WINES of Rioja, Spain
Burgundy Wine with a Bordeaux History
Rioja is a wine region in Spain, with Denominación de Origen Calificada (D.O.Ca., “Qualified Designation of Origin”). Rioja wine is made from grapes grown in the autonomous communities of La Rioja and Navarre, and the Basque province of Álava. Rioja is further subdivided into three zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. Many wines have traditionally blended fruit from all three regions, though there is a slow growth in single-zone wines. he three principal regions of La Rioja are Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja with each area producing its own unique expression of Rioja wine. Most of the territory subjected to the Rioja Protected designation of origin is in the La Rioja region, even though their limits do not coincide exactly. There is a narrow strip in the left bank of the Ebro river lying in the southernmost part of Álava included in the La Rioja wine region, whereas the south-southwestern part of the La Rioja region is not a part of this Protected designation of origin.
Riojanas Monte Real Blanco
$6 / $20
Noticeable, complex, elegant varietal aromas. Good structure, warm and unctuous with good body. Very fruity with a long persistent finish. Throughout its 100-year history, winemaking techniques have evolved because Bodegas Riojanas combine the local winemaking tradition with the state-of-the-art winemaking techniques. Innovation goes hand in hand with respect for tradition. Therefore they have incorporated the most advanced winemaking techniques that allow for adaptation to current market trends. Bodegas Riojanas controls more than 300 hectares, from the best vineyards in Cenicero, San Vicente de la Sonsierra and nearby towns. The quintessential grape in Rioja is Tempranillo, but Bodegas Riojanas also has one of the largest areas dedicated to Mazuelo and Graciano within the denomination, varieties that provide greater personality to some of their wines. All the tasks developed from the grape sprouting in the vineyard until the wine arrives at your table are developed and run by Bodegas Riojanas staff, always having as objective the highest quality.
Luis Canas Crianza
$8.5 / $29
Cherry red color. Marked fruity character on the nose, with aromas of strawberry and banana and hint soft vanilla, cedar wood, fallen leaves and balsamic aromas. On the palate, it is enveloping and dense with potent but round tannins. The aftertaste brings back fruit notes and an acidity that gives freshness to the wine. Bodegas Luis Cañas is a family-owned winery that dates back to 1928, although the family has been in the grape-growing and winemaking business for more than two centuries. Today it is one of the leading wineries of Rioja Alavesa. At Luis Cañas, the vinification process starts with 222 acres of their own Tempranillo, Viura, Graciano, and Mazuelo vineyards and another 494 acres controlled by their regular grape suppliers. The vineyards are divided into 815 separate plots of land at an altitude of 1,300 to 1,640 feet above sea level.
Riojanas Vina Albina Crianza
$6 / $20
Bright cherry red color with fresh fruit and licorice aromas along with pronounce notes of spice and toasty flavors stemming from the new oak. Soft in the mouth with pleasant and velvety tannins on a nice long harmonious finish. As a result, this wine with its structure and complexity could have been classified as a Rioja Reserve with oak aging. Grapes were harvested with great care using classical elaboration, then destemmed and lightly crushed, utilizing the latest techniques to control fermentation, followed by an extended maceration. AGEING Aged 18 months in American oak barrels for optimal tannin integration, including an additional 6 months in the bottle prior to release for optimum maturity.
Marques Murrieta Red Reserva
$12 / $38
Tangible proof of elegance, balance and constancy characteristic of the Marques de Murrieta Winery and its surrounding vineyards situated in the Ygay Estate, it is a red reserva wine with a balanced aging of two years in new and partly new American oak barrels and a year and a half in bottle. The result is an elegant wine that combines complexity and fineness, summing up the best attributes of our identity and actuality. Marqués de Murrieta is more than a brand in the international market, it represents age-old wisdom expressed in one of the most recognized wines of Spain. With our daily work, respect and love for our land, the selection of the best grapes and the attention to detail throughout its almost four years of production, Marqués de Murrieta is a safe and constant value of the best quality.
Palacios Remondo La Montesa $7 / $22
Named after a hillside vineyard located on the northeastern slope of the Yerga mountain in eastern Rioja, La Montesa is a blend of the indigenous grape varieties that grow on the Palacios Remondo estate. Described by winemaker Alvaro Palacios as being ‘clear ruby-tocherry-red in color, with flecks of gold and silver’, it is a cheerful wine, with an indescribable vitality. Full of Mediterranean orchard fruit aromas including nectarines, pomegranates and oranges, the palate ‘contains vibrant and rich flavors of stone fruits, discrete spice and a vibrant chalky minerality’. Perfect when enjoyed by-the-glass on its own, La Montesa’s multi-faceted flavor profile will pair well with any kind of cuisine.
Bodegas Bilbaínas Viña Pomal Rioja Gran Reserva $15 / $55
The Gran Reserva is made from the highest quality wines, a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano, and aged for two years in American oak barrels followed by three years further maturation in the bottle. Deep, ruby coloured wine, with notes of red fruit including cherry and plum and backed by vanilla spice on the nose. This wine shows the hallmarks of Rioja Alta showing bright fruit flavours that are fine and elegantly assembled. Viña Pomal is the flagship label of Bodegas Bilbaínas’. Established in 1901, Bodegas Bilbaínas is one of the oldest estates and the oldest bottler in Rioja. They have the largest vineyard holding in Rioja Alta and are one of few estates in Rioja to have its own vineyards surrounding the winery. Viña Pomal has a long history with the UK and is a quality reference point for classic Reserva wines from the Rioja Alta. It celebrated its centenary in 2008 and was reputed to be the favourite Rioja of Winston Churchill. In the 1940s, Viña Pomal was bottled in London at Charing Cross.