Organic Rioja Wines
The Rioja wine region of Spain is one of the largest--with over 61,000 planted hectares of vineyards. With more than 16,000 different vineyards and 600 wineries, it's no surprise that the wines of Rioja are famous not only in Spain, but in the rest of the world! Rioja is well-known and well-loved in the UK, and there are many different styles for you to try.
Rioja is most famous for its wine made from Tempranillo. Tempranillo has the structure of the beloved Cabernet Sauvignon, but plenty of the fruit-heavy flavours that makes Grenache such a popular choice. The high-tannin wines produced in Rioja are perfect for eating with meat-heavy foods, as well as the rich flavours of Paella and other Spanish dishes.
There are four types of Rioja wine, which relate to their different aging:
• Rioja -- Once known as "vin joven" (young wine), Riojas are young Tempranillo wines without the more complex flavours that develop during the aging process. Meant to be enjoyed young and fruity, this style receives little or no time in oak.
• Crianza -- Crianzas spend no less than a year aging in oak casks (6 months for whites), and a few months sitting in the bottle. They are high-quality wines made to be ideal for any meal, as they are fuller bodied.
• Reserva -- Reserva wines have to age for at least 3 years (2 for whites), with a minimum of 1 year in oak, and the serious flavours set in. The oak casks give deeper, richer flavours to the wine, and the quality of the grapes used is much better.
• Gran Reserva -- These wines are oak-aged for no less than 2 years, and they spend an additional 3 years in the bottle. This gives them a high tannin content and excellent structure.
One of our producers, Viña Ijalba uses extremely rare native varieties such as Maturana Blanca and Graciano, as well as the more well-known Tempranillo.