Volume of wine approved: 167.9 million litres.
- Red wine: 129.9 million litres.
- White wine: 16.6 million litres.
- Rosé wine: 21.4 million litres.
After an unusual winter with above-average temperatures and little rainfall which accelerated the growth cycle, April became the key month for this vintage, with a cold wave and frosts that affected between 10% and 30% of buds and slowed down growth. The clearing of Garnacha was very good with significant berry density while Tempranillo showed less grape than in 1993. The clearing process ended by mid-June, which is unusual. Isolated storms contributed sufficient water for a normal development of the growth cycle throughout the Wine region. The drought began to take its toll towards the end of August and the beginning of September.
For the first time in 20 years, harvest began in Rioja Baja on 1 September and in the earlier areas of Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa between the 6th and 10th. The harvest became generalised by 18 September and concluded on 22 October. The grapes arrived at the bodega in a perfect state of health and the ideal degree of ripeness to make great wines. The grapes could be termed "textbook grapes":
1. Higher than normal alcohol content;
2. A lot of colour; and
3. Suitable pH and total acidity levels.
Fermentations were perfect and, after malolactic fermentation, the wines showed good colour and extract, ideally suited to make Reservas and Gran Reservas.
Once the vinification process was completed, the assessment of the Control Board Technical Services confirmed the quality expectations which had been generated since the beginning of the harvest. The wines showed very favourable parameters, such as good colour and extract, an exquisite palate, and quite acceptable alcohol content, pH and acidity. These indicators pointed to a promising future and several technicians already announced that we could be facing a vintage which would compare to the mythical vintage of 1964.
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