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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
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    Elegant on the nose with aromas of plum and vanilla. Well-structured and very pleasant to drink. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £7.50 What is MIX6?

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    £6.25 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £8.75 £7.29
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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 a... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £15.72 What is MIX6?

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    £13.10 exc VAT
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    £17.00 £14.17
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    Brilliant, pale straw yellow in colour with greenish hues. Fruity, varietal bouquet with a fresh mouthfeel and good balance. Read More
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    £6.38 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £8.86 £7.38
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    A pronounced nose of intense redcurrant fruit is joined on the palate by summer berries and soft spice. Half bottle size. Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    Elegant red wine with hints of liquorice and dark fruit both on the nose and the palate. Well-structured and easy to drink thanks to a low level of ta... Read More
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    £6.95 exc VAT
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    £9.65 £8.04
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    A pronounced nose of intense redcurrant fruit is joined on the palate by summer berries and soft spice. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £7.80 What is MIX6?

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    £6.50 exc VAT
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    A bright ruby-red in 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
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    £7.15 exc VAT
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    As Rioja goes, this is a very light and approachable style. It has a ripe cherry fruit character which combines well with savoury and spicy notes to c... Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    Aromas of blackberries and raspberries are supported by hints of hazelnuts and spices. Deep flavour paired with a medium to full-bodied structure evol... Read More
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    £9.45 exc VAT
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    £13.00 £10.83
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    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
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    £9.96 exc VAT
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    £13.64 £11.37
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    A traditional-style Rioja with aromas of black and red fruit paired with juicy plum and strawberry flavours. Silky smooth, yet complex red wine. Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    Intense black-cherry in colour with an attractive, powerful berry-fruit nose and hints of vanilla and spice. Velvety soft with great depth of ripe red... Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    This incredible wine is aged 15 months in new American oak barrels, bottled and then aged another 16 months. This gives it a dark cherry/plum colour a... Read More
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    • Origin
    • 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 bri... Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    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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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    Powerful, rich and seductive Rioja exhibiting aromas of vegetables and tobacco. On the palate, it is classy and complex with perfect harmony of oak an... Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    Intense summer berries on the nose and palate lead to a long and structured finish. Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    White wine from Rioja (half bottle) with a good balance between acidity and fruitiness, accompanied by intense aromas of ripe fruit, citrus and flower... Read More
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    £4.04 exc VAT
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    White wine from Rioja with a good balance between acidity and fruitiness, accompanied by intense aromas of ripe fruit, citrus and flowers. Read More
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    • Origin
    • Spain
    • Rioja
    Truly a limited production wine with just over 6,000 bottles produced. On the nose, it offers notes of tropical fruits and white flowers with hints of... Read More
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    £10.05 exc VAT
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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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