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

  • 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,...

  • Counoise

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • 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

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Teppo


  • Vina Zaco Rioja 2011

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by JulRenA


  • Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Viña Cumbrero Crianza 2010

    Snoothrank:

    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


  • Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Viña Cumbrero Crianza 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by JulRenA


  • Marques de Caceres Rioja Excellens Cuvee Especial 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Another lovely one. Mint, Blackcurrant, and roasted Plum. Medium Acidity and very soft and full in the mouth with a toasted Caramel and Oak finish. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • La Rioja Alta S.A. Rioja Gran Reserva Cosecha 1994

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by smuratore


  • Vina Ijalba Rioja Livor Tempranillo 2012

    Snoothrank:

    This seemed like an unusual rioja to me. It is pretty sweet and heavy, with some complexity. Fruit syrup, a dash of yeast, a little citrus. Good. Read More

    Wine review by Slipstream


  • Vina Pomal Crianza. Bodegas Bilbainas 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Found on Wine.com - just a wonder! here are some notes from RP - 'The 2011 Vina Zaco changed labels and profile to a more modern style a few years ago and displays a darker shade of cherry color, ripe notes of red and black berries, flowers and a meaty palate where the wood is perfectly integrated with the fruit, which finally feels more classic... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


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