With Perfect Temps and Ideal Yields, A Spanish Vintage for the Ages
Spain’s 2016 vintage will go down as one of its all-time greats. It’s certainly one of the best harvests of this generation and a benchmark year against which future stellar vintages will be measured.
From coast to coast and at all points in between, favorable conditions from spring through fall allowed Spain’s winemakers to produce splendidly balanced and expressive wines.
Best of all, the high quality is apparent in white, red and sparkling wines, and it isn’t limited to the country’s most rare and expensive collectibles. It’s a year in which the majority of the country’s wines, regardless of price or pedigree, are at their finest.
“[It] was an outstanding vintage throughout Spain,” says Miguel Torres Maczassek, director general of Familia Torres, which is based in Catalonia, but also makes wine in Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Rías Baixas. “There is no doubt that it is the best vintage of the (2000s) so far. As growers and winemakers, we tend to complain about something every vintage…except for 2016.
“The quality of the harvest was outstanding,” he says. “Temperatures were, in general, moderate. So ripening was slow and perfect. Some late rains helped the vineyards achieve optimum conditions, and in the end, it was a perfect harvest. Like always, time will tell. But I am quite sure it is a classic vintage.”
To help zero in on the best Spanish 2016s for near-term drinking or long-term cellaring, read the following sections on Rioja, Cava and other sparkling wines, and more top pours from prominent regions like Priorat, Penedès, Ribera del Duero, Bierzo and Rías Baixas.
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