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Rioja Red Wine: Quality with Spanish flavor

do you know Rioja Red Wine? Pairing and characteristics. Prices and best brands. Rioja red wine is a very well known and consumed worldwide, its taste and aroma make it a delicacy that delights the palate.

Rioja red wine stands out thanks to its marked color, its fruity aroma and its strong flavor that make it elegant and firm, which has managed to capture the attention of red wine lovers around the world.

what is Rioja Red Wine?

Rioja red wine is a young wine of great flavor and aromatic strength, which, thanks to technological evolution, has changed positively to conquer demanding palates in search of forcefulness.

Origin and History of Rioja Red Wine

Its origin is directly linked to the Romans, the Phoenicians and the primitive Celtiberians, who were responsible for introducing the red vine used to make the red wine necessary to satisfy their own interests and those of their troops.

Origen e Historia del Vino Tinto Rioja
An ancient history that is kept alive

In 1102, the Rioja Regulatory Council indicated that King Sancho of Navarre legally recognized Rioja wine, and later in 1650 its quality and guarantee were highlighted, making them recognized ever since.

From this time onwards, the winegrowers of La Rioja began to take an interest in the care of their crops and began to use new techniques to obtain good harvests which would result in high quality red wines.

Characteristics of Rioja Red Wine

Rioja red wine is a very well known wine thanks to its color, flavor and fruity aroma that give it freshness.

  • It is a wine made mainly from Tempranillo grapes
  • It has a deep red color
  • Fruity aroma that achieves complexity when stored in barrels
  • It has abundant tannins
  • It is a wine of medium robustness
  • Its time in barrels makes it a wine with more body, maturity and strength

Color, flavor and aroma of Rioja Red Wine

Rioja red wine stands out thanks to its color, it is a wine that is drunk young and captures everyone’s attention thanks to its aromatic composition.

  • Appearance: Deep cherry red color, clean and bright
  • Nose: Aromas of fresh and stewed red fruit, aromatic herbs, spices and minerals, as well as hints of licorice, tobacco and chocolate
  • Palate: It is very tasty, round with great balance between the tannins of the wood and the grape, with a very long and persistent finish

Alcohol Content of Red Rioja Wine

Rioja red wine is a pleasant and fresh wine, its alcohol content is between 12.5% and 14.5%.

Types of Red Rioja Wine

Rioja red wine stands out thanks to its great organoleptic qualities for which it is known throughout the world. It can be found in 4 different types:


This is the classic red wine made from Tempranillo and which has not been aged in oak barrels.


This wine must have been aged for at least twenty-four months, of which at least six months must be in oak barrels.


This wine must have been aged for at least thirty-six months, of which at least twelve months must be in oak barrels.

Gran Reserva

This wine must have been aged for at least sixty months, of which at least eighteen months must be in oak barrels.

Rioja Red Wine Pairing

Rioja red wine is a versatile wine in great demand when it comes to accompanying dishes with which we want to enjoy a great episode of life, thanks to its forcefulness and tannins.

Rioja red wine, an excellent companion that will make you enjoy
  • Red meats: An ideal companion for dishes made with grilled and roasted meats, as it contributes to enhance their own characteristics
  • Game Meats: A natural enhancer that will balance the flavors, so a dish with wild boar, deer, etc. will be a perfect match for a dish made with game
  • White meats: Delicious combination full of great flavor
  • Pasta: Especially with those elaborated with meat
  • Vegetables: Especially with stewed vegetables
  • Cold meats: A perfect combination that will not leave you indifferent
  • Cheeses: Especially with semi-cured, cured or very cured cheeses, as it gives them the right balance

how is Red Rioja Wine made?

Its wine is made from destemmed grapes, and at least 95% of grapes of the Tempranillo, Garnacha tinta, Graciano, Mazuelo and Maturana tinta varieties must be used.

In the case of red wine made from whole grapes, the percentage must be at least 85%. There are two permitted methods of elaboration, the carbonic maceration method, traditional for winemakers for their early trade, and the method that removes the stems from the grape cluster before fermentation, which is the most used by winemakers for aging.

Characteristics of the grapes used to make Rioja Red Wine

The red grape varieties used to make Rioja red wine are full of flavour and qualities which, thanks to the climate and the characteristics of the soil where they are harvested, acquire certain special characteristics.

A high quality red grape variety

Tempranillo grape

It is one of the most important autochthonous grape varieties in Spain which has always been cultivated in La Rioja.

  • Large bunches with marked shoulders
  • Medium to large berries
  • Non-pigmented flesh
  • High vigor strains
  • High sensitivity to powdery mildew and medium sensitivity to downy mildew and black rot
  • With high yields can be short in color
  • Used for the production of young wines and crianza wines

Garnacha Tinta Grape

It is a very well known and cultivated variety in Spain which generates round and pleasant wines with great aromatic intensity

  • Medium to large cluster, well compact
  • Medium-sized berry with a dark violet-red epidermis
  • Pulp of soft consistency, very juicy and without pigmentation
  • Very vigorous vines
  • Very sensitive to downy mildew on leaves and bunches, black rot, excoriose and tasseling
  • Low tolerance to soil moisture and waterlogging

Graciano Grape

A variety with great potential that produces wines of great aroma and longevity

  • Large, compact bunches with very pronounced shoulders
  • Small berries with thick skins
  • Vigorous late budding and late ripening vines
  • Sensitive to botrytis
  • Adaptable to all types of soils, although it performs better in clayey or fresh calcareous soils

Mazuelo grape

A grape with a high tannin content, so it ages well and produces full-bodied wines

  • Large and compact cluster size
  • Large berries with veraisoned epidermis, blue-black color with a lot of bloom
  • Vigorous late budding vines
  • Very sensitive to powdery mildew, which can cause heavy losses due to late attacks on the bunches
  • Adapts well to any type of soil although it performs better and gives better yields on stony soils

Maturana Tinta grape

A variety whose must has very low acidity and high sugar content

  • Large clusters
  • Medium sized berries with soft pulp
  • Vigorous early budding vines
  • Does not accept soil moisture
  • Sensitive to mildew

Temperature of Rioja Red Wine

Rioja red wine is a fairly cool wine, it is recommended to serve at a temperature between 16°C and 18°C for young wines and between 18°C and 20°C for aged wines, as this will allow it to show its full splendor.

Price and best brands of Rioja Red Wine

Rioja red wine is an economical wine, so it is common to find it on the table of many homes, its flavor, aroma and quality make it the favorite of many, its price can range from 3 euros to 500 euros.

Campo Viejo Tempranillo

A ruby red wine, clean and bright, with aromas of red fruit well marked that in the mouth is fresh, smooth and very attractive 3,80 €.

Tahón de Tobelos Reserva 2012

A cherry red colored red covered with violet reflections, full of aromas with good intensity with notes of black fruits, spices, toast and a mineral background that gives complexity to the wine 21,00 €.

Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2009

A deep red wine that seduces thanks to its aromatic intensity with notes of red fruits, floral, truffle, incense and spicy touches that make it balanced and elegant 88,90 €.

Contador 2015

A blackberry-red colored red with a very intense layer and brightness, whose aroma of very ripe red and black fruits, highlight the balsamic character and aromatic herbs such as thyme, rosemary, lavender and fennel that give it volume, balance giving it a long aftertaste 279.90 €.

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 890, 2004 vintage

An exquisite cherry red wine with a medium cherry red color and pale pink rim, with an intense aroma with balsamic and spicy notes such as vanilla, caramel, English bonbon, on a background of prunes and dried apricots that give it balance, elegant acidity, structure and round polished tannins 390,00 €.

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