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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. 2015 Muga Rioja Blanco

    2015 Muga Rioja Blanco

    90 Points John Caro
    A beautiful white Rioja, Muga reject 50% of their superb fruit for this high quality drop. It is mostly the Viura grape (Macabeo) fermented on fine lees in new French oak. But is hardly 'oaky' ...
    Elsewhere up to $26.99 Save $3 $23.99 a bottle
  2. 2014 Callejo Flores de Callejo

    2014 Callejo Flores de Callejo

    John’s Picks
    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 ...
    Elsewhere up to $29.99 Save $5 $24.99 a bottle
  3. 2012  Muga Reserva Rioja

    2012 Muga Reserva Rioja

    93 Points John Caro
    Our biggest selling Rioja, the Muga Reserva hits that perfect balance of modern and traditional. Lush, concentrated fruit gets perfect ripeness then some serious time in old and new oak for even ...
    Elsewhere up to $38.99 Save $4 $34.99 a bottle
  4. 2013 Callejo Crianza

    2013 Callejo Crianza

    92 Points John Caro
    This Tempranillo from Callejo is a beautiful example - elegant and complex...rather like a great Music. Callejo care so much about their wine they play music in the barrel halls! Despite full ...
    Elsewhere up to $39.99 Save $4 $35.99 a bottle
  5. 2008 La Rioja Alta Reserva Vina Arana

    2008 La Rioja Alta Reserva Vina Arana

    91 Points Antonio Galloni's Vinous
    Superbly aged Rioja Reserva that's 8 years old - for under $40! La Rioja Alta are a legendary producers making strictly traditional, aged, complex wines for a famously moderate price. This one ...
    Elsewhere up to $44.99 Save $5 $39.99 a bottle
  6. 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 a bottle
  7. 2011 Muga Reserva Selection Especial Rioja

    2011 Muga Reserva Selection Especial Rioja

    92 Points Parker's Wine Advocate
    A voluptuous red Rioja Reserva, this powerful old vine cuvee saw 26 months in barrel. With deep dark fruits and toasty oak it is rich and almost creamy in texture, with a beautiful balancing act ...
    Elsewhere up to $55.99 Save $6 $49.99 a bottle
  8. 2007 La Rioja Alta Reserva Vina Ardanza

    2007 La Rioja Alta Reserva Vina Ardanza

    John’s Picks
    94 Points Parker's Wine Advocate
    Astounding value in old-fashioned Rioja, this 2007 Vina Ardanza is intense stuff. It offers staggering depth in the classical Rioja characters – rich red fruits, spice and gamey tocacco ...
    Elsewhere up to $55.99 Save $6 $49.99 a bottle
  9. 2010 Cune (Cvne) Gran Reserva Rioja

    2010 Cune (Cvne) Gran Reserva Rioja

    91 Points Parker's Wine Advocate
    A sweet spot in the middle of the Cune range, this gorgeous Gran Reserva offers plump, beautifully realised fruit from an "excellent" vintage. Two full years in oak plus time in bottle have ...
    Elsewhere up to $55.99 Save $6 $49.99 a bottle
  10. 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 ...
    Elsewhere up to $59.99 Save $5 $54.99 a bottle

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