Questions remain over Rioja’s new Vinedos Singulares

Drinks: Drinks, Wines

Rioja’s new single vineyard ‘vinedos singulares’ classification has met with a mixed reaction from the trade. Canvassing opinions at Enotria’s ‘Iberian Influencers’ showcase tasting, Imbibe found cautious positivity mingled with confusion about what the new classification actually entailed.

‘We won’t stop doing what we do,’ said Kirsty Loftus, UK & Ireland area manager for Zamora International, which owns the Rioja giant Ramon Bilbao. ‘[Vinedos Singulares] is about having versatility and being able to label where wines are from – about how the grapes from a plot can express themselves.’

The Vinedos Singulares classification is likely to include both minimum levels of vine age and maximum levels of yield (as reported in the current issue of Imbibe, but beyond this specifics are still scarce, even in Rioja.

‘We don’t know much about how it’s going to happen,’ Marcos Eguiren, winemaker at the respected Sierra Cantabria winery told Imbibe. ‘Every vineyard has its characteristics, good or bad, depending on who is working them. It will be hard to classify them, and of course most Riojas are a blend from across the region – and they can be very great wines.’

The Vinedos Singulares classification has been on the table in Rioja for a while, and is likely to be approved shortly by the incoming president of the Consejo Regulador, but reports of its actual creation appear to be premature.

‘The new president [of the Consejo]will be elected next month, and he will want to go for it,’ said Eguiren. ‘But there’s still a lot of talking to be done. It’s not even clear it will happen.’


About Author

Chris Losh

After five years working on My Weekly magazine (during which time he learned how to write horoscopes and make things out of mince) in 1995 Chris Losh entered the world of drinks writing and, despite all advice from his doctor – and the wishes of most South African winemakers – has stayed there ever since. He began on Wine and Spirit International, editing it for several years before moving on to edit Wine Magazine. Both publications have since gone the way of the Dodo, but he claims to have nothing to do with their demise, and his alibi appears solid, since he was freelance writing for anyone who would pay him at the time. In 2007, he helped to set up both Imbibe magazine and the Sommelier Wine Awards, and has spent much of the last three years eating, drinking, and listening to French sommeliers talk about minerality. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Louis Roederer Feature Writer of the Year, but didn’t win. Perhaps he should have stuck to horoscopes. And mince.

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