Young and un-oaked
The daily drink of millions of Spaniards, this typically is light- to medium-bodied with lively strawberry and cherry fruit, mild earthy notes, and crisp acidity. This style is usually inexpensive and straightforward.
This style dominated the Rioja region for years but lately has been losing ground to the more popular modern style. Due in large part to extended aging in old wood casks, this style emphasizes subtle secondary aromas and flavors as opposed to more obvious primary fruit flavors--dried fruit, cigar tobacco, cedar, dusty earth, and muted vanilla. Typically medium-bodied, this style offers a fine smooth texture and mellow, well-developed flavors.
Rich, powerful, oaky, and fruit-driven are the key concepts for this style. Typically aged in new oak barrels and released younger than traditional styles, these offer ripe red/black berry fruit flavors, meaty cured tobacco notes, and an oaky spiciness. This style is almost always fuller-bodied and more tannic than traditional styles.