What do you think about ?
From Decanter magazine
Chardonnay and Sauvignon allowed in Rioja
January 16, 2007
Rioja winemakers can now use Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo
in their white wines, the region’s wine body has decreed.
The OIPVR (Organización Interprofesional del Vino de Rioja) said the
grapes will be allowed from the 2007 vintage onwards, although none of
them may be made as varietals, or in as a major part of a blend.
Apart from the stipulation that the three noble varieties may not,
together or individually, make up more than 49% of the wine, there are
no other limits on the use of other permitted grapes.
The decision follows nearly two years of debate since the foundation
of the OIPVR, which was created to oversee marketing and regulation,
absorbing in the process the Consejo Regulador (CRDOCa), which remains
a policing authority.
One of the major sore points for winemakers in the region was the
paucity of grape varieties available for making white wines. There
were only three: Viura (Macabeo), Malvasía Riojana and the rare
Some lobbyists had also been pushing for the inclusion of red
varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah in the ruling. So far,
they remain unsuccessful.
However, several old vine varieties which died out in the first half
of the 20 century have been brought back. Maturana red, white and
parda (’brown’), Tempranillo blanco, Turruntés and Monastel de Rioja
are now permitted. Only the Maturana red and white have mature vines
at the moment, the rest are in nurseries.
Remarks of a reader :
Another step more to make the world of wine more globalised boring and
Is there not enough Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc arount the world?
Is there not enough overproduction of wine?
Insted of searching for something different, improving their wines or
bringing back old fashion grapes, Rioja is just only capable of
copying what the New World it’s been doing for the last decade. Really
Not very clever idea from Rioja Wine producers.
We are we going?
The wine future is a bit dark.
More strick regulations are needed after these last to decades of
scientist research in wine-growing and wine-making.
Some things shouldn’t be allowed.
Well... my opinion... sigh... I don’t like it. Let me explain it. I accept that there’s no reason to forbid any grape in any DO, but I’m convincend that it’s necessary to protect the tipicity and the tradition. I’m absolutely tired of everybody-making-chardonnay or whatever grape you want to say. In Rioja there’re some typical whites... but they’re not blockbusters. The market stream says that everybody must make chardonnay to fight versus Aussies. If everybody follow this stream the tipicity and the great variety of wines we enjoy will die (do you remember? ’like tears in the rain’).
I like chardonnay, but I love viura&malvasia made in Rioja as well! Now the door is open to forget and destroy the traditional white Rioja wines. It’s a pitty.
And ditto for red wines. I don’t like CS in Rioja! I want tempranillo + graciano + mazuelo!!! That’s what made great DOC Rioja! but they’re losing it... They’re losing their legacy.
In the one hand, I hate uniformity (statisticians love diversity ;)) ... on the other hand, I hate prohibitions, maybe even more ... I still precisely remember the very nice discovery of Italian whitrd. I discovered them some 3 years ago, in Rome, where I went open jaw with the enormous variety of grapes that I had never heard of, and the surprisingly great average quality of them all (I tried as mansy as I possibly could!). I was expecting that the Italian whites would be, on average, as unsatisfactory as the Spanish ones ... but no, and they have this absolutly incredible variety of local grapes!!!! ... I wished Spaniards would do the same .... I do not understand why they do not ...
No, surely the main reason is that Italy has a lot more indigenous grapes than Spain, especially white ones!
I agree that it’s a shame to allow these grapes, which we have too much of already. But it doesn’t surprise me - it’s just one more piece of evidence of the DOC Rioja’s incomprehensible determination to go ever further downmarket. You can find Rioja ";Reserva"; in any supermarket here now at a cheaper price than a wine from Montsant or Jumilla. And guess what... it’s rubbish!
As you can see, I don’t get it!
Of wine made under Rioja DO umbrella, but what looks like a sillyness (and well, an oeno-suicide) to me is to want that the big wineries (not in million of bottles produced, but in quality, brand, and label) feel headed to make the same wine that anybody in California, Bordeux, Burgundy, NZ... Really silly, really sad :-/ And not only by the DOC people in charge, but by the own market! The consumers demanding chardonnay/SB from Rioja! and people overthere fighting to be allowed to make a traditional sweet wine under DOC label but they were not allowed! and had to use something named as ’Sadacia’ but now, something not traditional, but market-demanding is allowed without any issue! Arf... the world is craziness.
Is there really that much vineyard space to grow large amounts of Savignon Blanc, Chard, Verdejo. They will still need to blend it with Viura so they can’t rip all those plantings out. Plus, none of you have commented on the addition of Verdejo only the use of Savignon Blanc and Chardonnay. What are your thoughts on Verdejo?