Rioja wine is the best seller in Spain, the most recognized abroad, the most discussed, but, however, sometimes we do not realize that talking about Rioja in general is a simplification that detracts the wines.
So, when we talk about Rioja, we are mixing the 3 sub-zones that draw up the appellation, which do not have much in common with each other:
First, in alphabetical order, is Rioja Alavesa. There are 18 wine-producing municipalities in Alava under this appellation, which features are the Atlantic climate and calcareous-clayey soils. The produced wines have a balanced acidity, and it is considered a very suitable zone to the most traditional reds and also the most complex whites.
The following is Rioja Alta, also dominated by Atlantic climate, but the soil type is more varied: clayey-calcareous, alluvial and clayey-ferrous soils. It is an area in which the wines develop a high acidity, making them more suitable for long aging in barrels. Reserves and Great Reserves of known prestige are produced in Rioja Alta.
Finally, we find Rioja Baja, an area with Mediterranean climate and mainly alluvial soils, where the wines are less acidic and have more alcohol; denser, with more body, so it is an ideal area to create flavorful rosé wines, and fleshy reds, more powerful and less acidic than the rest under the appellation.
As always, we leave you a recommendation, which in this case will be one per sub-zone, but before buying wine, we recommend you to look at the recommendations of other users of Uvinum. You will be surprised!
From Rioja Alavesa we choose, as we said, a complex white of Bodega Remelluri, the Remelluri Blanco 2009. Not a cheap wine, not even a wine that appeals to everyone, but it is a white of a stunning quality that the connoisseurs analyzed again and again by the complexity and richness of its flavors.
However, from Rioja Alta we recommend a Special Reserve with a non-extravagant price: the Viña Ardanza Reserva Especial 2001, a very good year for aging wines, which has produced this wine, with a very persistent flavor in mouth.
Finally, a rosé wine from Rioja Baja. In this case the Barón de Ley Rosado 2011, from Barón de Ley. It is a rosé wine with a wonderful flavor that nicely accompanies any light meal such as salads, sushi or rice. Bon appetit!