There’s nothing like a good vintage to put a collective smile on the face of a wine region. It will be a while before we see the wines on the market, but 2019 looks like the year Rioja has been waiting for since 2010. Crops are down on 2018 – not necessarily a bad thing – so the harvest could well provide some timeless Riojas of sublime quality.
This is the fifth edition of this report and I’m as excited about Rioja as I’ve ever been. It hasn’t realised its full potential, to be sure, but it’s getting there with every vintage. There are more bodegas striving for excellence than ever, sometimes against the odds created by a market that does not yet regard Rioja as a fine wine. Wine by wine, vineyard by vineyard, we are slowly moving towards a point where Rioja is recognised as a region that can finally rub shoulders with the great appellations of the world.