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Rioja £20-£40: Red Rioja panel tasting results

The hunt was on for red Rioja that offers both quality and value, and the wines in this tasting did not disappoint, with plenty of diversity on offer, too.

Sarah Jane Evans MW, Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW and Pierre Mansour tasted 105 wines with 7 Outstanding and 76 Highly recommended.

Red Rioja £20-£40: panel tasting scores

105 wines tasted

Exceptional 0

Outstanding 7

Highly recommended 76

Recommended 22

Commended 0

Fair 0

Poor 0

Entry criteria: producers and UK agents were invited to submit their current-release red Riojas priced at £20-£40 (or $20-$40), with any Rioja classification of gran reserva, reserva, crianza or genérico permitted

How low can red Rioja reserva and gran reserva go? A quick web search reveals that in price terms it’s down to £5.75 and £10 respectively. Just how can Spain’s first DOCa – created in 1991 – sell itself so cheaply?

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for the top-scoring wines from the red Rioja £20-£40 panel tasting

Red Rioja £20-£40 panel tasting scores

The judges

Sarah Jane Evans MW is a Decanter contributing editor and Co-Chair of the Decanter World Wine Awards. Her latest book The Wines of Central and Southern Spain is set for release in early 2024.

Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW is a widely published wine journalist, educator and judge. He holds a degree in agronomical engineering and a Masters in viticulture and oenology, is a national expert for Spain at the OIV organisation and a DWWA joint Regional Chair for Spain.

Pierre Mansour is director of wine at The Wine Society, where he has worked for 23 years. Starting out with merchant Berry Bros & Rudd, he joined The Wine Society in 2000, moved into buying after four years and has been buying The Society’s Spanish wines since 2008.

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