lime that struggles to emerge. This shows a lot of evolution and is not a particularly fresh bottle with a soft top note of vanilla cream, caramel and tea. Bright a... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Zolo Torrontés Famatina Valley 2006


    i've recently had this a second time and noted a nose of Fruit Loops with a lingering taste in the mouth of lemon-lime zest; still amazingly elegant and dry with white peaches on the nose also. so yummy, soft, and easy drinking. so far the best i've had. Read More

    Wine review by barri0s1872

  • Bodegas Navarro López Palacio de Oriente Crianza Rioja 2004


    No written review

    Wine review by MichaelBNL

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