2024 Rioja Special Report


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At 225 pages and more than 75,000 words, my ninth Rioja Special Report is my most extensive, in-depth and controversial overview yet of Spain’s leading wine region.

Rioja is navigating choppy waters right now. It is producing too much mass-market wine at prices that are unsustainable but still aren’t selling. But as any of you who came to my Best of Rioja tasting in London yesterday will appreciate, that’s only part of the story. At the top end, Rioja is making the most exciting and diverse group of wines in its history, reds and whites with a unique sense of place that deserve to be compared with the best in the world. For now, these wines remain under-priced, or under-valued if you prefer.

The most recent vintage in Rioja will not be remembered with fondness by people in the region – those that end in a three are rarely good – but the 2021 reds, many of which are just coming on to the market, are some of the greatest ever Riojas. For me, this is the best vintage since 2001.

For the first time ever in all the years I’ve been writing reports, I have given three 100-point scores, two to red wines from the 2021 vintage and one to a 2004 white Gran Reserva. Overall, I awarded 128 out of the 1,332 wines I tasted 95 points or more. The diversity of these wines really is remarkable, rivalling anything in the world.

My 2024 special report contains:

  • 979 tasting notes for wines that scored over 90 points
  • A 15,000-word introduction, telling you everything you need to know about Rioja
  • My annual classification of the best 200 bodegas, including three new First Growths
  • A guide to the best places to eat, drink and stay
  • Suggestions for further reading
  • A collection of my photographs of the landscapes and winemakers of Rioja