Freshness, elegance, and great potential for ageing.
The Control Board of the DOCa Rioja awarded the official rating of ‘VERY GOOD’ to the 2015 vintage. It was the earliest harvest of the history of La Rioja and the results were very satisfactory in terms of both quality and quantity, with a total production of 319 million liters of wine of excellent qualities such as freshness, elegance and great potential for ageing. The rating is the average of the marks given to 4,454 samples of wine subjected to a strict approval process. Samples were taken directly from the wineries’ fermenters by Control Board personnel and subjected to laboratory and sensory tests. Finally, 298.48 million liters were rated (16.62 of white, 13.62 of rosé and 268.24 of red). They qualified for certification under the DOCa Rioja, a guarantee of quality for consumers.
The good weather favored the excellent growing and healthy state of the vineyard throughout the cycle, with a lack of plagues or major diseases, which allowed for a correct ripening balance in all vineyards. Moreover, September was an exceptionally favorable month for quality. One of the special features of the 2015 harvest was its virtually simultaneous development across all the DOCa territory. Most of La Rioja harvest took place in four weeks, when it traditionally takes place in two months. The feast of Our Lady of the Pillar (Virgen del Pilar), on October 12th, is traditionally the peak moment of the harvest. This year, however, almost all the vineyards had been picked out by that date. The grapes were high-quality, characterized by perfect health status, and showcasing the highly appropriate analytical parameters for the elaboration of excellent wines. It should be noted the great quality of wines from vineyards located in cooler areas, with moderate vigor and limited production.
Compared to the previous vintage, red wines showed more outstanding results, with an average alcoholic content (14.15º) slightly higher than usual. Among the traits defining the profile of red wines from the 2015 harvest, we should highlight the intense fruity nuances—thanks to their proper ripening—and their elegant tannins—exceptionally smooth in many cases. In general, red wines show a great aromatic complexity, finesse and elegance, together with good balance and structure, highly suited for ageing. The total production area of vineyard during the 2015 harvest was 61,870 hectares, 334 more than in the previous vintage. From that total, 57,861 hectares were of red grape varieties and produced 392.98 million kilograms; whereas 4,009 hectares were of white grape varieties and produced 33.72 million kilograms. This production is a little higher than last year’s, but less than the maximum yields per hectare authorized for this campaign (6,955 kg/ha for red grapes and 9,360 kg/ha for white).
Final rating: VERY GOOD
Classified wine: 298.48 million liters.
Red: 268.24 million liters.
White: 16.62 million liters.
Rosé: 13.62 million liters.