The Top 10 Riojas: A Journey Through Spain’s Most Celebrated Wine Region

Rioja, Spain’s most famous wine region, has long been synonymous with world-class red wines. Known for its vibrant, elegant, and age-worthy offerings, Rioja has established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of wine. We invite you to explore the top 10 Riojas, which showcase the very best of this illustrious region.

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904:

La Rioja Alta is a revered winery that has been producing exceptional wines since 1890. The Gran Reserva 904 is a blend of predominantly Tempranillo with a touch of Graciano, aged for a minimum of four years in American oak barrels. This elegant and complex wine offers layers of red fruit, spice, and leather, with a velvety texture that will leave you captivated.

Marqués de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial:

Marqués de Murrieta is a prestigious winery that has been producing wine since 1852. The Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial is crafted from Tempranillo and Mazuelo grapes, aged for a minimum of six years in American oak barrels. With a remarkable balance of fruit, acidity, and tannins, this wine offers flavors of ripe red fruit, tobacco, and cedar, promising to age gracefully for decades.

Remirez de Ganuza Reserva:

Fernando Remirez de Ganuza’s innovative winemaking techniques have resulted in wines that have garnered international acclaim. The Remirez de Ganuza Reserva is crafted from a blend of Tempranillo and Graciano, aged for 22 months in French and American oak barrels. This modern Rioja exhibits intense flavors of black fruit, spices, and toasted oak, with velvety tannins and a persistent finish.

Roda Cirsion:

Bodegas Roda is a relatively young winery that has quickly gained a reputation for producing modern and expressive Riojas. Cirsion is crafted from a careful selection of Tempranillo and Graciano grapes, aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. This powerful and opulent wine showcases flavors of dark fruit, chocolate, and spices, with a plush texture and a long, lingering finish.

La Nieta, Viñedos de Páganos:

La Nieta is produced by the renowned Eguren family’s Viñedos de Páganos estate, located in the Rioja Alavesa sub-region. Made from 100% Tempranillo, the grapes are sourced from a small, single vineyard, resulting in a highly limited production. La Nieta is aged for 18 months in new French oak barrels, yielding an opulent wine with complex layers of dark fruit, tobacco, and spices. The wine is highly expressive and elegant, with well-integrated tannins and a lengthy finish.

Bodegas Amaren:

Bodegas Amaren, founded by Juan Luis Cañas of Bodegas Luis Cañas, is dedicated to producing premium wines in the Rioja Alavesa. The winery crafts modern and elegant wines, with a focus on single-vineyard expressions. Among their offerings, the Amaren Reserva Selección Especial stands out as a blend of 85% Tempranillo and 15% Graciano. It is aged for 24 months in French and American oak barrels. This wine showcases black cherry, dark chocolate, and sweet spice notes, with a velvety texture and a lingering finish.


Contino is a pioneering winery in Rioja, established in 1973 as one of the first single-estate producers in the region. Situated in the Rioja Alavesa, Contino is known for its exceptional wines, crafted from a blend of traditional and modern winemaking techniques. Among their noteworthy wines is the Contino Reserva, a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha, and Mazuelo. Aged for 24 months in a combination of French and American oak barrels, the Contino Reserva offers an elegant and complex profile, with flavors of ripe red fruit, spices, and subtle oak nuances.

Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva:

Bodegas Muga is a family-owned winery known for producing exceptional, traditional Riojas. The Prado Enea Gran Reserva is a blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, and Mazuelo, aged for at least six years in oak barrels. This harmonious and complex wine offers notes of black cherries, plums, and spices, with a persistent finish that lingers on the palate.

López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva:

López de Heredia is a legendary Rioja winery that has been producing classic, age-worthy wines since 1877. The Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva is made from Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, and Mazuelo, aged for a minimum of ten years in American oak barrels. This iconic wine displays a delicate balance of fruit, oak, and acidity, with flavors of dried cherries, leather, and tobacco.

Artadi Viña El Pisón:

Artadi is a renowned winery that focuses on producing terroir-driven wines from single vineyards. Viña El Pisón is a pure expression of Tempranillo, aged for 14 months in new French oak barrels. This exceptional wine offers a beautiful harmony of fruit,mineral, and oak notes, with flavors of blackberries, graphite, and licorice. Its superb structure and balance make it a highly sought-after wine among collectors.

The Rioja region offers an incredible range of wines, from traditional and age-worthy Gran Reservas to modern and expressive single-vineyard offerings. The top 10 Riojas mentioned above represent the very best of this diverse and exciting wine region. Each of these remarkable wines showcases the unique terroir and winemaking expertise that has helped place Rioja on the world stage. Explore these captivating Riojas and discover the rich tapestry of flavors that await you.

Take a quiz to test your knowledge

Written by

Bernard Marr has a deep passion for wine. He has written hundreds of articles on wine, including features for Forbes, covering wine-making and industry trends. Away from the world of wine, Bernard is a world-renown business and technology futurist. He is the award winning author of over 20 best-selling books and has a combined audience of nearly 4 million people across his social media channels and newsletters.

Wine Sections

Tasting and Enjoying Wine | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

Tasting & Enjoying Wine

Understanding Wine Making | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

Understanding Wine Making

Understanding Wine Regions | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

Understanding Wine Regions

Understanding Grape Varieties | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

Understanding Grape Varieties

Understanding Wine Labels | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

Understanding Wine Labels

The Wines of the World | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

The Wines of the World

Wine Trends & Technology | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

Wine Trends & Technology

Wine and Food Pairing | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

My Wine Adventures

Wine & Food Diary | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

Wine and Food Pairing

Wine Reviews | Bernard Marr | Wine Cellar

Wine Reviews

Some of my most memorable wines