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

  • Macabeo

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

  • 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"...

  • Torrontes

    Torrontes is really three closely related grape varieties -- Torrontés Riojano, the most common, Torrontés Sanjuanino...

  • 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...

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...

  • 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 Muriel

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

  • Bodegas Sierra Cantabria

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

  • 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

  • Ontañon Rioja Riberas de Marco Fabio 2004

    Snoothrank:

    Very clear color. White grapes peaches flowers, nectar...alive and fun nose. Med weight with a light sweetness and medium weight acid. Peaches and light flowers. Very nice though nose is better than the follow through. C4a13t13o6= 86 [86] Read More

    Wine review by 27831ryanopaz 27831 ryanopaz


  • Ontañón Tempranillo Blend Rioja Arteso 2001

    Snoothrank:

    90% Tempranillo 10% Granacha Deep ruby red with a light purple quality. Spicy nose with vanilla, milk chocolate and a strange smoke aroma I can't quite place. Med boy to light with a strong acidity and lit tannins. Bright fruit framed by oak with out oak overpowering it. Tannins are in the background with the acid showing upfront and proving to ... Read More

    Wine review by 27831ryanopaz 27831 ryanopaz


  • Dinastia Vivanco Rioja Crianza 2001

    Snoothrank:

    Deep rich purple with a darkness that seems to swallow the light. Nose with some green pepper and deep spice anise, pepper with a whiff of vanilla oak. As it opens in the glass a milk chocolate quality starts to show on the nose with a loamy note, almost of raw cocoa and earth followed by roasted coffee. Rich in the mouth with an initial light s... Read More

    Wine review by 27831ryanopaz 27831 ryanopaz


  • Bodegas Martínez Bujanda Rioja Conde De Valdemar Gran Reserva 2001

    Snoothrank:

    Finca Antigua, Crianza 2001, Familia Martinez Bujanda DOC La Mancha 60%Temp, 20% Cabernet, 20% Merlot Rich ruby red color with light haze. Ripe raspberry, current, light spice, light vanilla, and a faint mineral followed by wood quality. Overall the nose has a very an intense richness. Med to heavy mouth feel with a strong dry finish and medium ... Read More

    Wine review by 27831ryanopaz 27831 ryanopaz


  • Artadi Rioja Viñas De Gain 2002

    Snoothrank:

    Artadi 2002 Strong anise vanilla, deep black cherry, light wood, all on the nose after a ½ hour of air in a decanter. Big wine rich with vanilla, cream, deep rich cherry black cherry, gorgeous lushness. Wow, a lot of depth and more. Opened over an hour and it's still deep and strong. Little bit of an herbal quality with rich fruit and a strong m... Read More

    Wine review by 27831ryanopaz 27831 ryanopaz


  • C.V.N.E. Compania Vinicola Norte de Espana Rioja Rosado 2003

    Snoothrank:

    Very light with pale orange at the edges with a nice rose center. Fresh current nose some strawberry with a spice very light. Light to med weight in the mouth with a delicate sweetness that starts to coat the tongue and dries on the finsih leaving a light orange zest coating it. Rich berry flavors with a core of fresh cherry that resembles a "jo... Read More

    Wine review by 27831ryanopaz 27831 ryanopaz


  • Bodegas Muga Grenache Blend Rioja Rosado 2003

    Snoothrank:

    Orangish pink though it is a bit dark where I am. Not much of a nose though it might be a bit cold. The palate is light with a dryness throughout and crisp finish. Flavors are light, with some faint berry, light orange, and mainly a flower petal quality. This is two years old I hope that it did not lose so much in so little time. I'll let it war... Read More

    Wine review by 27831ryanopaz 27831 ryanopaz


  • Bodegas Franco Rioja Diamante NV

    Snoothrank:

    Nice pale yellow with steely highlights. Kind of an earthy nose like a ripe brie, almost a light banana thing, and some peach. Medium body with a light sweetness that lingers on the finish. Sweet fruit and fresh peach with a light mineral/herbal note that hides in the background. Not bad table quaffer. C4+A11+T15+O6=86 [86] Read More

    Wine review by 27831ryanopaz 27831 ryanopaz


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