So much has been said and written about the virtues of the wines of Ribera del Duero and La Rioja that they end up being rivals. Both are excellent and known by the world thanks to the large scale of exports.
If we talk about the early days, it is indisputable that the appellation of La Rioja was the first to be certified in Spain while the appellation of Ribera del Duero wine was certified later. As for grapes, the ones that are used for the production of wines of La Rioja are Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano red and Viura, Malvasia and white Garnacha. Ribera del Duero authorizes the grape Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec, Grenache and small amounts Albillo grapes. Both of them use the tempranillo grape wines.
There are differences in the wines but also certain similarities. Perhaps the biggest differences between them are the taste on the palate, because La Rioja is known for its more fruitiness, and Ribera wine is more intense.
The wines of Ribera del Duero are elaborated in the southeast of Castilla and Leon (in Burgos, Segovia, Soria and Valladolid) and Rioja has an extension in different Spanish regions: From the Basque Country to Castilla and Leon, to other nearby.
The different climates of each appellation may also vary in some areas. For example, Ribera del Duero has a more extreme climate both in summer and winter, meanwhile in the Rioja there are different parts, each of which with a more specific atmosphere: Rioja Alta offers a moderate temperature; Rioja Baja has areas with frequent rain in winter, and Rioja Alavesa usually has dark temperate soils. What they do share, is that each one of these climates allows production of different but great quality wines.
To summarize, what is clear is that there is no absolute or closed in response to the question and that fundamentally it all depends on the quality of the crop and the taste and palate of the one who drinks it. After all, you choose the one you prefer.
Pago de los Capellanes Crianza 2012: a red wine from Ribera del Duero based on tempranillo, tinto fino and cabernet sauvignon of 2012 and presents an alcohol content of 13.50%.
Muga Reserva 2012: is a red wine made by Bodegas Muga from the region of Rioja from the 2012 vintage and has an alcoholic content of 14%.