- The “Rioja 2021 Special Report” confirms DOCa Rioja as the Spanish wine region with the highest number of wines above 95 points
- A Rioja white reaches the highest ranking in the report, scoring 100 points
- The British expert praises the diversity and quality of Rioja wines and describes some of the first Viñedo Singular wines as impressive
The renowned Master of Wine and journalist Tim Atkin has just published his “Rioja 2021 Special Report”, in which he highlights the great variety and multitude of oenological styles according to the different areas and the idiosyncrasies of each producer. Words of MW himself, “this has been the most diverse and exciting samples of Rioja wines that I am able to taste, with a record number of outstanding whites and astonishing Garnacha, Maturana Tinta and Mazuelo varietals, as well as fabulous tranditional Gran Reserva wines.”
White wines from Rioja: undiscovered treasure of Spanish wine
Among Atkin’s evaluations, the 100 points obtained by “Viña Tondonia Blanco’ Gran Reserva 2001”, from Bodegas R. Lopez de Heredia, stood out, reaching the highest position in the ranking, exemplifying the intense work for the development of Rioja white wines carried out by numerous producers in recent years. The MW does not usually give this maximum score and in his latest monographic reports on international wine regions, no more than 4 wines have obtained it; Rioja whites are, according to the report, “one of the undiscovered treasures of Spanish wine”.
To sum up, the report has highlighted up to 793 Rioja wines above 90 points and 100 of which, 95 points or above, which reaffirms Rioja as the Spanish wine regions reference in terms of high quality.
Promising beginnings of “Viñedo Singular” wines
The MW had the opportunity to taste a large number of “Viñedo Singular” wines for his research. “Viñedo Singular” is a new classification, promoted by the DOCa Rioja Regulatory Council since 2017. Comments from Mr.Atkin, “although it is very recent, but I was able to taste quite a lot samples of “Viñedo Singular” and found them impressive; it will be very interesting to study its evolution over the next decade.”
The full report published on the website www.timatkin.com, apart from the evaluations and tasting notes of these 790 wines, also the recognitions to oenologists or winegrowers. Mr.Atkin has analyzed a wide selection of wines according to the categories, terroirs and styles of elaboration, tasting 1,200 samples from 266 producers. This is the sixth annual monograph that Mr.Atkin dedicates to Rioja, and for the first time, due to the pandemic, the process of study and analysis of wines, has been carried out remotely from London, where Atkin tasted all the wines and carried out 180 video conferences with producers from Rioja.