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1993 vintage guide for Spain Rioja


A good but unexciting vintage which produced wines for immediate drinking

Weather Conditions

This was a mid-drought vintage, although there had been unwanted rains in October 1992 during the vintage, there was no rain at all for 55 days from 16th December 1992 until 19th February 1993. This was followed by a mild frost in mid-April which affected only a few villages in Rioja Alta, but subsequently the vineyards (particularly Tempranillo) were attacked by insect grubs which destroyed many of the early buds. Apart from that, budding was very good and flowering started in Rioja Baja in the first week of June with daily temperatures between 25° and 30°C. However, when rain came it brought with it unseasnally low temperatures and the vines had to have extra sprayings. September was cool and lacking in sun, and rain at the end of the month brought with it Botrytis, especially in Rioja Alta and Alavesa and particularly on Viura grapes. A prevalent west wind also dried the grapes and reduced temperatures still further. Picking began in Rioja Baja in the last week of September, and grapes here were relatively free of Botrytis; Rioja Alta and Alavesa started in the first week of October, but Tempranillo was under-ripe and although Garnacha showed reasonably well, this was never going to be a great vintage.

Best Appellations

Rioja Baja turned out some excellent dry, healthy Garnacha but this was the exception rather than the rule.

Best Producers

El Coto, Martínez Bujanda, Marqués de Griñón and Roda all reported results significantly better than the average, but Campillo, Contino, Montecillo and Barón de Ley reported worse results. The best wines are holding up, but the majority of quality wine made was Crianza, with Gran Reserva at only 2% overall.

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