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

  • Grenache

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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,...

  • Malbec

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

  • 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

  • Castillo Labastida

    Labastida Wineries and Vineyards combines the traditional wine-making ethos with the latest techn...

  • Señorío de San Vicente

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

  • Marqués de Vargas

    Winery The winery Marqués de Vargas was built in 1989 on the Hacienda Pradolagar Estate in Lo...

  • Marqués de Riscal

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

  • Bodegas Ramón Bilbao

    Bodegas Ramón Bilbao was established in 1924 by wine trader Ramón Bilbao Murga in the Rioja re...

  • Viña Valoria

    It is an old wine cellar, whose background dates from 1860, that decided to expand and modify its...

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Rioja on Snooth

  • Artadi Rioja Viñas de Gain 2002


    Artadi 2002 Strong anise vanilla, deep black cherry, light wood, all on the nose after a ½ hour of air in a decanter. Big wine rich with vanilla, cream, deep rich cherry black cherry, gorgeous lushness. Wow, a lot of depth and more. Opened over an hour and it's still deep and strong. Little bit of an herbal quality with rich fruit and a strong m... Read More

    Wine review by 27831ryanopaz 27831 ryanopaz

  • R. López de Heredia Tempranillo Blend Rioja Reserva Viña Tondonia 1996


    Had this with a suckling pig in Segovia. A first on both accounts. Incredible wine with richness and depth though a bit lighter than I expected. Nice fruit and good acid that cut through the rich meat of the 20 day old roasted milk fed suckling pig. I don't know which I liked more but they both went together so nicely. Look forward to having the... Read More

    Wine review by 27831ryanopaz 27831 ryanopaz

  • C.V.N.E. Compania Vinicola Norte de Espana Rioja Rosado 2003


    Very light with pale orange at the edges with a nice rose center. Fresh current nose some strawberry with a spice very light. Light to med weight in the mouth with a delicate sweetness that starts to coat the tongue and dries on the finsih leaving a light orange zest coating it. Rich berry flavors with a core of fresh cherry that resembles a "jo... Read More

    Wine review by 27831ryanopaz 27831 ryanopaz

  • Bodegas Muga Grenache Blend Rioja Rosado 2003


    Orangish pink though it is a bit dark where I am. Not much of a nose though it might be a bit cold. The palate is light with a dryness throughout and crisp finish. Flavors are light, with some faint berry, light orange, and mainly a flower petal quality. This is two years old I hope that it did not lose so much in so little time. I'll let it war... Read More

    Wine review by 27831ryanopaz 27831 ryanopaz

  • Bodegas Franco Rioja Diamante NV


    Nice pale yellow with steely highlights. Kind of an earthy nose like a ripe brie, almost a light banana thing, and some peach. Medium body with a light sweetness that lingers on the finish. Sweet fruit and fresh peach with a light mineral/herbal note that hides in the background. Not bad table quaffer. C4+A11+T15+O6=86 [86] Read More

    Wine review by 27831ryanopaz 27831 ryanopaz

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