What Rioja red wine to buy at $50?
Rioja offers incredible quality at reasonable prices. You just have to know which brands to buy, avoiding ‘industrial Rioja’ and focusing on wines with a real sense of place. Most of the best are either sold as reservas (gran reservas often spend too much time in oak for my taste) or ‘generic’ wines.
What to do? Take the guidance of wine publications you trust, such as Decanter, Wine Enthusiast, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate – and drink Rioja.
Best Value Buy $50 Rioja Red Wine
A delightful Rioja red wine with flavors of asian spices and assorted black fruits. This Rioja red wine without a doubt is medium-bodied with good weight of fruit. It’s a great pick for $50.
Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza Fincas de Ganuza Rioja Reserva 2008, $50
Bodegas Fernando Remirez de Ganuza Fincas de Ganuza Rioja Reserva 2008 Winemaker Notes
The 2008 has a dense purple-color with aromas of pain grille, mineral, Asian spices & assorted black fruits. The palate is big and structured.
Blend: 90% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano
92 Points Critical Acclaimed by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2008 Fincas de Ganuza is a blend of Tempranillo with 10% Graciano that is very balsamic with aromas of incense and autumn forest wrapped around a core of perfectly-ripened bramble fruit. It has a kind of wild character, is still a baby, and looks much younger than it is. The palate is medium-bodied with good weight of fruit and fine-grained tannins. There’s a little less acidity and vivacity than I expected. I was gob-smacked when I read this wine matured in new oak barrels for 26 months as it doesn’t show at all.
90 Points Critical Acclaimed by Wine Enthusiast
Ripe, concentrated aromas of plum and prune come with a horsey accent. This feels wide and a touch clumsy, but friendly. Mature, baked flavors of raspberry, blackberry, mocha and herbs finish long and solid, with a hint of tobacco.
More Value Buy $50 Rioja Red Wines
If you’ve yet to find the perfect choice, it never hurts to have a look on the suggested $50 Rioja red wines below.
Senorio de San Vicente Rioja 2013, $43.99
Senorio de San Vicente Rioja 2013 Winemaker Notes
Fruit intensity combined with complexity and longevity. Blend: 100% Tempranillo
93 Critical Acclaimed by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
I also tasted the 2013 San Vicente, which will be released in September 2016, from a vintage that has provided fresh and elegant wine. It has great freshness within its style. This is clearly a lighter vintage, slightly different, more aromatic and floral, with tension and precision–a style I like very much. Volumes are lower, some 44,000 bottles, as they had to sort and select the fruit.
91 Critical Acclaimed by James Suckling
Attractive focus and composure here, with a mix of red and dark plums on offer. The overall balance is good – it’s all here.
Vinedos de Paganos El Puntido 2006, $62
Vinedos de Paganos El Puntido 2006 Winemaker Notes
El Puntido is oaky on the nose with notes of red currant and dark raspberry. It has a creamy body of delicious cherry, plum and cassis fruit above soft vanilla. A very pretty wine, with long length and amazing complexity and balance.
94 Points Critical Acclaimed by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2006 El Puntido is purple-colored with a fragrant nose of wood smoke, espresso, Asian spices, black cherry, and blackberry. Dense, round and smooth-textured, this opulent effort is loaded with luscious fruit and has enough structure to evolve for 6-8 years. Drink this lengthy effort from 2016 to 2026.
93 Points Critical Acclaimed by Wine Enthusiast
Another stellar El Puntido, this time with excellent concentration and full-load aromas of black fruit, leather, fine dried cheese and cola. The palate is tight, properly stretched and racy, with bursting black raspberry and cassis flavors. Coconut and resin on the finish is the first and only glaring announcement of oak. Drink now through 2014.
Senorio de San Vicente Rioja 2012, $61
90 Points Critical Acclaimed by Wine Spectator
Aromatic, with berry, floral and spice notes, this bright, lively red follows through with cherry, chocolate and orange peel flavors set in a light but balanced structure. Fresh and graceful. Drink now through 2022.
Bodegas Benjamin Rothschild and Vega Sicilia Macan Clasico 2012, $60
Bodegas Benjamin Rothschild and Vega Sicilia Macan Clasico 2012 Winemaker Notes
Macan Clasico is the joint vision that two great names of the wine world, Rothschild and Vega Sicilia, have of La Rioja. It is a very elegant wine, where the harmony of the aromas and flavors show the authenticity of the land from where they come and its capacity to produce great wines.
Macan Clasico is very approachable and expressive, more pleasant and pleasurable when drunk with a marked character of the land from which it comes and a simplicity that makes it very attractive.
91 Points Critical Acclaimed By Wine Enthusiast
Earthy, herbal black-fruit aromas include notes of pencil shavings and lemony oak. This is full in body, bulky and choppy, with hard, youthful tannins that could use some time to soften. Roasted flavors of blackberry, hickory and baked plum finish with heavy notes of chocolate, molasses and brown sugar. Drink this ripe, meaty Rioja from 2017 through 2025.
Bodegas Luis Canas Gran Reserva 2010, $48.99
Bodegas Luis Canas Gran Reserva 2010 Winemaker Notes
Rich ruby red color. Intense and concentrated on the nose, warm and ripe, with notes of chocolate and cocoa. The barrel is present with notes of toasted wood, peat and coal with spicy and black fruit touches. It is potent on the palate and shows nerve and good structure, an expression of wines from great vintages.
92 Points Critical Acclaimed Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
On the contrary, the 2010 Gran Reserva feels quite integrated and polished, with classical aromas of forest floor, mushrooms, tobacco and red and black berry fruit, all of it in a subtle and harmonious way. The palate feels quite compact, balanced and polished, with fine tannins and very tasty flavors. This is a great Gran Reserva.
Artadi Valdegines 2013, $59.99
Artadi Valdegines 2013 Winemaker Notes
Made with 100% Tempranillo from a single vineyard situated in the village of Laguardia at 600m in deep clay-limestone soils.
93 Points Critical Acclaimed by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The valley of Ginés names the 2013 Valdeginés, a single plot of Tempranillo vines from a cold terroir (the sun leaves at mid-day) in a cold vintage. This is an austere red, serious, quite different from previous vintages. There was some 630 liters of rain in the growing season and the vintage was challenging, but has often resulted in less ripe wines with more freshness. The tannins are a little more severe than the 2014, a wine that should age nicely in bottle, with the freshness of the cold years. Spicy, cold, austere and long. The wood is remarkably well integrated. This is a very good showing for Valdeginés; it really impressed me.
More Spanish Red Wines Under $50
If you wonder what else you can get under $50. let check out these:
- Tempranillo from Spain Under $30
- Best Spanish Red Blends Wine Under $30
- Best Cabernet Sauvignon Alternative Under $20