Red wine is produced throughout the country, from indigenous and international grape varieties. The most significant Spanish regions for red wine production are Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Priorat and Toro.
Rioja is the best-known region for quality Spanish red wine. Located in Northern Spain, the Rioja DO is made up of three distinct zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. Though white and rosé wine is produced here, it is best known for its red wines.
Red Rioja wines are usually blends, with Tempranillo being the most important grape variety. Garnacha, Mazuelo (better known as Carignan or Cariñena) and Graciano are also widely used.
Perhaps the most significant factor in Rioja—as with much Spanish red wine—is the use of oak aging. The length of time a Rioja wine spends in oak will impact not only its style but also its official classification. Young wines with little or no aging will be labelled simply as “Rioja” or “Joven.” In ascending order, the next levels are Rioja Crianza, Rioja Reserva and Rioja Gran Reserva.
Rioja Crianza tends to show more primary fruit characteristics, Reserva beginning to show more complexity and oak influences, and Gran Reserva showing mostly tertiary aromas derived from its aging.
Ribera del Duero
This region in north-central Spain produces some of the country’s finest red wines. Top producers can rival the highest-end wines of Bordeaux, Tuscany and California when it comes to quality, prestige and even price.
Red wine from Ribera del Duero is primarily produced from the local variant of Tempranillo, known as Tinto Fino. Other grape varieties permitted include Bordeaux varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. Ribera del Duero wines tend to be deep in color and firm in flavor.
Priorat is a distinctive and isolated wine-producing region in the Tarragona province of Catalunya. Its steep hillside vineyards of stony soils combine with low yielding old vines to produce intense red wines.
Up to 10 different grape varieties are permitted, though most significant are Garnacha and Mazuelo. Priorat is one of very few wine regions throughout the world capable of making truly premium wines predominantly from these varieties. Other grapes permitted here include Merlot, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Macabeo and Garnacha Blanca, among others.
Toro is a Spanish red wine region in the Zamora region of Castilla y Léon. These wines are some of Spain’s most full-bodied, powerful and robust. The most important grape here is Tinta de Toro, the local name for the Tempranillo grape. Some producers also use a little Garnacha, with up to 10% of that variety permitted in wines labelled “Tinto Roble.”
Other significant areas producing Spanish red wine include Navarra, Jumilla, La Mancha, Bierzo and Yecla.
To browse Spanish red wines by region or price, use our online Buying Guide below. At Wine Enthusiast Magazine, we review thousands of wines annually to provide our readers with information needed to find that perfect bottle!
Thacher 2020 Hastings Ranch Graciano (Adelaida District)Central CoastThe one-ton lot of Graciano delivered a compelling expression, starting with aromas ...See Full Review$52
Thacher 2021 Siletto Family Vineyards Mencía (San Benito)Central CoastMany vintners believe Mencía has a great future in California, and this ...See Full Review$45
Piazza Family 2021 Carbonic Bella Vista Vineyard Graciano (Ballard Canyon)Central CoastGraciano makes for a very exciting carbonic fermentation option, as this early-release ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$30
Clementine Carter 2020 Graciano (Santa Ynez Valley)Central CoastLively and fresh aromas of strawberry and grape meet with lilac and ...See Full Review$48
Piazza Family 2021 Bella Vista Vineyard Rosé of Graciano (Ballard Canyon)Central CoastAlmost a fuschia color in the glass, this bottling is relatively light ...See Full Review$28
Ursa 2018 Silvaspoons Vineyards Mencía (Alta Mesa)Central ValleyThis savory, appetizing, salt-and-pepper-accented wine shows more meaty than fruity flavors, while ...See Full Review$25
Bella Ridge 2017 Tempranillo-Grenache (Western Australia)Western AustraliaThis is an open, aromatic Tempranillo-Grenache blend from a small, outside-the-box producer ...See Full Review$25
Fratelli Cosmo NV Vino Frizzante Così E' Col Fondo (Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore)VenetoWhite spring flowers, citrus rind and notes of brewer's yeast greet the ...See Full Review$22
Terra Costantino 2021 Rosato De Aetna Red (Etna)Sicily & SardiniaFloral aromas recalling Spanish broom mingle with Mediterranean scrub and white stone ...See Full Review$27
Luna Beberide 2019 Finca Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainThis black cherry colored wine features a nose of bramble berries, tapenade ...See Full Review$30
Puerto Del Monte 2019 Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainDark garnet in the glass, this wine has aromas of blackberry, black ...See Full Review$19
Luna Beberide 2020 Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainThe color of blueberry pie, this wine has aromas of cassis, cherry ...See Full Review$19
Cavalchina 2021 Bardolino ChiarettoVenetoAromas recalling Spanish broom, eucalyptus and a whiff of truffle shape the ...See Full Review$18
Santi 2021 Infinito (Bardolino Chiaretto)VenetoThis savory rosato has delicate aromas of wild red berries, Spanish broom ...Best BuySee Full Review$14
Piazza Family 2020 Carbonic Bella Vista Vineyard Graciano (Ballard Canyon)Central CoastThis is a great example of carbonic fermentation finding a grape that ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$30
Brian Carter 2019 Corrida Spanish Style Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Columbia ValleyBrian Carter has always been at the forefront of exploration in Washington, ...See Full Review$34
Thacher 2019 Hastings Ranch Vineyard Graciano (Paso Robles)Central CoastThick aromas of cassis, clove and vanilla make for a very rich ...See Full Review$52
Rectoral de Amandi 2020 Colleita Seleccionada Mencía (Ribeira Sacra)GaliciaThis violet-colored wine has a nose of pomegranate and cocoa powder. It ...Best BuySee Full Review$15
Regina Viarum 2020 Viticultura Heroica Mencía (Ribeira Sacra)GaliciaDark-ruby colored, this wine has a bouquet of raspberry and mocha. It ...See Full Review$32
Palacio De Canedo 2020 Ecológico Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainAromas of black currant, vanilla bean and fennel bulb set the scene ...See Full Review$15
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