Rioja - Printable Version

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- n144mann - 03-04-1999 01:30 PM

In general, when are you supposed to drink rioja wines?? Young or do they need to cellar for a few years?? If they do need to cellar, how long will they last?? What are the main grapes in the good (traditional) rioja wines??

[This message has been edited by n144mann (edited 03-04-99).]

[This message has been edited by n144mann (edited 03-04-99).]

- Jason - 03-05-1999 06:59 AM

In general, drink them when you are thirsty. No, really Rioja is one of the few regions who still age their wine prior to release. Like most regions the best examples will age very long, but the majority are able to be consumed upon release. I usually like the reservas as they offer a good blend of fruit and age. It is tough to generalize on Spain because there is great changes underway.The modern style is very different than the wines their fahther's made.Also the trend is
away from American oak, which has always been a calling card for Spain.With its recent inclusion into the EU Spain produces some great value right now. Don't overlook the whites either, some of the modern producers are really good (and cheap).

- Jason - 03-05-1999 07:04 AM

Grapes - Tempranillo and Garnacha.The latter is the same grape found in the southern Rhone called Grenache and the former is a unique beast to Spain and Portugal.I find great varaince between producers because of all the changes, but the modern style wines can be great by avoiding that dried out fruit and overoaked flavor that was so predominant until recently.

- n144mann - 03-05-1999 10:31 AM

Thanks Jason. I visited with the manager of one of our larger retailers here about these wines last night, and you pretty much echo what he said. He was helpful in that I have some Berberana (it was cheap and I was feeling adventurous). He told me he had opened some and even after letting it breathe for 3-4 hours it was just tooo young.(1996 vintage, 100% tempranillo) I have tried some of the whites. Had some Marues de Caceres dry white.(white from Rioja Alta, 100% Viura grape) It was a spectator selection so thought i'd give it a try. Pretty nice with seafood (we had it with crab). Thanks again for the info!