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

  • Graciano

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

  • Grenache

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Señorío de San Vicente

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

  • Bodegas Marques de Caceres

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

  • Viña Valoria

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

  • Marqués de Riscal

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

  • 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...

  • Bodegas Ondarre,S.A.

    Bodegas Ondarre, founded in 1986, belongs to the Bodegas Olarra Group, one of the most famous nam...

Page 319 of 384

Rioja on Snooth

  • I met with a semi-regular Sunday tasting group last week for the usual ... ... ... Aldo to boot!The 1970 La Rioja Alt 890 Gran Reserva came from a bottle with only a high shoulder fill but it none-the-less was classic mature Rioja, a little funky but complex and pure. I had hoped to pair this with grilled octopus but that dish was not on our m... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Mature Italians turns out to...

  • La Rioja Alta Tempranillo Blend Rioja Viña Ardanza Reserva 1970


    This took it's sweet time to open up, even from a high shoulder fill bottle. At ... long finish. Great mature Rioja. 93p Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Baron de Barbon Rioja 2005


    No written review

    Wine review by cspurzem

  • Marqués de Cáceres Rosé Blend 2007


    No written review

    Wine review by Violetstardom

  • Faustino Tempranillo Blend Rioja Gran Reserva I 1996


    dry wood taste trees tobacco Read More

    Wine review by Qubican

  • 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

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