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...

  • 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...

  • 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 Muriel

    Bodegas Muriel markets the brands Muriel, Vina Muriel, Baron de Barbon, Solariego, El Somo and Mo...

  • Bodegas Primicia

    Casa Primicia, the oldest building in the town of Laguardia, is the place where, from the 15th ce...

  • Bodegas LAN

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

  • Viña Ijalba

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

  • Bodegas Roda

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

  • 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...

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Rioja on Snooth

  • Well good bye Pinot, for now, and Hola Tempranillo!We now get started in ...-rioja-gran-reserva-1973/Even this mid shoulder fill mag had some interest to offer. It was way maderized but still retained some intriguing aromatics and hints of once robust fruit that faded quite quickly. C'est la vie or perhaps more appropriately esa es la vida!More... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Post your Tempranillo GTi...

  • Bodegas Olarra Rioja Gran Reserva 1973


    From this low fill mag we did not get a particular representative sample but once the sweet, fudgy maderized notes on the nose ameliorated there were distinct notes of tobacco, sandy soil, beet root, crayon and spicy cinnamon. In the mouth the wine blossomed briefly revealing a decent core of sour cherry fruit accented with a bit of medicinal an... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Bodegas Martínez Bujanda Rioja Conde de Valdemar Reserva 2003


    No written review

    Wine review by lethargicman

  • Bodegas Altanza Rioja Lealtanza Gran Reserva 2000


    No written review

    Wine review by Markus Gruber

  • Bodegas Martínez Bujanda Rioja Conde de Valdemar Reserva 2000


    No written review

    Wine review by Markus Gruber

  • Castillo la Bastida Reserva Rioja 1999


    No written review

    Wine review by Markus Gruber

  • Marqués de Cáceres Tempranillo Blend Rioja Reserva 2001


    No written review

    Wine review by LABabble

  • Casa Solar Blanco 2007


    At the first wiff, it reminded me of a riesling. Soft floral, citrus aroma, maybe picked up on some pineapple. On the tongue, it was definately citrus, soft grapefruit though not pineapple. Would probably be good with something creamy. A little acidic, needed some tums after finishing the bottle. Read More

    Wine review by dkmrd5

  • Labastida Reserva 2001


    Besides the cherry that dominates the nose, there is a hint of plum and spice. The wine is very fruit forward. The fruit is a mixture of cherry, plum, and fruit jam. The next thing one senses in this medium bodied wine is the spice. This balanced wine has soft tannins, and a rather dry mouth feel. Read More

    Wine review by David Kohl

  • found this a strange, but fascinating article. "Rioja sales fell by up to 15% in 2008, with Rias Baixas and Castilla-La Mancha reporting marked increases in sales.According to statistics released by DOC Rioja's regulatory board, sales of Gran Reserva in 2008 fell by 14.7%, with Reserva falling 10.4%, and... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Rioja sales plummet,... by 1Philip James 1 Philip James

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