Rioja Wines in La Rioja

The denomination Rioja is one of the most powerful and emblematic of Spain. Its vineyards are located on the banks of the Ebro River, in an advantaged region for the cultivation and making of wines that are considered benchmarks of quality both inside and outside of Spain. The main representative of these wines is the aged red wine. Thanks to the ageing, the wine experiences a favorable evolution that enhances its virtues, aromas and flavor characteristics, which is appreciated by consumers around the world.

Blanco Joven (Young Whites): These are yellow, straw-colored wines; greenish, clear and glossy with aromas of vegetables, fruits, flowers and more. When tasting, they have moderate acidity with a hint of freshness. It is served around 8-10 ºC, and it is a good accompaniment of fish dishes, seafood and rice. The variety of the Viura grape is the most widespread for White Riojas wines, not subject to ageing.

Blanco con Crianza (Aged Whites): These are yellow, straw-colored wines that are clear and glossy. They feature floral, fruity and oak-wood aromas. In the mouth they taste slightly acidic. It is recommended to keep them at a temperature between 10-12 ºC, and these wines are good companions of a variety of dishes such as shellfish, fish and stews.

Rosado Joven (Young Rosé): These are strawberry-colored wines with fruity and floral scents. When tasting, they have a balance between acidity and fruity flavors, with a taste of freshness. Consumption is recommended at a temperature between 8-10 ºC.

Rosado con Crianza (Aged Rosé): These wines are pink in color, and smell of red fruits and wood. Upon tasting, they are slightly acidic. For the rosés with or without ageing, a serving temperature of 10-12 ºC is recommended. These wines are especially good paired with white meats, stews, paellas and other rice dishes. For making it, the preferred grapes are Tempranillo, Garnacha Tinta, Graciano, Mazuelo and Maturana Tinta, but Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Verdejo can also be used.

Tinto Joven (Young Reds): These wines are a purple color with violet hues. They have an intense, fruity aroma, varietal characteristics, and a taste of floral. It is recommended that they are served between 12-14 ºC, and they should accompany rice dishes, pasta, legumes, vegetables, roasted white meat (with sauce), red meat, and cheeses. The red grape varieties cultivated in the area are Tempranillo, Garnacha Tinta, Graciano, Mazuelo and Maturana Tinta.

Tinto Crianza (Aged Reds): These wines have a hue of a cherry garnet. The aroma is fruity, and toasty nuances are interspersed in the mouth. The right temperature for serving is around 16-18 ºC, as for the Reserves and Grand Reserves.

Tinto Reserva (Reserve Reds): These are a cherry red color, with aromas of fruit and spices. Upon tasting they are perceived as soft, with good structure and gustatory harmony. Both Aged and Reserve red wines are excellent companions of legumes, meats and cheeses.

Tinto Gran Reserva (Grand Reserve Reds): These wines are a ruby-red color, with hues of brick. The aroma is very complex and intense. When tasting, they are soft, thin and persistent in flavor. They are good companions of red meat roasts, dishes from hunting, and very cured cheeses.

There are historical documents that show in the 11th century, King Sancho of Navarra recognized the prestige of the wines in the area. In the 17th century, the first references relating to the protection of the quality of Rioja wines appeared, although it was during the nineteenth century when the modern Riojas emerged. This is largely contributed to the noblemen of Riscal and Murrieta, who began to produce wines according to the Medoc system, subjecting the wines to ageing in oak casks.

The Rioja denomination of origin was already recognized as such in 1925, so it is one of the oldest in Spain. In addition, it was awarded the Character of Quality in 1991, thus reaching the highest level of quality of the regulated quality figures, and being the first to obtain it. The production area is subdivided into three sub-areas: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. One hundred kilometers apart are the westernmost town Haro, and the easternmost town Alfaro.  In this manner, the vineyards grow in a diverse range of soils (calcareous clay, ferrous clay, and alluvial soil are the three dominant types). Along with microclimates, the soils give the wines unique peculiarities and allow the making of a wide range of wines, different but with recognizable identities.

Buy these wines from their origin in our LUGARES FASCINANTES (Fascinating Places) LogroñoAlfaroHaro y San Millán de la Cogolla.

Regulatory Council DOCa “Rioja”
C/Estambrera, 52
26006 – Logroño (LA RIOJA)
Tel: 941 500 400
Fax: 941 500 664
E-mail: [email protected]

Rioja Wine Route

Images courtesy of © CVNE

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