Current Vintages of Rioja

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Current Vintages of Rioja Rioja is a region that is blessed with fairly consistent and favorable weather, but that doesn't mean there is no vintage variation. In truth, there are both grand years in Rioja and lesser vintages., but in the middle something fascinating happens, vintages are saved by blending and selection.

As you may know, Rioja is a wine that is dominated by Tempranillo grapes. Despite this, it remains a wine based on the art of blending. Besides the dominate Tempranillo, Rioja calls on the services of Grenache, Mazuelo (aka Carignan) and Graciano. There are even some exceptional examples of other grapes being allowed into individual bodegas’ productions, like Cabernet being allowed at the Marques de Riscal. This can occur because use of these so-called “foreign grapes” predates the creation of the current set of Rioja winemaking rules.

Blending grapes allows a wine maker to compensate for some of the vagaries of each growing season, though the fundamental nature of the wine produced may turn out to be stylistically different. In Rioja, vintage variation may end up being more about the style of a specific vintage vis-à-vis its peers, as opposed to the quality.

Photo courtesy pasotraspaso via Flickr/CC

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Comments

  • Snooth User: gulea
    553590 2

    Ilove rioja's vines for their flavor , I went no higher than crianta reserva, marques de la concordia and marques de grignon.I find very atractive the pink marques de caceres

    Nov 07, 2011 at 5:40 AM


  • Crianzas are great food friendly reds that have a lot of fruit. The combination with garlic chicken, and practically any lamb dish, is ideal.
    2004, 2005 and 2007 have all proven to be very good

    Nov 07, 2011 at 12:25 PM


  • Snooth User: Steve Mirsky
    1105166 260

    Made a personal discovery this evening...Riojas pair excellently w/ chocolate!

    Sep 30, 2013 at 7:33 PM


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