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Spain - Rioja
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Buy Spanish Wines - Rioja Online with UK and Europe Delivery
Rioja is the best known of Spanish wines and the red wines have traditionally been characterised by the long periods they spend in cask and their oaky nose and flavour. In recent years the reds have spent less time in wood and more in bottle, and Rioja has also been producing a new style of white wine , light, fresh and fruity, without age in wood.
The Rioja DOCa is divided into three sub regions of Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja.
Production of Rioja in its present style began after the double disasters of oidium and phylloxera in France in the late 1800’s, when French negociants moved into the district and introduced methods that were used in Bordeaux – notably destalking of the grapes and the aging of the wines in 225 litre oak casks. Long after the French reduced the period in wood , the Riojans continued to age the wines , both red and white for long years in oak – hence the characteristically vanilla – like bouquet and flavour and only recently has more attention been given to bottle age.
Of the many vine varieties formally grown in Rioja, the consejo reguador now approves only the following seven.
Tempranillo – the Rioja grape par excellence , thick skinned, intensely black high alcohol and suitable for aging.
Graciano – small, round and black, make fresh, aromatic wines but are too scarce, too low in alcohol to be used on their own.
Mazuelo – large pointed grapes yield musts rich in colour, extract and tannin, good for wood aged wines.
Garnacha/Grenache – medium sized, thin skinned , widely grown in many other parts of Spain, their musts contain high alcohol, are blended with others to contribute alcohol degree and body. On their own Garnacha wines oxidise very quickly.
Some experimental plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon are permitted
Viura or Macabeo are particulary suited for making light and fruity white wines. Malvasia, vigorous and large leaved but proned to mildew and produce fresh wines with low alcohol but often blended with Viura. Granacha Blanca , not used much in Rioja but produce pleasant white wines, higher in alcohol.
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Medium bodied, dry red, easy drinking
Bodegas Olarra is located on the outskirts of Logrono in the heart of the Rioja region. Since its establishment in 1973, Olarra has been noted for the beauty and complexity of its unique premises, thanks to its Y shaped ground plan and 111 hexagonal domes. It is commonly known as the Catherdral of Rioja
El Coto Rosado, Rioja, has been produced from Tempranillo and Garnacha grapes. It has a lovely salmon pink colour as a result of a short skin maceration and has been fermented at low temperatures to maximise the strawberry and red currant aromas. On the palate the wine is powerful with fresh aromas and ripe fruit.
Medium to full bodied dry red with complexity and finesse
Marques de Caceres Crianza Tinto, Rioja is full-bodied, fragrant with some ageing in both French and American oak casks An expertly-crafted Rioja Crianza combining vibrant berry fruits with the merest seasoning of spicy oak. A popular blend of Tempranillo,Graciano and Garnacha grapes
El Coto Blanco Verdejo, Rioja has been produced with grapes of the Verdejo variety from the highest altitude vineyard in the DOCa Rioja. Fermentation at a very low temperature makes it possible to extract tropical fruit, fennel and anise aromas. On the palate it is unctuous, lively and elkegant with a persistent freshness.
Gran Dominio Rioja Reserva has a deep red colour in the glass with glints of violet. Nice aromas of dark ripe fruits and hints of liquorice on the nose. Very silky on the palate with lots more fruit and nuances of vanilla, then a little soft warm spice on the long finish.
Vina Palaciega Reserva Rioja is a deep red colour in the glass with tempting aromas of red fruit, coffee and vanilla on the nose. On the palate, lots of fruity flavours, including strawberries, plum jam and more vanilla. Has a good long lasting finish.
Hazana Vinas Viejas Rioja is made from 45- to 70-year-old bush vines (85% Tempranillo and 15% Graciano). Aged 12 months in French and American oak, a select blend to create a modern fruit driven wine, this intensely fruity wine delivers a mix of leather, tobacco and berries on the nose and a rich, balanced palate perfect for most occasions,