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Rioja Spain | Rioja Wine Region | Rioja Reserva

Possible the most recognized and famous wine region in Spain. Rioja is one of the first established wine regions in Spain with history tracing its first wine made to around 873 A.D. La Rioja was classified to DOC status in 1991 as they were producing the best quality wine in Spain. In this mountainous region, the main grape that is planted is the famous Tempranillo. Wines from this region are the class of Spain, with the top cuvees achieving superb finesse, perfect balance, and the smoothest finish you can taste. Wineries in this region are producing both modern wines as well as old school wines (old school = traditional). Modern wines are made using newer techniques, such as newer barrels, higher alcohol levels, and getting released right after they are bottled. Old school wines are made the old way, wine stays in the barrel longer, alcohol levels are lower and the wines are usually released several years after being bottled to achieve maximum drinkability after release. Top 5 wineries in this region are: Bodegas Lan, Bodegas Muga, Bodegas Ysios, Bodegas Contador and Bodegas R. Lopez de Heredia.


KEY INFORMATION ABOUT RIOJA

  • Official Denominación de Origen Calificada Year: 1991
  • Acres Under Vine: 123,000
  • Soil: Alluvial, Marl, Clay, Limestone
  • Vineyard Elevation: 820 to 1640 Feet
  • Major Grapes (Red): Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, Mazuelo
  • Major Grapes (White): Viura, Malvasía and Garnacha Blanca
  • Estimated Wineries: 150


WEATHER IN RIOJA

 

MONTH January February March April May June July August September October November December
AVERAGE WEATHER High: 55ºF Low: 43ºF High: 57ºF Low: 43ºF High: 61ºF Low: 45ºF High: 63ºF Low: 46ºF High: 66ºF Low: 52ºF High: 72ºF Low: 57ºF High: 77ºF Low: 61ºF High: 77ºF Low: 61ºF High: 75ºF Low: 57ºF High: 70ºF Low: 54ºF High: 63ºF Low: 48ºF High: 57ºF Low: 45ºF




SELECTION OF RIOJA WINES



Bodegas Ramon Bilbao, Crianza
Region: Rioja
Grape Varietal: 100% Tempranillo
Usually Scores: 88-91
Price: $13

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Vina Zaco
Region: Rioja
Grape Varietal: 100% Tempranillo
Usually Scores: 88-90
Price: $14

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Marques de Caceres, Crianza
Region: Rioja
Grape Varietal: 85% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha & Graciano
Usually Scores: 86-90
Price: $14

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With all the 2011 Spanish wines coming into the market right now, you should be preparing yourself for some of the worlds best values to show up. Most wines have already received great scores from Wine Spectator, Robert Parker, and International Wine Cellar. One of the biggest problems with Spanish wine is that they sell out quickly, and most people by them by the case. There are many great wine shops to buy these wines, but they usually sell out... Read more


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