Ondarre Rioja Reserva

The Spanish region known as Rioja boasts a vinicultural history that dates back thousands of years. In fact, vineyards were already planted and thriving when the ancient Romans invaded the area. The red Rioja, in particular was, and still is, the most well-known variety of wine. Though the country does not produce the most wine, Spain has more acreage devoted to grape vines than any other. An attention to detail remains a thing of legend. In 1635, the Mayor of Logrono passed a decree that prohibited carriages from traveling down roads located next to wine cellars. He felt that the vibrations caused by the vehicles might interfere with the juice and the aging process.

The Creation of Ondarre Rioja Reserva

When making the Ondarre Rioja Reserva, the Bodegas Olarra Group age each grape variety individually in temperature-controlled tanks. The maceration process requires up to 18 days. Once completed and fermented, the grapes are combined in American and French oak casks to mature for no less than 16 months. After bottling, the wine ages for another two years.

The Ondarre Rioja is a combination of 75% Tempranillo, 15% Mazuelo and 10% Garnacha grapes. The Tempranillo provides a mild berry flavor resembling anything from blackberries, raspberries and strawberries to black cherries and plums. The Mazuelo provides the tannins. The Garnacha creates a variety of interesting flavors that may include black cherries, black currents, strawberry or raspberry, in addition to black olives, coffee, pepper and other spices. After aging, the flavors transform into more of a leathery taste with hints of nuts and dried figs.


The color is typically deep ruby red with inky hints. On the nose, black fruit aromas combine with distinctive oak and pepper spices, along with hints of vanilla.

On the palate, the medium-bodied wine presents flavors of blackberries and cherries that combine and blend with oak, vanilla and soft tannins. Hints of black pepper, licorice and tobacco are also present. The acidity and tannins offer a nice tang with a slight edginess. The wonderful blend of flavors offer a smooth finish.

Serving Recommendations

Ondarre Rioja Reserva is best served slightly chilled by refrigerating for 15 to 20 minutes prior to pouring until it reaches a temperature of between 56 and 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit (14 and 18 degrees Celsius). The wine does not require decanting. Rioja is typically accompanied by beef, game meats, grilled red meats, roasts or stews. The vintage also pairs well with tapas and cheese.

Ondarre also make a large selection of other Rioja wines which are available to buy in the UK from Wineman and 8020wines. More information of their whole range can be found at their website http://www.grupobodegasolarra.com/