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1979 vintage guide for Spain Rioja

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A large vintage of indifferent quality

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This was a fairly dismal year – in which the ‘new’ barrel-ageing laws (lopping a year off Reserva and Gran Reserva) came into force for the first time. Rather as with the award of the DOCa in 1991, Rioja wanted to show the world what it could do, but Mother Nature declined to participate. Gran Reserva wines managed a feeble 2% with only Olarra showing particulary well.

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