Looking back upon my reams of tasting notes and experiences, one thing really stuck out in 2011. And while I say that it is one thing, it is actually (as these things tend to be) the culmination of many experiences that put me in the position to grasp the obvious.

So what is that obvious fact? That Rioja is producing some of the finest wines available at prices that can make a Scotsman blush. It’s an easy statement to make, but one that needs support, especially when accompanying this announcement: Rioja is my region of the year for 2011!

Rioja has proven that it ages as well as any other wine made, and can age even better than many more famous and costly examples. The ability of a wine to age, to improve in the bottle while morphing into something profound, is one of the core elements that makes wine such an attractive and enthralling subject matter. That’s basic point number one.

Photo courtesy Alex Porta via Flickr/CC