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On April 8, the Rioja Regulatory Council rated the 2015 vintage in the Rioja DOCa ‘very good’ following tastings and chemical analyses of over 4,454 samples taken directly from vats at Rioja wineries.

From an initial production figure of 319 million liters of wine, the Council judged that 298,48 million liters qualified as DOCa Rioja wine (268,24 million liters of red, 16,62 million liters of white and 13,62 million liters of rosé).  The Council disqualified more than 20 million liters for not reaching the desired standard of quality or due to yields in the vineyard that exceeded the maximum specified in Rioja regulations.

The 2015 harvest was the earliest on record according to the Council.  While a normal harvest lasts about two months – from the end of August until the end of October, the 2015 harvest lasted only four weeks and was practically over on October 12.

The average alcoholic strength of the wines analyzed was 14,5%, slightly higher than in recent years.

Ratings of Rioja vintages in the 21st century:

2015  Very Good

2014  Good

2013  Good

2012  Very Good

2011  Excellent

2010  Excellent

2009  Very Good

2008  Very Good

2007  Very Good

2006  Very Good

2005  Excellent

2004  Excellent

2003  Good

2002  Good

2001  Excellent

2000  Good

(Photo credit: lomejordelvinoderioja.com)