A #VibrantRioja energized opinions about Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, Viura, Mazuelo, Malvasia, and Macabeo on May 2, 2011, as the Regulatory Council members of the Rioja DOC winemakers presented their best to the wine trade and press in San Francisco at the Westin Saint Francis.
The global beat goes on, surrounding designations, classifications, assessments, grading, labeling, certifying bodies, and the "promise of quality". Do regulatory bodies help the industry to have consistently higher quality products? How much of these efforts are sustainable, justifiable, and warranted net benefits? How extensible and portable are such practices to DOCs and AVAs elsewhere in the world?
Yesterday I addressed how and why a small handful of winemakers have begun to raise the quality of their blending and aging components in "Wrestling with Promiscuity and Monogamy through Artisanry in the Battle against Commoditization in Wine". Now we see more evidence of originality and genius breaking through into a new marketplace.
Julio César López de Heredia, general manager of Viña Tondonia in Rioja, Spain speaks at a wine conference in Brazil to honor the vintages of 1973 and 1954. I translate his words loosely, while expressing his feelings with every drop of honesty that I can press from this mature berry that I call myself.