La Rioja


The region extends for approx. 120 km along both sides of the Ebro River and is, at its widest, 50 kilometers, bounded by mountains on either side. In fact, the word "Rioja" is a derivation of the two words "Rio" (River) and "Oja" (name of a tributary of the Ebro, located near the region's southwestern boundary).

The main grape in all of Spain is Tempranillo. Tempranillo responds sublimely to delicate integration of American and French oak, producing deep colored smooth, elegant wines capable of long aging, with sensuous notes of vanilla, cedar and soft spice. It’s most famous expression is in the rich, velvety red wines of this region, where it is mostly blended with Garnacha Tinta, Mazuelo and Graciano and aged in oak barricas.

*Spanish wine label hints*
Aging Requirements:

Sin Crianza: Wine with little or no aging in oak casks. Often referred to as Vino Joven:. Must be comprised of 100% Rioja grapes, as with all Rioja guaranteed origin wines.

Crianza: Wine in its 3rd year, matured for at least 1 year in oak cask, at least 1 year in bottle.

Reserva: Carefully selected wines, aged for at least three years, of which at least one is in oak cask and the rest in the bottle.

Gran Reserva: Wines which have been aged at least two years in oak cask and at least three years in the bottle.


Spicy, rich, complex Rioja drinking beautifully right now. Deep ruby in color, it is full and intense with a complex bouquet and a depth of ripe fruit which later matches its elegance, richness and full flavor. Marques de Caceras Reserva Red is produced from grapes that are specially selected in certain years for their outstanding quality. It spends just over two years in oak and at least three in the bottle before release.

** I recommended this wine because I had the chance to drink 4 bottles of it while I was in Cuba. We paid approximately $28 (restaurant price) for the bottle - it was delicious.

This bottle may not be available in the LCBO, however, La Rioja produces great wine many of which are available at the LCBO for very affordable prices.

Enjoy a bottle of Spanish wine!

The Wine Enthusiast