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Best Spanish Rioja Red Wines

Top 10 Best Spanish Rioja Red Wines for under $80 [2022 Edition]

Be swooned by the mellow charms of the Best Spanish Rioja Red Wines. Spanish Rioja red wines are usually between the more austere French and Italian wines and the more accessible flavours of Australian ones. These Spanish wines are usually from the regions of Rioja Alta, Rioja Oriental, and Rioaj Alavesa. Enjoy the concentrated flavours of blackcurrant, spice, and firm tannins with the more mature variety of Spanish Rioja Red Wines.


1. Luis Cañas Reserva Selección de la Familia 2016

About Wine & Winery:

Bodegas Luis Cañas is a family winery founded in 1928 and it is located in the heart of Rioja Alavesa. However, it was not until 1970 when Luis Cañas started to market bottles of a young wine. Gradually, the winery’s marketing and sales efforts increased, making it one of the leading wine producers in Rioja Alavesa today. In 1994, Juan Luis, only son of Luis Cañas’, oversaw the birth of a new modern winery and equipped the facility with the best winemaking systems. The result is a wine of undisputed quality, which has gained a steady market share and built a base of loyal clientele as well as achieved awards in the most prestigious national and international tastings and competitions.

Country: Spain

Pricing: $76

Website: Vivino

 


2. La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva 2009

About Wine & Winery:

La Rioja Alta, S.A. is a Spanish winery based in Haro, La Rioja. It was founded in 1890 by five local growers: Daniel-Alfredo Ardanza y Sanchez, Saturnina Garcia Cid y Gárete, Dionisio del Prado y Lablanca, Felipe Puig de la Bellacasa y Herrán, and Mariano Lacorte Tapia.In 1904 Alfredo Ardanza merged the group with his own winery. La Rioja Alta produces Viña Ardanza which is a blend of tempranillo with 20% garnacha, and a lighter Viña Arana blended with graciano and mazuelo. The winery currently has 425 hectares of vineyards.

Country: Spain

Pricing: $79

Website: Vivino

 


3. La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva 2012

About Wine & Winery:

Rioja is arguably Spain’s top wine region and is one of only two regions classified under the Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa) system. It is two most important red grapes are Tempranillo and Garnacha. Although red wines from Rioja are prized, Spanish wines generally offer great bang for the buck, allowing one to indulge in quality vino without breaking the bank! There are four categories of red wine in Rioja. The youngest of these is “Joven”. “Crianza” wines are required to age for a minimum of 2 years, with 6 months spent in oak barrels. The next level is “Reserva” in which the wine ages for a minimum of 3 years, with at least 1 year in oak barrels. Finally, the most mature wines are labeled “Gran Reserva”. These wines mature for a minimum of 2 years in oak barrels, followed by at least 3 years in the bottle. Typically younger wines will be lighter in body style, exhibit more fresh fruit characteristics, and are suitable to drink while young. Older wines have more developed flavor profiles, earthy characteristics, and are better suited to aging. The medium body and high acidity in Spanish red wines from Rioja make them excellent for pairing with a variety of foods. The approachable price points make these wines of outstanding quality, readily available to enjoy sans guilt.

Country: Spain

Pricing: $72

Website: Vivino

 


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4. R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Viña Tondonia Reserva 2008

About Wine & Winery:

The 2008 has a fine, elegant nose of fresh red cherry fruit and sweet spice. The wine has a lifted bouquet, perfumed with exotic hints of pot pourri, raspberry tea, and red liquorice. The depths of the bouquet are seriously impressive; you could mull over these aromas for hours. When you do feel inclined to broach the palate, it is immediately apparent that this is a wine with a huge future ahead of it. The acidity is astonishing – it is one of López de Heredia’s trademark characteristics – yet it is the complexity and maturity of the flavours, combined with this freshness, that is truly inspirational. And then there is the finish: such an enduring, mouthcoating, intense finish. The concentration is hugely impressive, leaving a timeless, scented-yet-savoury impression in the mouth, long after the last sip. R. López de Heredia is a family-owned property, founded in 1877, who cherishes its history. At the heart of their winemaking philosophy is a commitment to follow the values and proven techniques of their ancestors. The winery has expanded over the decades and today covers an area of 53,076 square meters; the underground cellars are 200 meters long and descend to a depth of 15 meters. Winemaker, Maria José used to play hide and seek in the cellars with her eight cousins as a child! A remarkable 12,900 oak barrels are stored within the cellar structure. The Bodega is home to 72 oak vats – some well over one hundred years old – from Cantabria, Bosnia, Allier, and the USA. These oak casks which range in size from 60 to 640 hectolitres play a pivotal role in the fermentation process and they work to the traditional methods for making Rioja.

