Rioja - Red Wines

Such is/was the pre-eminence of Rioja in the Spanish wine market that the name is often used as a catch-all for all Spanish red wine. It is, however, a specific region, hugging the Rio Ebro (but taking its name from a tributary - the Rio Oja) in northern Spain. Much influenced by 19th Century Bordelais wine makers fleeing south from their phylloxera-infested vineyards, Rioja enthusiastically adopted the barrique (a small 225ltr barrel, in Spain made from American rather than French oak) and, thus, Rioja was for many decades intrinsically linked with oak and oaky flavours.

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