Rioja

(ree-OH-hah) This highly regarded area of Spain makes some of the best Tempranillo-based wines in the world. Once the only DOCa (recently joined by Priorat in 2001), Rioja is divided into 3 sub-regions: Rioja Baja, Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa. There are 4 red varieties and 3 white varieties allowed in the Rioja DOC. Tempranillo definitely takes center stage, followed by Garnacha (Grenache)), which is sometimes added for body, then Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan). The region also makes roses. For whites, the main grape is Viura (or Macebo), producing fresh, early-drinking wines. Malvasia, the grape that was once the most planted white, is found less often.

Notable Facts

The Rioja wine trade is somewhat confusing. Grapes are typically brought to a merchant's bodega from one of the 20,000+ growers in the region, or via a cooperative. The wine is then bottled and labelled by that bodega. Rioja's Consejo Regulador keeps track of all vineyards and bodegas to make sure they are following the DOCa regulations. Put in place to ensure quality, the system also controls prices.

As with the rest of Spain, the wine label may state Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, depending on barrel & bottle maturation. Crianzas are usually found within two years of the vintage and offer fresh, ripe wines. Reserva and Gran Reserva will be found a few years after the vintage, as the bodega will be aging the wines in barrel and bottle before release. Both typically show more secondary characteristics of spice and oak ageing.
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  • La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2005
    $29.99
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  • Bodegas Muriel Reserva 2008
    $20.00 $16.99
    Save $3.01 (15%)
    Ships Mon, May 11
  • Bodegas Muga Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2010
    $16.99
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  • Bodegas y Vinedos Ilurce Rio Madre Graciano 2013
    $10.99
    Ships Mon, May 11
  • Bodegas Muga Reserva 2010
    $25.99
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  • Palacios Remondo La Montesa 2011
    $20.00 $15.99
    Save $4.01 (20%)
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  • Cune Crianza 2010
    $14.99
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    • red wine
    • screw cap wine
    • D90
    • RP90
  • Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva 2005
    $89.00 $69.99
    Save $19.01 (21%)
    Limit 3 bottles per customer
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  • Vina Eguia Reserva 2009
    $19.00 $15.99
    Save $3.01 (16%)
    Ships Mon, May 11
  • Vina Zaco  2012
    $10.99
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  • Bodegas Muga Seleccion Especial Reserva 2010
    $39.99
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    • red wine
    • collectible wine
    • boutique wine
    • WE94
    • V93
    • RP93
  • Marques de Caceres Rioja Crianza 2010
    $15.00 $12.99
    Save $2.01 (13%)
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  • Vina Eguia Tempranillo 2010
    $11.99
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    • red wine
    • screw cap wine
    • RP88
  • Campo Viejo Tempranillo 2011
    $12.00 $9.99
    Save $2.01 (17%)
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  • Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva 2009
    $25.00 $19.99
    Save $5.01 (20%)
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  • Bodegas Beronia Rioja Reserva 2008
    $24.00 $19.99
    Save $4.01 (17%)
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  • Vina Herminia Rioja Reserva 2006
    $24.00 $19.99
    Save $4.01 (17%)
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  • Montebuena Rioja 2012
    $11.99
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    • red wine
    • screw cap wine
    • ST90
    (2)
  • Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Crianza 2010
    $14.99
    Ships Mon, May 11
  • Antano Gran Seleccion Graciano 2008
    $15.00 $11.99
    Save $3.01 (20%)
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  • Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Reserva 2008
    $19.99
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  • Bodegas Muga Gran Reserva Prado Enea 2006
    $58.99
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    • red wine
    • boutique wine
    • RP96
    • WS92
    • V92
  • Bodegas Muga Blanco 2013
    $15.99
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  • Marques de Caceres Rioja Rosado 2013
    $8.99
    Ships tomorrow
    • pink & rosé
    • screw cap wine
  • Bodegas Montecillo Rioja Reserva 2009
    $18.99
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