A Flight of Rioja Wines

While still in the bar area at Fleming’s Steakhouse to accompany our Bacon Cheeseburgers we were trying to decide on the next wines to try. I looked at the bar menu and saw that there was a special wine flight of Rioja wines offered during the later round of specials. I asked our server if it was available earlier and she said that the manager agreed to let us have the wines early at the stated price, so it felt like a bonus. Rioja is one of the first red wines that I introduced to my Bride, back in the early days, when she was strictly into white wines, and I thought that Rioja would make a wonderful introduction to the world of red wines.

Bodegas Izadi Rioja Riserva 2011

The first wine in the flight was Navardia Rioja 2013 from Bagordi Navardia Joven Ecologico and they state that the wine is made with organic grapes. I have discussed my thoughts on organic winemaking before, but I realize that it is a hot buzzword and topic today. This Rioja wine is made of a blend of Garnacha, Graciano and Tempranillo; and it is the first tier in the levels of Rioja wines. Thankfully it was the first wine served of the flight, as it was fine, but not really what I would look for in a Rioja.

Torres Altos Ibericos Crianza 2012

The next wine that we had I thought was very interesting and it even offered that ethereal quality of terroir. The Altos Ibericos Crianza 2012 from Miguel Torres was most enjoyable. This wine is from the Northern part of the Iberian Peninsula, hence the name and was entirely made from the Tempranillo grape. The term Crianza is the second tier of Rioja wines and requires twelve months in oak and then another year in the bottle before it can be sold, and here was what I would call a Rioja wine.

Navardia Rioja 2013

The last wine from the flight was Bodegas Izadi Rioja Riserva 2011. Rioja Riserva is the third tier of Rioja wines and the top tier is Gran Reserva. This wine also had great terroir and was a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Rioja Reserva wines must have a minimum of fourteen months in oak and a required two years additional aging in the bottle before release. The last two glasses of wine were great representatives for what Rioja wines should be, and they made our cheeseburgers all that much fancier.

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About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Twitter.com/WineRaconteur Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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7 Responses to A Flight of Rioja Wines

  1. talkavino says:

    You are speaking my language now, John 🙂 I love Rioja – I can never claim that I have The Favorite, however Rioja will be very close to that. Glad to hear that you can order a wine flight even in the bar of the steakhouse, that sounds great. I never had Rioja from Torres, but I had been very happy with any of the Torres wines I came across so far – glad to hear you liked that one too.

    • Anatoli, I so agree about about the wines from Rioja. I have been enjoying them almost from the time that I discovered wines, as they were an affordable choice to a student compared to the Medoc. I am also happy to say that my Bride enjoys them as much as I do. Thank you for stopping by, as always. – John

    • Jill Barth says:

      Wine flight of Spanish wines from a steakhouse bar… I’m with you, was surprised to read that & excited too. I’m going to pay more attention for these opportunities. Santé!

      • talkavino says:

        Yep, wine is making it “at-large” in many places nowadays. I truly hope it is a change in the culture and not a fad…

      • I think with all the steakhouses trying to make the Wine Spectator Awards, it will continue, even with beer and cocktails getting attention. At least from a personal point of view, I hope it continues.

      • Jill, I have to admit that we were both all over that flight. There is just something so fun and enjoyable about Rioja wines. Thank you for stopping by. – John

  2. Jill Barth says:

    Rioja! Makes me feel feisty just saying the name. What a fun region for wine, food & the enthusiastic life.

    Thanks for sharing!

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