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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Varietals Produced in Rioja Alta View all

  • 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...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • Albariño

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

  • Graciano

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

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