E - EXCELLENT | MB - VERY GOOD | B - GOOD | N - SATISFACTORY | M - AVERAGE
The previous vintage assessment, carried out on young wines, is of a general nature and needs to be completed with references on how the wines of that vintage turn out after ageing.
The Rioja Control Board publishes a Vintage List, a novel piece of information on the way Rioja vintages evolve in their various categories -Crianza, Reserva y Gran Reserva. This type of chart is a pioneering effort in Spain, not available in any other wine region.
The "Rioja Vintage List" provides consumers with the criteria they require to know the optimal time for drinking cask-aged Rioja wines and guidelines on the general characteristics of each vintage. The recently edited List includes the last 10 vintages of aged wines and all the previous vintages that were officially rated as very good or excellent since the creation of the DO in 1925. Each vintage appears with the category or categories found on the market when the List is published. It will be renewed on a yearly basis.
The assessments of each vintage are based on the results of Stage II of the Quality Plan applied by the Control Board, which involves individual assessments of wines that are currently on the market carried out by expert tasters who are on the Appeals Committee. There is no hierarchical classification between vintages, but rather a series of pictograms that provide basic information to determine when the time is ripe to drink each vintage.
The excellent aptitude of Rioja wine for ageing undoubtedly constitutes one of its distinctive traits, as sown historically by the hundred-year-old bodegas in this wine region -one of the few in the world that can currently offer very old vintages. This new Vintage List will reinforce the image of Rioja for consumers and professionals alike, who will find it a useful source of information and guidance.