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Rioja

Rioja is Spain’s answer to Bordeaux: its famous region for serious reds. Like Bordeaux this river basin is near the Atlantic but elevated and a little inland, staying hot and dry in the rain shadow of hills just to the north. Only 15% of its wines are delicious whites, while only 15% of blended reds are Garnacha (and Graciano, et al). The great bulk are red wines dominated by the spicy and tannic grape, Tempranillo, whose berry fruit, leather and tobacco notes mesh nicely with Rioja’s heavy use of oak. Top Rioja enjoys the cedar note of French oak but American oak is more traditional, valued for its more pronounced coconut-vanilla infusion. Oak also defines the local hierarchy with ‘Joven’ (young) wines getting none, ‘Crianza’ getting one year in oak and one year in bottle and ‘Reserva’ at least one in oak and two in bottle before release.   

Rioja

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  1. 2016 Muga Rioja Blanco

    2016 Muga Rioja Blanco

    90 Points John Caro
    A beautiful white Rioja, Muga reject 50% of their superb fruit for this high quality white. It is mostly the Viura grape (Macabeo) fermented on fine lees in new French oak. But is hardly 'oaky' ...
    $23.99 in mixed 6+ or $26.99 per bottle
  2. 2015 Callejo Flores de Callejo

    2015 Callejo Flores de Callejo

    91 Points John Caro
    A juicy and complex Tempranillo from Spanish stunners Callejo. Already full of ripe, succulent fruit – embellished by florals and savoury/tobacco notes – it also has the concentration to ...
    $24.99 in mixed 6+ or $27.99 per bottle
  3. 2016 Artadi Rioja Tempranillo Crianza

    2016 Artadi Rioja Tempranillo Crianza

    90 Points John Caro
    Luscious Tempranillo from a top producer who specialises in this local variety. From elevated vineyards between 450-700 metres, this is ripe and slurpy bu bright and aromatic, with juicy fruits ...
    $26.99 in mixed 6+ or $29.99 per bottle
  4. 2014 Callejo Crianza

    2014 Callejo Crianza

    92 Points John Caro
    This rich Tempranillo from Callejo is a beautiful example – rich, oaky and structured with fine tannins. Despite full body reflecting this Ribera Del Douro climate – and the wood characters ...
    Elsewhere up to $39.99 Save $4 $35.99 per bottle
  5. 2011 Callejo Finca Valdelroble

    2011 Callejo Finca Valdelroble

    92 Points John Caro
    Gorgeously lush and dark, this special drop from Callejo is one of the leading wines of Ribera del Duero. It is from an elevated site that was, strangely, earmarked for an airfield before the ...
    Elsewhere up to $44.99 Save $5 $39.99 in mixed 6+ or $44.99 per bottle
  6. 2015 Artadi Rioja Vinas De Gain

    2015 Artadi Rioja Vinas De Gain

    91 Points John Caro
    A plump, modern-style Rioja with lots of structure and texture. Many layers of pithy, salty and oaky complexity are wrapped up in ripe, warm, bright fruit and body to charismatic effect. A great ...
    $44.99 in mixed 6+ or $49.99 per bottle
  7. 2009 La Rioja Alta Reserva Vina Arana

    2009 La Rioja Alta Reserva Vina Arana

    90 Points Parker's Wine Advocate
    Superbly aged Rioja Reserva that's 9 years old - for $40 odd! La Rioja Alta are a legendary producers of strictly traditional, aged, complex wines for a famously moderate price. This one has ...
    $44.99 in mixed 6+ or $49.99 per bottle
  8. 2012 Callejo Majuelos de Callejo

    2012 Callejo Majuelos de Callejo

    92 Points John Caro
    Ripe and silky, this vibrant old vine Tempranillo is from a fastidious producer who also happens to be a legend. And organic. With slurpy, sweet-fruited richness it's tempting to call it ...
    $54.99 in mixed 6+ or $59.99 per bottle
  9. 2011 Cune (Cvne) Contino Reserva Rioja

    2011 Cune (Cvne) Contino Reserva Rioja

    91 Points Antonio Galloni's Vinous
    A really sophisticated Reserva from Rioja, the Contino is top notch. Plush and ripe from an excellent vintage (rated 95/100 by Robert Parker) this wine also manages to be perfectly poised – ...
    $62.99 in mixed 6+ or $69.99 per bottle
  10. 2012 Cune (Cvne) Imperial Reserva Rioja

    2012 Cune (Cvne) Imperial Reserva Rioja

    92 Points Parker's Wine Advocate
    Balancing the modern and classical in Rioja red, this special Reserva has had two years in oak and two more in bottle, but it is bright-fruited as well as complex and savoury, with the tannin ...
    $62.99 in mixed 6+ or $69.99 per bottle

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