Rioja Alta Wine

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Rioja Alta is a subzone of La Rioja in Spain, considered to be the most important of the three subzones (the other two are Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja). The vineyards here are at high altitudes, producing wines with deep color, balanced acidity and gentle alcohol. Tempranillo is the main grape grown, often assisted with small levels of Graciano and Garnacha. The traditional style of wine-making calls for some barrel maturation, depending on the level of aging classification (see below). A well made Rioja has full body with toasty oakiness akin to root beer, earthy notes and expressive dark fruit flavors. 

Age Classifications:
*The youngest wines are simply “Riojas” (or “Sin Crianza”) and are typically less than a year old before bottling and release, with little or no oak aging. 
*Crianzas spend at least a year in oak and a year in bottle. 
*Rioja Reservas spend at least one year in oak and two in bottle. 
*Grand Reservas are aged at least Read more »

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Popular wines made in Rioja Alta under $20

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Varietals Produced in Rioja Alta View all

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Graciano

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

  • Macabeo

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

  • 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...

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Rioja Alta on Snooth

  • Bodegas Y Viñedos Heras Cordon Tempranillo Blend Rioja Vendimia Seleccionada 2004


    We are Broker of Wines, Spirits, Oils of Olive and exportable others. And We have concrete orders for his products. We invite him to know our page and put to your disposition for any doubt that him could arise. Expecting to be able to extend his turnover we seize the opportunity to greet.Best Regards Sir. ... Read More

    Wine review by INTEREXPO

  • Beronia Viura Rioja Blanco 2012


    Very tight on the nose with a hint of green melon and some lovely dried herb and almond shell top notes. Smooth and integrated in the mouth, this delivers a nice array of fresh lemon, slightly peachy and melon flavors on the palate but does lack a bit of complexity. A hint in creaminess and some faint nutty shadings add some detail to the backen... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Cvne Rioja Monopole Blanco 2012


    Rather floral in the glass but with a restrained, earthy quality to the perfume which also picks up hints of grapefruit and a suggestion of green herb. Juicy up front,this gains a bit of flesh and roundness in the mouth where flavors of bruised peach and pear add nuance to the core of grapefruit pith and under-ripe pineapple fruit. A bit of almo... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Rioja Alta Ardanza Rioja 2004


    Drinking great Read More

    Wine review by jamlani

  • La Rioja Alta Rioja Vina Alberdi Reserva 2007


    Do not walk run away from this, it is some of the worst Spanish wine I have ever had and is a incredibly horrible value. Read More

    Wine review by johnclough

  • Rioja Alta Ardanza Rioja 2004


    No written review

    Wine review by avandoski

  • If you are seriously interested, I will send a presentation and brochure. To do ... Mancha, Ribero del Duero, Rioja Alta, Priorat, Penedes.If you send the email I will send the info today.Thanks for the interest Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine and Food in Spain

  • I organized a 12 day tour to Spain where we go some incredible wineries, tour ... to Ribero del Duero; then to Rioja Alta; Priorat and Penedes after that. Spanish cooking class and market tour with a master chef, a paella fest on the beach; and there is also free time as well. Looking at a September trip. If it sounds good, let me know by Marc... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine and Food in Spain

  • La Rioja Alta Tempranillo Blend Rioja Viña Arana Reserva 2005


    No written review

    Wine review by clarioss

  • La Rioja Alta Tempranillo Rioja Gran Reserva 904 2001


    Enjoyed this on 2 March, 2014. Should be noted that we had the 1994 Musar before this wine, so a tough comparison with a real classic.But this is a classic too, mid-dark ruby color turning light at the edges with an almost transparent rim. The nose is perfumed with dill, red berries, earth and vanilla. The palate is dry, smooth, light-bodied wit... Read More

    Wine review by Ruski

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