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Rioja 2017 vintage scarce but ‘very good’

Published:  27 April, 2018

The Rioja 2017 vintage has been awarded an official ‘very good’ rating by the Rioja Control Board.

Rioja DOCa put the “great quality results” down to a growth cycle marked by severe frost in April and drought, with some wines of this vintage having received the highest scores given in recent years, it said.

A total of 249,57 million litres of the 2017 vintage qualified for certification under the DOCa Rioja of which 21,60 were white, 12,07 rosé and 215,90 red.

The “excellent” health of the vineyard throughout the growth cycle, with a total absence of significant plagues or disease, was one of the most outstanding characteristics of a harvest which started on 10 August - the earliest in the history of Rioja.

Good weather accompanied the end of the cycle, with raised expectations regarding production volume after sombre forecasts in view of the drought and the effects of a major frost, which affected one third of of Rioja vines to different degrees.

As a result it was a “high-quality, low-volume harvest”, said Rioja DOCa.

The characteristics that defined the average profile of the 2017 wines include a slightly higher average alcohol content compared to 2016 and an “interesting diversity marked largely by the small production volumes”, it added.

“We find fine, elegant wines, with a complex, marked Rioja character, very suitable for barrel ageing and for laying down for a long time.”

The ‘very good’ rating of the 2017 vintage is the average of the marks received by the wines that passed a strict approval process applied to 4.020 samples.