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...

  • Torrontes

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

  • 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...

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...

  • Bodegas Primicia

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

  • Bodegas Ondarre,S.A.

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

  • 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...

  • Herederos Del Marques de Riscal

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

  • Señorío de San Vicente

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

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Rioja on Snooth

  • Robo, sounds like your experience with the Rioja was similar to mine, lots of red and black cherry, light tannins and a decent amount of acidity. I was expecting more but wasn't totally disappointed either.RBA, just saw that $60 Malbec on sale on for $20 (minimum 4 bottle purchase) so I think you still got a good deal at $16. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • RoboWino,I had a similar experience, but it was so much so that I couldn't ... ... it.  I usually LOVE Rioja, but this was definitely a weird Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • I don't know what the science would be. I generally don't open a wine ... things, we drank an older Rioja and a few old sherries that he brought. There's nobody in the world who knows more about sherry than he does and he thought that they were just fine. As was his Rioja. We talked about travel shock but nobody at the table could detect any p... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What are your thoughts on...

  • GregT's list is great.  I love things like that.Since he doesn't ... ... Albarinos) and reds from Rioja.  I quoted the word "tasted" becasuse, really, this annual evening is about the alcohol buzz more than anything else.  Anyway, I guess that friend Bill did not get the memo that California is no longer a part of Spain.  He brough a Trader Jo... Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...

  • Good to see you back, Terence.Had another '96 Les Forts at the end of the ... old? Had a much younger Rioja, a Marques de Riscal (one of the few Spanish labels easy to get in Japan) Gran Reserva 2005, tonight. Was leftovers night so I made a risotto with the remains of a baby squid, tomato, garlic, leek and green olive stew. Excellent match, a... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Cune, pronounced C.V.N.E, not...

  • Cune Rioja Crianza 2010


    Picked this one up from Jubilation; A sniff and it opens with butterscotch, toffee, and condensed milk, quickly goes to plum, raspberry, cinnamon, vanilla, and grape jam. Opens further with more savory and herbal notes. A silky mouthful with a medium long finish of raisin, port, and oak...Continues to develop more complexity as it sits in the g... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner

  • V V - that same exact bottle (2002 Rioja) was for sale on Wines 'Till Sold Out (WTSO) on Feb 13th for $27.99 (free shipping if you purchased 3 or more bottles); they gave it a 92 point rating.  Retail price was $53 when shipping is included.   Read More

    Forum post in the topic Proper Pairings with...

  • Oh, I like that choice - Apothic Red with hot dogs.  You know, I was ... ...  I bet that 2002 Rioja was very nice. &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Proper Pairings with...

  • Back to Al's 2nd question - what to drink with that ballpark hot dog. ... ... ... so I opened that 2002 Rioja reserve, you must have had a bad bottle. This puppy is ripe red and black cherries, fresh acidity, fine grained tannins. Maybe this is supposed to have more earth and leather but still this bottle seems fine.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Proper Pairings with...

  • Al,First off, I recommend NOT eating hot dogs.  Ever.  If you do eat ... eat ... No wine.As for the Rioja, in Spain they have laws about how old certain wines have to be before being released (Greg can chime in if I spew misinformation here).  Tempranillo is often aged for at least six years.  Lots of it, for some weird reason, has this gold ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Proper Pairings with...

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