Country: Spain

Pricing: $82

Website: Vivino

 


5. La Rioja Alta Viña Alberdi Reserva 2015

About Wine & Winery:

With over 4,600 ratings and 93 points by James Suckling – One of most affordable and highly-rated Riojas!” There are few names that are so closely linked to the Rioja tradition as La Rioja Alta. That is why the wines of this 125-year-old winery have long had a huge following the world over. This is also the case with the Viña Alberdi Reserva 2015, which was recently rated by James Suckling with an impressive 93/100 points. The Vivino community has a very similar opinion and awarded this wine highly, making it into Vivino’s top list in the Spanish Rioja Red category. La Rioja Alta is widely recognised to be one of the finest wineries in the region and is known for defining the traditional oak-aged style of Rioja. Founded on July 10th, 1890 by five families, the descendants are still important shareholders to this day. Indeed Guillermo de Aranzabal, president of La Rioja Alta, is the fifth generation of his family to work in the business. There are two grounds on which La Rioja Alta remains firmly traditional – it only uses American oak, and indeed makes its own barrels, and also releases its wines comparatively late to other producers having aged them in both barrel and bottle and only putting them on the market once they are ready to drink. The Estate’s most celebrated Gran Reserva is the 890, which is named after the founding date of the winery, and the 904 marks the date when the Ardanza winery was merged with La Rioja Alta in 1904.

Country: Spain

Pricing: $72

Website: Vivino

 


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6. Marqués de Murrieta Reserva Rioja (Finca Ygay) 2016

About Wine & Winery:

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 the 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.

Country: Spain

Pricing: $63

Website: Vivino

 


7. Imperial Rioja Reserva 2016

About Wine & Winery:

Deep cherry red in color. The nose is attractive and complex, combining the fruit-driven notes from the blend of varieties with those from the aging in French and American oak barrels. The palate is well rounded, with the clear presence of supple, silky tannins, and concludes with a long and very pleasing finish.

Country: Spain

Pricing: $60.50

Website: Vivino

 

8. Marqués de Riscal Reserva XR 2015

About Wine & Winery:

Marqués de Riscal has always been a pioneering company and a point of reference for the sector. In 1858 it had already become the first Rioja winery to make wines following the Bordeaux methods. In 1972 it was the leading winery behind the creation of the Rueda appellation—where its famous white wines are produced—and in 1991 Barón de Chirel was launched, the first “high expression” wine (Barón de Chirel 1986). In 2006 “The City of Wine” was inaugurated. This building, designed by the architect Frank O. Gehry, is still the most avant-garde project undertaken by a Spanish wine cellar to date. Marqués de Riscal sells its products in more than 110 countries and its wines have been honoured with the highest international distinctions, as well as numerous awards and mentions in the specialist press. Marqués de Riscal has been named the second-best vineyard in the world and the first in Europe in the World’s Best Vineyards 2021 competition, a world ranking of the best wine tourism destinations.

Country: Spain

Pricing: $49.60

Website: Vivino

 


9. Marqués de Riscal Rioja Gran Reserva 2014

About Wine & Winery:

Over 17,000 ratings across all vintages – One of The Most Rated Wines From Rioja” If you love Spanish wine, you’ll have heard of Marqués de Riscal. It is one of the biggest names in Rioja – if not Spain – and this is an amazing opportunity to get your hands on a fantastic aged Rioja which will last for decades more yet. With a reputation for reliability and top quality, this wine has been established as a benchmark for Rioja. Made from vines mostly planted before 1970, the 2014 Gran Reserva has been aged for at least five years, (two in oak) and is made only in a good vintage. Our users clearly love it just as much as we do with over 17,000 ratings across all vintages! Scoring 94 points by James Suckling and 95 points by Giua Penin, this is a wine built to last. With a beautiful black-cherry colour with violet hues, the wine expresses dark fruit and balsamic notes on the notes while on the palate it’s nicely full-bodied, with plenty of vanilla, red cherry, herbs, and blackcurrant. The tannins are silky, making this an excellent wine with food. Think cured meat, Spanish cheese, ham, and steak. One of the kings of Rioja, Marqués de Riscal was established in 1858, making it one of the oldest Rioja estates in Spain. Its dedication to quality, consistency, and affordability has made it a global brand name, winning numerous awards and honoured as the 2013 Wine Enthusiast European Winery of the Year. It currently has 1,500 hectares of vineyards – 600 of which is owned outright – that grow Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

Country: Spain

Pricing: $88

Website: Vivino

 


10. Torre de Oña Martelo Reserva 2014

About Wine & Winery:

A more modern style of Rioja is made in the Alavesa subzone. The chalky soils here lend themselves to this rounder, richer style. Dried rose petal and balsamic scented reserva, showing vibrant raspberry fruit and fresh acid. A chocolate-coated cherry character with hints of vanilla on the palate. Superb structure with ripe, fine-grained tannins and a tar-like grip towards the end of the long finish. The 2014 Martelo is produced with the grapes from their oldest vines, mostly Tempranillo put through a cold soak after alcoholic fermentation then in barrique for a slow malolactic fermentation of 96 days. This was followed by an élevage in 80% American and 20% French oak barrels for two years, during which time it was racked four times. It has incredible aromatics with surprising notes of beef blood, iron and meat with tons of fruit, as Martelo is the vineyard where they find more fruit. This is a very elegant, aromatic, and fine Rioja (they decided to bottle it in a Burgundy bottle) and it’s not a coincidence, because that is what they are looking for. The palate follows the same path of finesse, balance, and freshness. A very impressive Rioja.

Country: Spain

Pricing: $71

Website: Vivino

 


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