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1988 vintage guide for Spain Rioja

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A somewhat indifferent vintage with a number of rather thin wines

Weather Conditions

Another warm and dry winter led into a very wet spring with hailstroms during the flowering, resulting in some significant early losses. The main problem, however, was that the wet weather brought with it mildew in May, followed by Botrytis in June. Fortunately, July and August were predictably hot and dry, and the usual treatments sorted out the cryptogamic problems. September and October were similarly generous but although Tempranillo was generally healthy when delivered to the bodega the cryptogams had taken their toll on the Garnacha and, particularly, on the Viura.

Best Appellations

Rioja Alavesa and the higher areas of Rioja Alta probably escaped the worst of the mildew.

Best Producers

El Coto, Amézola de la Mora and Bilbaínas reported a better vintage than most, but only 4% of production went into Gran Reserva wines.

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