Top 100 red wines of La Rioja
Discover the top 100 best red wines of La Rioja as well as the best winemakers in the region. Explore the varietals of the red wines that are popular of La Rioja and the best vintages to taste in this region.
La Rioja is a wine region in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in western Argentina, North of Mendoza and San Juan. Unlike its Spanish namesake, it has traditionally been associated most closely with white wines.
The mountainous Terroir of the region is particularly suited to the Torrontés Riojano variety, which produces Fruity, Soft, Aromatic whites. Bonarda, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec can also be found growing throughout the region.
Locals argue that La Rioja was one of the first Argentinian regions to have vines Planted in it, and Spanish settlers in the late 16th Century are widely credited with being the first to plant grapes here. La Rioja was named for the northern Spanish region by Juan Ramirez de Velasco, a native of the latter. This has caused some animosity between the two regions. In 2011, the Argentinian province won a court case allowing it to continue to label its wines as 'La Rioja Argentina'.
Vineyard conditions in La Rioja La Rioja's position in the rain shadow of the Andes range means that wine-producing areas are strictly governed by access to water. As a result, vineyard distribution is scattered. There is a single main production area in the Famatina Valley, which sits in the mesoclimate formed by the Sierra de Velasco and the Sierra de Famatina mountain ranges. Some small vineyard areas can also be found around the towns of Nonogasta and Villa Union.
Malbec, a high-yielding red grape variety, produces tannic and colourful wines. It is produced in different wine-growing regions and changes its name according to the grape variety. Called Auxerrois in Cahors, Malbec in Bordeaux, it is also known as Côt. 6,000 hectares of the Malbec grape are grown in France (in decline since the 1950s). Malbec is also very successful in Argentina. The country has become the world's leading producer of Malbec and offers wines with great potential.
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