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

  • Tempranillo

    History of the grape: Origins of Tempranillo are murky. It could be indigenous to the Spanish countryside, or it coul...

  • Macabeo

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Malbec

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

  • Grenache

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

  • 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

  • Bodegas Sierra Cantabria

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

  • Herederos Del Marques de Riscal

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

  • Marqués de Riscal

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

  • Bodegas Muriel

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

  • Señorío de San Vicente

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

  • Bodegas Baigorri

    "Bodegas Baigorri bases its work on a value of duality and on the xcellence of its products and ...

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Rioja on Snooth

  • Welcome Ellen, nice first post (a big rarity around here at Snooth).I've ... Barbaresco, or traditional Rioja for example) tend to be squarely on the savory side. Some of the wines may be very expensive such as a Gaja single vineyard Barbaresco, retails around $300. Saw one in a friend's cellar recently and asked if we could open it, which tur... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

  • Bodegas Luis Cañas Rioja Amaren Reserva 2011


    nose of maple and apricot, tasted raisins, rich! Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim

  • Bodegas Sierra Cantabria Tempranillo Rioja Crianza 2011


    Fine Read More

    Wine review by calywa

  • After merging most of my wine to the new cellar I found I was lacking in some ... some ... Lopez de Heredia Rioja Reserva 'Vina Bosconia'2013 Moric BlaüfrankischOh the best laid plans. Wanted to come home with a case of defenders and couldn't make it past 6.The new storage is almost full, say 90%, with only a handful still incoming. Have abou... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • I've had many of those Juan GIl's. Really good value.GregT, I agree ... fast.  That's why Rioja and RdD are great wines for California drinkers making the transition to European wines, or just exploring them. I had a Martinelli Hop Camp Vineyard Gravel Lens Syrah a few months back and wasn't all that wowed by it.  I didn't find it as meaty as ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's Your 2016 Wine of the...

  • Oz clark is a minority of one! Even Jesus, who makes Contino and has championed ... ... makes the best on in Rioja, doesn't think it's the best grape of Rioja. That would be like suggesting that Petite Verdot is the best grape of Bordeaux!Graciano is however, what some people consider key to the longevity of the Rioja wines because it provides... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's Your 2016 Wine of the...

  • OT is showing off with that Ultramarine, because no one can get it now.  ... ... it is the best grape of Rioja; he attributes its uneven yields and the fact that the second best grape, Tempranillo is so good, to the fact that Graciano didn't really catch on. Dunc, thanks for the view from the other side of the pond. I don't know if it's going... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's Your 2016 Wine of the...

  • I've been seeing the Continos on K&L but I know nothing about ... Sounds like another Rioja to check out.  I'm going to drink a Cune before the end of the year, so maybe it will crack the list.  Good start, GregT. Paul, that's a 2003, right?  I'm guessing that a 1903 would still have quite a bit in the tank.  It's what makes Port so cool Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's Your 2016 Wine of the...

  • GREGT-  Great call on the Dalmau Rioja.  It would certainly be one of my finalists too.  I was introduced to it much earlier in the year, at a St. Patrick's Day party as I recall, but the memory of it lingers on, much like the fabulous finish of that wine. One of the most raisin-forward noses I've ever encountered, but so pleasant as it gives wa... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What's Your 2016 Wine of the...

  • Thanks for the warm welcome! First question: favourite producers is a muddy ... Blaufrankisch.)10. Spain: La Rioja Alta S.A. makes a good news on any day. Vina Ardanza Rioja is my favourite affordable-and-impressive dinner party drink for guests. Re. former Yugoslavia, start with Croatia and Serbia. They are way more advanced in skills and win... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

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