Bodegas Riojanas is a family owned winery that has been making wine for over a century in Rioja, Spain. Bodega Riojanas has been attributed with pioneering modern winemaking in Rioja. In 1997 this small, family winemaking company turned into a major player by becoming a publicly traded company on the Madrid stock exchange. Bodegas Riojanas currently manages over 741 acres, most of which Tempranillo is planted, with a substantial proportion of Graciano and Mazuelo grapes planted as well. Bodegas Riojanas’ austere individuality comes from the addition of Graciano and Mazuelo [grapes] into their wines. In 1999 Bodegas Riojanas created Bodegas Torreduero in Toro, making a vow to the future of this wine region.
In the 1960´s Bodegas Riojanas focused on a new wine producing philosophy with a specialization in aged wines and stopped manufacturing bulk wines. Today Bodegas Riojanas offers an extensive range of products from Rioja, Toro, Rueda, Rías Baixas, Ribera de Duero, and Cava.
Bodegas Riojanas has a formidable presence in the United States market with a subsidiary company Bodegas Riojanas USA Corporation located in New Jersey. Bodegas Riojanas brand portfolio includes Azuel, Viore, Penamonte, Monte Real, Veiga Naum, Cruceiro Vello and Vina Albina and others.
At a recent wine tasting I had the opportunity to try some of the classically old world Spanish wines from Bodegas Riojanas. Four of the wines from the tasting will be hitting the South Florida Market this fall. When I use the phrase “classically old world” to describe the wines I’m speaking of wines that are steeped in tradition by the way they are produced and the way they present; the Bodegas Riojanas wines are ideal for those with experienced wine palates, not necessarily for those seeking fruity, fun and exuberance in their glass.
We started with the Penamonte Verdejo Blanco from the Toro region. This wine is made from 100% Verdejo grapes from vines that are between 20 and 45 years old. The Verdejo Blanco shows off its tropical fruits on the nose and brings in a natural earthy complexity on the taste. The more this wine opens up, the softer and more voluptuous it becomes.
The Bodegas Riojanas Albariño is marketed under the Veiga Naúm brand. On the nose this Albariño shows classic varietal personality, fresh, fruity, and acidic with big minerality. On the palate this little white wine shows a fuller style, with oak and earth elements adding to the overall texture and richness of the wine.
The first red in the tasting lineup was the Puerta Vieja Crianza, a red blend of Tempranillo, Mazuelo, and Graciano. The vinous personality of this is wine is robust with pronounced fruit, wood and spice. Tannic yet harmonious this red blend has the makings of a solid tapas-style wine.
Closing out the tasting was one of Spain’s best selling brands, Viña Albina. This sophisticated Reserva is classic Rioja Alta with its cherry-red, brick tones and its balanced harmony of fruit and oak. Vina Albina Reserva is subtle, fine and elegant.
Moderately priced, these four wines range in price from $12-$25. With a strong social media presence, you can follow Bodegas Riojanas on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.