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!
Brian Carter 2016 Corrida Spanish-style Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Columbia ValleyThis is a blend of 66% Tempranillo, 21% Granciano, 8% Garnacha and ...See Full Review$34
Guerra 2016 Roble Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainRaw red fruit aromas of currant and cranberry include a hint of ...See Full Review$14
Abad Dom Bueno 2016 Laderas Del Norte Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainReduced berry and olive aromas require a lot of air, swirling and ...See Full Review$24
Guerra 2016 Tradición Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainEarthy red fruit aromas lead to a modest palate with an apple-skins ...See Full Review$13
Casar de Burbia 2016 Casar Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainA black color and ultraripe aromas of raisin and oaky vanilla open ...Best BuySee Full Review$11
Pagos del Galir 2016 Mencía (Valdeorras)Northern SpainStalky berry aromas don't pop with much freshness, while this is strapping ...See Full Review$17
Pikes 2016 Los Compañeros Shiraz-Tempranillo (Clare Valley)South AustraliaThis blend of 80% Shiraz, 20% Tempranillo is reminiscent of a French ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$17
Luna Beberide 2017 Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainSpicy blackberry and black plum aromas are true to Mencía and Bierzo. ...See Full Review$17
Losada 2017 El Pájaro Rojo Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainEarthy berry and raisin aromas are not what you'd call exact, and ...See Full Review$19
Palacio De Canedo 2017 Maceración Ecológico Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainDusty berry, black plum and pasty aromas include a note of clove. ...See Full Review$15
A Fuga 2017 Mencía (Ribeira Sacra)GaliciaBaked, jammy berry aromas are spiced up with clove and nutmeg notes. ...See Full Review$15
Quinta Promesa 2017 Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainA hot, oaky and resiny nose offers candied berry scents. On the ...See Full Review$15
Bovale 2016 Bobal (Utiel-Requena)LevanteSmoky blackberry and dark-plum flavors are robust and convincing, while this Bobal ...See Full Review$15
Bodegas Iranzo 2016 Azul de Bobal (Utiel-Requena)LevanteResiny oak aromas rest atop blackberry, raisin and prune scents on what ...See Full Review$15
Vicente Gandia 2016 BO Único Bobal (Utiel-Requena)LevanteEarthy plum and berry aromas rise up amid notes of gaseous reduction. ...See Full Review$15
Pago de Tharsys 2016 Tharsys City Tinto Bobal (Utiel-Requena)LevanteTire-rubber, blackberry and black-cherry aromas lead to a medium-to-full palate with rubbery ...Best BuySee Full Review$13
Pago de Tharsys 2016 Acedemia de los Nocturnos Bobal (Utiel-Requena)LevanteEarthy plum and berry aromas lack concentration and depth. In the mouth, ...Best BuySee Full Review$10
Clementine Carter 2017 Graciano (Santa Ynez Valley)Central CoastThis is one of the early bottlings labeled Graciano, from grapes that ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$45
Brian Carter NV 1 Upland Vineyard Graciano (Snipes Mountain)Columbia ValleyExamples of this variety are rare in the state. Aromas of blackberry, ...See Full Review$85
Marichal 2017 Tannat (Canelones)UruguayCandied black cherry aromas are similar to what you get from many ...See Full Review$17
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