In praise of Rioja’s old vines

Rioja old vines
Manu Michelini in the cellar

Rioja and age go well together. That’s bottle and barrel age. There’s nothing like a mature gran reserva, layered with the memories of red fruit, autumn, wood smoke and wild herbs; smooth and very long-lived.

Its age of maturation is firmly regulated: a minimum of two years in a 225-litre barrel, a minimum of two years in bottle, with five years’ ageing overall before release.

What is curious, though, is that the age of the vines has never featured in the appreciation of the wine. Until now, that is.

The wine world is talking about vineyards and old vines, and Rioja has joined the conversation.

Scroll down for tasting notes and scores for old vine Rioja