There have been many crests and troughs in the history of our favourite Spanish region, but the last low pressure front, that left pricing at an all time low two years ago was notably awful.
The bottom fell out of the market leaving prices in freefall and bulk traders free to pile in. DOC Rioja was changing hands at very silly looking, unsustainable prices. The knee-jerk reaction was that these periods of equalisation are necessary to bring the market into true. But after more careful examination of what can, and did, happen it’s clear that there was a degree of devaluation of the brand that will be very hard to reverse in the short term.
Yes, there are always poor wines trading off the label, but it must be understood that these are in the minority and do not represent the region as a whole.
The majority of activity supports and bolsters the reputation of the region and shows off the proud and rather fabulous traditions in winemaking. And this is what marks Rioja out in many ways: it makes a very tradition style of wine that we absolutely adore.
The barrel and bottle aging laws that govern labelling, give rise to wonderfully harmonious, warm, rich, seductive and, at the oldest end of the spectrum, comforting wines. The accent is on soft delivery and the overall effect is demonstrably Rioja in its engagement.
From crunchy, fresh Joven wines right through to the most venerable and grandiose Gran Reservas, not only is there something for everyone here, there is also a graduated spectrum of style that will meet almost any occasion.
Where else can you buy a wine that has been aged for three years in barrel and two years in bottle, by law, for something northside of a tenner?
The glut of low-cost, poor quality wines have all but dried up now fortunately, so we’d ask that you keep the faith and help us to celebrate the tradition and the cracking wines of this amazing wine region.