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Rioja

Rioja

Until 150 years ago, Rioja was a well-regarded country wine of no international repute. Two well-travelled aristocrats then introduced expertise and oak casks from Bordeaux and the way was paved to greatness. Rioja is now the star red wine of Spain, though white and rosé versions are also produced. In 1991 the Rioja region became the first area to be awarded the new and prestigious DOCa status. It is worthy of this accolade, for top vintages rank amongst the very finest wines in the world.

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    • Origin
    • Rioja
    • Spain
    Brilliant, pale straw yellow colour with greenish hues. Fruity, varietal bouquet with a fresh mouthfeel and good balance. Read More
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    £6.25 exc VAT
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    • Origin
    • Rioja
    • Spain
    Elegant on the nose with aromas of plum and vanilla. Well structured and very pleasant to drink. Read More
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    Single 75cl bottle
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    This is a bold, full bodied Rioja with a pronounced nose of punchy red fruit, vanilla, and spice. More of the same on the palate leading into a long, ... Read More
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    £13.10 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £17.00 £14.17
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    • Origin
    • Rioja
    • Spain
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    £6.95 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £9.65 £8.04
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    Truley a limnited production wine with just over 6,000 bottles produced. Ripe toasted almonds on the nose with hind of peach and cashew nuts. Soft and... Read More
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    £10.05 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £14.15 £11.79
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    This incredible wine is aged 18 months in new American oak barrels, bottled and then aged another 16 months. This gives it a dark cherry/plum colour. ... Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    Tropical aromas with hints of citrus and some pineapple notes carry through to a clean palate with a creamy finish. Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    A pronounced nose of intense redcurrant fruit is joined on the palate by summer berries and soft spice.  Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Northern Spain
    • Rioja
    Concentrated aromas of dark berry and fig compliment the full body and rich fruit flavour. The flavour is reminiscent of fruit cake as the finish brin... Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    A fresh, fruity red which combines fresh red berry fruit with a subtle hint of spice on the finish. Read More
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    Single 75cl bottle
    £9.42 £7.85
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    An intense nose full of aromatic complexity with ripe red fruit and a rich roasted character. Subtle spice is present on the palate with some liquoric... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £11.88 What is MIX6?

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    £13.64 £11.37
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    Tropical aromas with hints of citrus and some pineapple notes carry through to a clean palate with a creamy finish. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £8.94 What is MIX6?

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    • Origin
    • Spain
    Intense summer berries on the nose and palate lead to a finish of good length and structure. Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    A pronounced nose of intense redcurrant fruit is joined on the palate by summer berries and soft spice.  Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    Great aromatic intensity and elegance, where the mature fruit dominates with hints of quince jam, figs, almond liquor, and pure cocoa assembled with b... Read More
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    Single 75cl bottle
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    Aromas of blackberries and raspberries are supported by hints of hazelnut, with a deep flavour and a vanilla filled finish. Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    Intense black-cherry colour with an attractive, powerful berry-fruit nose and hints of vanilla and spice. Velvety soft on the palate, this is a wine w... Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    As Rioja goes this is very light and approachable style. It has a ripe cherry fruit character which combines well with savoury notes to create a wine ... Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    A traditional-style Rioja which has been bottle-aged, giving the wine a smooth rich flavour with a soft balance. Read More
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  1. A bright ruby-red colour, with shades of violet typical in its youth. The aroma is open and fruity with light touches of vanilla and other spices. Read More
    BUY 6 for £48.10 £8.02 per bottle £40.08 exc VAT £6.68 exc VAT
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    The wine is characterised by ripe red fruit and exhibits secondary aromas of liquorice, cedar and cloves. The palate has a creamy texture interspersed... Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    Powerful, rich and seductive and exhibits vegetable/tobacco aromas nose. On the palate it is classy and complex with perfect harmony of oak and glorio... Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    This excellent barrel fermented white Rioja has a yellow, green colour. The nose is intense with lots of clean ripe citrus fruit and pleasant toasty o... Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    Clean, bright ruby red with aromas of vanilla, toast and spices. Well structured, meaty and balanced in the mouth. Read More
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Rioja is divided into three sub-districts - Riojas Alta, Alavesa and Baja - and the varying conditions within each suit different grape varieties. Grapes from all three can be blended together.

Vines and Styles

Red Rioja is often a blended wine and four grape varieties are traditionally permitted. Tempranillo is usually the most prominent and imparts the fresh fruit flavours, whilst Garnacha (Grenache) provides body and Mazuelo (Cariñena or Carignan) and Graciano are there for warmth and finesse. Once the wine is fermented (usually in stainless steel) and blended, it is almost always introduced to oak (those that are not are classed as joven or sin crianza) and then aged in the bottle. This is strictly regulated. A crianza wine must spend six months in oak and eighteen in the bottle, a reserva has been in oak for a year and will not be released until its fourth year, and a gran reserva is six years old when it goes on sale and has spent eighteen months in oak.

The white wines are made from Viura (known as Macabeo in France), Malvasia and Garnacha Blanca. They are usually fermented in stainless steel and are often meant to be drunk young and fresh, but some examples are rich and perfect for aging.

Climate and Conditions

The three sub-districts of Riojas Alavesa, Alta and Baja have differing climates and soil types that allow the whole variety of grapes to thrive.  Details of these can be found in their relevant sections.

Key Vintages

Both 2001 and 1998 are considered to be exceptional vintages and 2003, 2002 and 1999 were all judged to be good.  Wines from these years are still readily available.

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