The most famous Spanish wine is without doubt Rioja, but that does not mean that the delicious Rioja Brand Wines are all that the sunny Spanish wine yards has to offer.
Jay Miller confessed that he had been impressed by the classic Reservas of Rioja, particularly those from historic vintages of which very few wine regions in the world can boast, describing very graphically that he had tasted a wine of his own age (1945 vintage) and found it better than him. The American critic said that one of the key strengths of Rioja lies in its Reservas and Gran Reservas, a tradition and specialisation which, in his opinion, should not be lost. The traditional Rioja style has no comparison with any other and offers some marvellous wines which, in Miller’s opinion, “also allow us to keep them in our cellar.” He considers them outstanding value in the context of what there is on the market, according to a recent article in The Wine Advocate, where he says that, if he were a young wine enthusiast with limited resources, this would be one of the wine regions where he would put his money.
Miller also underscored the great variety of Spanish wines which, headed by Rioja, he thinks are very attractive to American consumers. He recommends making fruity, well-balanced wines, because they are the ones that most attract US consumers, and praised Rioja’s leading grape variety, Tempranillo, which he considers confers great quality to the wines.
In the last few years, consumers have been showing their trust in Rioja wines as a “safe bet”. This, together with their excellent value, mentioned by Jay Miller, has allowed the D.O. to increase its market share.
In tune with Jay Miller’s excellent opinion of Rioja wine, another great American wine critic and influential journalist of The New York Times, Eric Asimov, recently wrote that “no other category of Spanish red wine is as consistently satisfying and as good a value as Rioja Crianza.”
Rioja wine has thus earned the recognition of the most prestigious opinion leaders. This is largely due to the fact that the D.O. Ca. Rioja has shunned passing trends and remained faithful to a quality model and a unique style that is based on its traditional grape varieties —particularly Tempranillo— ageing in oak barrels, and elegance and finesse as the wines’ prevailing traits.