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Rioja Alta

Rioja Alta, a distinguished sub-region nestled within Spain’s renowned Rioja wine territory, boasts a captivating history and exceptional viticultural characteristics that contribute to its iconic wines. Situated in the western expanse of the Rioja area, Rioja Alta’s vineyards predominantly sprawl south of the Ebro River, distinguishing it from the neighboring sub-regions, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental (formerly known as Rioja Baja).

This sub-region pivots around the historic town of Haro, a nucleus of prestigious wineries and the annual June wine festival. Notable names like Bodegas Muga, Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta, La Rioja Alta, and Bodegas Marqués de Cáceres call this area home.

Climatic and soil factors significantly influence Rioja Alta’s viticulture. Sharing similarities with Rioja Alavesa’s climate, the elevated altitudes of Rioja Alta’s vineyards, in contrast to those in Rioja Baja, facilitate the retention of acidity, color, and moderate alcohol levels—a consequence that befits its moniker “high Rioja.”

The distinctive soil composition, while distinct from the limestone-rich soils of Rioja Alavesa, comprises a harmonious blend of clay, iron, and alluvial components. This amalgamation imparts a reddish hue to the soil, diverging from the sandy white soil of its northern counterpart.

In the realm of grape varieties, the Tempranillo thrives magnificently, giving rise to the quintessential “Rioja-style” wines. This varietal forms the cornerstone of most Rioja blends, capturing the essence of the region. Accompanying these are the Graciano and Garnacha grapes, contributing nuances that differentiate Rioja Alta’s wines. These wines exude an air of sophistication, characterized by a lighter body and moderated acidity, prioritizing elegance in their expression. The region’s wines notably thrive through a symbiotic relationship with oak barrels and extended aging, including the meticulous process of bottle maturation.

To further refine its wines, Rioja Alta embraced a novel system of geographic designations in 2018, heralded by the 2017 vintage. The designations, including Viñedo Singular (single vineyard), Vino Municipio (single village), and Vino de Zona (Rioja Alta), ushered in a new era of classification, underlining the region’s dedication to its storied legacy while embracing innovation. In conclusion, Rioja Alta continues to stand as a testament to the synergy between history, terroir, and innovation, resulting in wines that are revered worldwide.

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    12.50% /
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    • WA 92
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    (22 reviews)

    Lopez De Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva 2009

    12.00% /
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    • WS 93
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    • JS 97
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    12 bottles
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