The primary grape in Rioja is Tempranillo which is often blended with Carignane and Grenache. A good Rioja should have dark, plumy fruit with lots of spice and tannin. Riojas with the labeling of "Crianza" or "Riserva" have been aged for a minimum of two years with at least six months in oak, a process which will round out adolescent fruit and makes the wine more approachable. Saturday night we poured the 2003 Artadi Vinas de Gain ($27.99) from Tribeca Wine Merchants (40 Hudson Street between Duane and Reade) for a group of fourteen friends. This red was the perfect complement to a filet roast with it's rich, deep, violet and plum fruit that left everyone raving. Astor Wines (12 Astor Place) offers an extensive selection of Riojas. Another fine example of a beautiful Rioja, the 1997 Vina Izadi Reserva, is a steal at $21.99.