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

  • 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...

  • Counoise

    Counoise is primarily known as one of the 13 varieties allowed in Chateaneuf du Pape. It adds to the aromatics of the...

  • 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,...

  • Albariño

    History of the grape: Legend has it that Cluny monks from Burgundy brought the parentage of the grape, either Rieslin...

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Rioja Alta on Snooth

  • Bodegas Lan Rioja Crianza 2005


    No written review

    Wine review by WineyChrissy

  • Paul, I'd like your thoughts on the La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza and the Alberdi too if you have tried it. Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Stephen, any comments on the Aussie wines and their prices towards the top of this list?  Clos du Rouge Gorge, young vines, in the Roussilon A Connoisseur's Cellar, Part 10 of 8: some fine bits towards the endWe might get another round, but after today there will be a break for at least a little while from this relentless assault of interesting ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Aussie Wine in the US

  • MY FIRST VISIT TO BERN'S STEAKHOUSE - Tampa (4/8/2017)Like any true ... ... Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, RiojaI had ordered a Tuna Tartar with a toasted sesame drizzle as an appetizer and this paired so well it was seamless. Colorwas pale golden. White flowers and sweet caramel on the nose. It started reserved but as time passed and the wi... Read More

    Forum post in the topic The wine geeks holy grail, I...

  • La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2005


    No written review

    Wine review by BrooklynD

  • 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!

  • Vina Pomal Rioja Reserva 2010


    No written review

    Wine review by Teppo

  • Vina Zaco Rioja 2011


    This was a disappointment in comparison to the '08. Could be that it sat to longer. The fresh berry notes were muted and the wine seemed out of balance. There was an uncharacteristic burn at the end also. Good, but nothing to write home about - Paul 83 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951

  • Vina Zaco Rioja 2011


    No written review

    Wine review by JulRenA

  • Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Viña Cumbrero Crianza 2010


    At first I was a little disappointed but as the wine opened the cherry, spice and honeyed notes started to rise up and with a little swirling it got going at the it developed into the Top 100 WS wine that it should. The honey note was particularly satisfying at the end - drink or hold. Paul 90 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951

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