Re-discover Rioja

Re-discover Rioja Image

Rioja is Spain’s most famous wine Region and known as the historical heart of Spanish wine. With this case of 6 different and energising Rioja’s we are going to take you on a journey to discover the best of the region.


El Camino de Santiago takes the pilgrims through Logroño, the capital of the region of La Rioja, and it was due to this sacred pilgrimage that Medieval Christianity brought trade and wine to the region and the area flourished locally. Fast-forward to 1800's when a vine killing disease called ‘Phylloxera' ruined all of Frances vineyards, French merchants flocked to Rioja, bringing the traditional and prized wine making techniques of Bordeaux and barrel style / aged bottled. Rioja thrived under the Bordelaise techniques.  

In modern times Rioja came back from its own Phylloxera outbreak in the early 20th Century but became popular again in the 1970's only to fall out of fashion in the 1980's due to overpriced and underperforming wines. Now back ‘on trend' producing some of the best valued wines in the world.

Rioja produces 280 – 300 million litres of wine per year, the equivalent of 120 Olympic sized swimming pools, of which 90% is red wine and 10% is both white and rosé.


Rioja Ageing Classification...

Traditionally Rioja has been classified using the oak-aging production techniques as an indicator of quality. The very newly introduced system encourages wineries to encourage regional microclimates and singular vineyard sites. We have a few wines in store following the new classification system, however for now, let us recap the system which has shaped the region for generations.

Joven or ‘Young Rioja' does not have any ageing requirements. Joven wines are fruitful and typically offer great value.

Crianza refers to a wine that has spent one year in barrel and a further year in bottle as a ,minimum. 

Reserva refers, only produced in good years (dependant on the producer), to a wine that has spent one year in bottle and a further two years in barrel as a minimum. 

Gran Reserva, only produced in exceptional years (dependant on the producer), wines spends a minimum of two years in barrel and a further three years in bottle. 

If you fancy learning more about Rioja through tasting, which we recommend sensibly, then have a look at our Re-discover Rioja case. 6 different sytles of Rioja to tickle your tastebuds. 

'Re-discover Rioja' Case contents below...

To purchase your case and save on these great wines click here..


Nube Rioja Blanco Semidulce

New wave-off dry style of white Rioja. Sweetness from the fruit not the addition of sugar. A taste sensation with an explosion of floral and fruit sensations. Hints of apple and pear. A pleasant and easy wine to drink. Fresh thanks to the natural acidity and silky from the delicious sweetness. A play of flavours with the right balance between sweetness and acidity invites you to continue enjoying this great white Rioja.

Made with a selection of Viura grapes from Leza Garcia's own vineyards. Cold maceration to extract aromas from the skins, soft pressing, settling, cold fermentation of the clean must and halting fermentation to preserve part of the natural sugars of the grape.

Perfect as an aperitif, with light desserts or soft cheeses. 


Ontañón Rioja Reserva

Ontañón Rioja Vetiver Blanco

White Rioja with a little age. Showing opulent aromas of pear and jasmine, with tropical notes and well-integrated oak. The palate is poised with pineapple, vanilla and crisp lemon acidity - and brioche notes on the finish.

This wine is aged according to the typical white Rioja method: 4 months in American oak (mostly used) followed by 6 months in bottle prior to release.

Lobster or langoustines with a cream-based pasta sauce, or roast chicken dishes.


Valdepalacios Rioja Tinto

Clean, bright, ruby-red wine with noticeably clear fruity aromas. Everything and more from this young Rioja!

This wine is made mainly with Tempranillo grapes and a small proportion of red Grenache and Mazuelo, which gives it a fruity aroma and flavour. Clean, bright, ruby-red wine with very defined fruity aromas. Balanced taste with the right proportion of acidity, freshness and softness, with a fruity finish.


Vega Piedra Rioja Tinto

Soft, approachable, appealing and aromatic with generous ripe red berry fruit and hints of spice. The palate is light and plummy, gentle and rounded, with a long and juicy finish.

Haro, Rioja, has a climate with Atlantic influences - long, cold winters, warm summers with cooler evenings, plentiful rainfall and a diversity of soils. Grapes grown are a combination of Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano.

Wines are aged in old American and French oak barrels.

Pairs well with Moroccan dishes such as pink lamb, duck breast and game.


Artesa Rioja Crianza

A forward and attractive, modern, style of Crianza with perfectly integrated and expressive plum and juicy blackcurrant aromas - complemented by perfumed jasmine notes, pepper and spice. Medium bodied on the palate, with more ripe black fruits and hints of vanilla, building to a savoury finish with light tannins giving grip.

Artesa Rioja Crianza

Artesa Rioja Crianza is made from Tempranillo grapes cultivated in hillside vineyards (600 metres above sea level) in the best parts of Rioja Baja. The vineyards have clay stone soil with some sandy spots. 80% of the vines are trained in the trellis method and 20% are bush trained.

The grapes are chilled for several hours before fermentation is started. Fermentation is temperature controlled (maximum temperature does not exceed 28 degrees Centigrade) and lasts for 15 days with twice daily remontage. The wine is matured for at least 12 months in American oak, 20% new each year, before being bottled.

Perfectly paired with casseroles, red and white meats and mature cheeses.

Ontañón Rioja Reserva 2010

Great depth of flavour and fruit - a beautifully structured wine to enjoy for years to come.

Deep, dark fruit flavours combined with ample acidity, minerality and earthy notes. It has a fine structure and natural grape tannins to give good length and weight.

Reservas are only produced in years of exceptional quality - and from the most select vineyards. The Tempranillo is sourced from La Pasada, and the Graciano from La Montesa vineyard.

After a long maceration the wine spends 12 months in 60% American and 40% French oak (both used and new), followed by 24 months in bottle.

Drink this Reserva with lamb, roast pork or mushroom risotto.

Last Updated: 10/09/2020
Author: Sarah Hattersley
Sarah Hattersley

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