Has anyone else ever suddenly realized that a nice Rioja reserva fills the bill about 80% of the time? I laugh because I routinely spend far more on California and French wines I end up liking a whole lot less! Cheers. champagne.gif

Totally. This is exactly why I have 20+ cases of various rioja sitting in the offsite. 10 cases alone of 2008-2010 LRA Ardanza. Tonight enjoying a 2012 Mas La Plana. Rioja looms large on our house winelist


Alfert ruined most Rioja for me
The pickle juice note

It certainly has a salinity/savory thing going on at the front. I think that’s one of the things I like about it.

I probably need to explore more. I’ve had great experiences with old Rioja (some from 58, 62, 64, 70, 73) but haven’t hit it off with young ones. I don’t mind oak but a lot of young wines I’ve tried have seemed over-extracted.

If the only red wines were Tondonia and Bosconia Reservas, it would be ok. But I would miss the Gran Reservas.

I hear you. But sometimes I struggle with the sweet American oak notes, which can be too vanillin and distracting at times.

Don’t want to sound like AFWE snob. It’s all about balance. Ridge wines often push the oak envelope for me but I love them! Many Riojas play in the same danger zone for me.

Great relative value play, especially great producers from 70s etc

Rioja is a great option, but you have to pick your american oak tolerance and your producers, and also pick the era, as I think oak treatment has varied a lot over the years. And some places use french oak rather than american. Personally my sweet spot is the older stuff–older CVNE, Riojanas, and of course LdH.

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You’re not the only one! (Alt: Duh.) :grinning:

I’ve enjoyed a couple of 2016 Muja Reserva Unfiltered in the last few months. What a great wine for $25-30 to just buy off the shelf and drink the same night.


The best part of my visit to San Sebastian. Or the best liquid part at least!

My last pre-pandemic trip. Gorgeous city.

I concur. This reminds me to purchase a few more.

Exactly, it’s the perfect cellar defender, but I enjoy drinking it so much sometimes I wonder why I bother with cellaring other (far more expensive) wines!

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Rioja was my first wine love. Living in England, there was a lot of it, and the prices were good. Now living in the US, the selection seems a little narrower but there is still plenty available and the pricing is still tremendous compared to other wines of similar quality. We drink a lot of La Rioja Alta and lesser amounts of Lopez de Heredia, Muga, CVNE, Marques de Riscal, LAN, Peciña.

I also happen to love American oak, so have none of the problems that some others do.

This is a spot on rec, IMO.

This wine is one of the very few I buy every year. Very good QPR, consistently delivers pleasure, and has a long drinking window (I recently enjoyed a bottle of the 2004).

I often recommend it to friends and co-workers who are not particularly interested in wine but want something a little bit nicer for an occasion.

Alfert ruined most Rioja for me viewtopic.php?p=2938310#p2938310
The pickle juice note

La Rioja Alta have the most pronounced dill character in Rioja that I have tasted. It has never influenced my enjoyment of the wines and the Alberdi Reserva does have some dill but less pronounced then their other wines.

Muga is a good alternative as I get wood on their wines but dill is not noticeable

I’ve enjoyed a couple of 2016 Muja Reserva Unfiltered in the last few months. What a great wine for $25-30 to just buy off the shelf and drink the same night.

This is always the wine I recommend to those exploring Rioja wines for the first time. [cheers.gif]

I think Muga uses mostly French oak, so the younger wines don’t have the dill issues. I also think it’s a go-to wine if you need a readily available younger Rioja. For most Riojas, I don’t so much have a problem with the American oak, but for some reason, LRA wines are just over the top for me (in terms of the dill).

One of my favorite wines is Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva. I really respect the fact that they only produce this in good vintages. They never produced 2002, 2003, 2007, 2012, 2013 to name a few vintages that never happened.