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Rioja - Spanish Wine
The oldest officially denominated wine region of Spain, Rioja producers make red, white, and rosé wines, but the reds are the most important. The wines are predominantly Tempranillo, but Garnacha and two other grapes play smaller roles.
Typical Rioja reds spend several years aging before release. At the Crianza level, the wines must age for 2 years, at least one in barrel. The Reservas must age for at least 3 years (generally longer), at least 2 years in barrel. Gran Reservas must age for at least 5 years before release (most are aged considerably longer), at least 3 years in barrel. The barrels have traditionally been of older, neutral oak, though some producers are now using new, small barrels to give a more international style to their wines.