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!
Marqués de Toro 2016 Finca la Moura Mencía (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León)Northern SpainAn opaque purple color and ripe, slightly reduced aromas of blackberry, cassis, ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$38
Godelia 2016 Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainThis attractive Mencía from a terrific vintage opens with wiry black-fruit aromas ...See Full Review$22
Señorío de la Antigua 2016 Finca Cabanela Mencía (Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León)Northern SpainEnchanting aromas of blackberry and cassis include just the right amount of ...See Full Review$32
Paixar 2016 Dragonte Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainCherry and red plum aromas are backed by lactic oak notes. A ...See Full Review$79
Bokisch 2017 Terra Alta Vineyard Estate Grown Graciano (Clements Hills)Central ValleyThis suave and supple estate-grown wine wraps blackberry and clove flavors in ...See Full Review$27
Al-Cantàra 2019 Amuri di Dimmina e Amuri di Matri Rosato (Etna)Sicily & SardiniaBright and inviting, this opens with aromas of Spanish broom, red berry ...See Full Review$25
Finca San Blas 2016 Bobal (Utiel-Requena)LevanteAn opaque darkness and bullish aromas of baked black fruits and tree ...See Full Review$20
Bodegas Murviedro 2017 Sericis Cepas Viejas Bobal (Utiel-Requena)LevanteOak-based aromas of vanilla and dill are offset by rougher scents of ...See Full Review$30
Luna Beberide 2018 Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainGritty blackberry, black olive and rubbery aromas open this wide-bodied Mencía that's ...See Full Review$17
Bodegas Demencia 2018 Pyjama Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainA reduced and slightly funky nose shows floral notes, gritty berry fruit ...See Full Review$16
Faustino Rivero Ulecia 2019 Joven Bobal (Utiel-Requena)LevanteFiery black cherry and wild berry aromas are accompanied by vanilla, plastic ...See Full Review$14
Abadía da Cova 2018 A Fuga Viticultura de Montaña Mencía (Ribeira Sacra)GaliciaEarthy cherry and raspberry aromas include floral hints, while this treads lightly ...See Full Review$20
Pago de los Abuelos 2018 Viñas Centenarias Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainGummy berry aromas are loose, unfocused and gamy, while this feels sticky ...See Full Review$36
Vinos Valtuille 2018 Pago de Valdoneje Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainBaked berry and plum aromas include desiccated notes of raisin and earth. ...See Full Review$15
Bodega de Edgar 2018 Gracias Paper Street Vineyard Graciano (Paso Robles Willow Creek District)Central CoastWhen Graciano was accidentally planted across the Central Coast, vintners were mostly ...Editors’ ChoiceSee Full Review$58
Oliver's Taranga Vineyards 2019 Mencía (McLaren Vale)South AustraliaCorrina Wright and her team have showed the viability of a variety ...See Full Review$35
Sparkman 2018 Reunión Graciano (Snipes Mountain)Columbia ValleyThe seldom seen Graciano makes up 92% of this wine. The rest ...See Full Review$55
Brian Carter 2017 Corrida Spanish-style Red (Columbia Valley (WA))Columbia ValleyTempranillo makes up two-thirds of this wine, with the rest Graciano (21%), ...See Full Review$34
Opaque 2017 Graciano (Paso Robles)Central CoastQuite dark in the glass and very rich on the nose, this ...See Full Review$30
Alvarez de Toledo 2016 Colección de Familia Mencía (Bierzo)Northern SpainEarthy black-fruit aromas are accented by baking spice and lavender. A full ...See Full Review$58
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