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Rioja: Beyond the classics

Rioja’s reputation may have been built on its red wines, classified by ageing, but there’s much more to the region than these styles. An increasing number of rosé, orange, sparkling and cosechero wines are adding diversity to the vinous landscape.

Appellations of origin are regulated under a common law in the EU. You might think that they’re therefore very similar across the member states, but this is far from true. Italian appellations, for example, tend to designate specific wine styles, and their territories are often shared with other DOCs.

For example, ‘Brunello di Montalcino’ is a Sangiovese-based aged red wine, but the territory is also home to other appellations with different specifications.

In contrast, most Spanish appellations represent an individual territory, within which many different styles of wines can be made – and Rioja is a leading example of this philosophy. Under the Rioja DOCa, producers can make white, red, rosé, sparkling and sweet wines.

Scroll down to see notes and scores for 12 diverse and delicious Riojas

Something new: different Rioja wines to try at home

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