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Rioja’s village wines: The names to know and bottles to seek out

The names of Rioja’s distinctive villages were never celebrated on wine labels – until recently. New legislation is changing the game, giving due recognition to the villages and their producers, and highlighting the diversity of the region as a whole.

The year 2017 was a memorable one in Rioja for two reasons. First, on 28 April, came the great frost, which also wreaked its chilly havoc over Bordeaux and swathes of northern Europe. Some producers were lucky enough to suffer less than others, but even then, the vintage was greatly reduced. In due course, nature revived – as it nearly always does.

The second event has caused more long-lasting effects. This was the decision to introduce a category of Vinos de Municipio, commonly translated in English as ‘village wines’.

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for 10 great Rioja village wines

It sounds like a long overdue step to give recognition to Rioja’s villages. After all, this is one of the many charms of Rioja. As you drive through the wine country, a series of strikingly lovely villages are stretched out along the road, each one beckoning the visitor.

A selection of 10 distinctive Rioja village wines

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