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Decanter’s top tips for buying Rioja

The wide range of styles on offer, all at vastly different prices, can make the process of buying Rioja wines tricky to navigate. Follow our experts’ advice to find out what to look for, and discover where the real value lies.

Rioja is one of the great wine regions of the world, up there with Bordeaux, Burgundy, Barolo. Yet, unlike these other big names, you’ll find a remarkable number of Riojas on sale in the supermarkets at under £10. Setting aside this category of cheap wines, where is good value in Rioja? What are the smart buys now, and where are the likely prospects for the future?

In researching this article I spoke to sommeliers, restaurant managers, independent retailers, wine buyers and Masters of Wine. They all agreed that Rioja sells itself too cheaply. Take a look at our vintage guide and you will see what I – and they – mean.

Glorious wines, lovely maturity, but underpriced compared to their international peers. Value for me is all about quality, not about low prices. So where is the real value? Here are my six steps to heaven…

Scroll down to see notes and scores for Sarah Jane Evans MW’s 12 Riojas to seek out

12 to try: Evans’ mixed case of wines offering real value

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