An unusual tasting of Rioja wines. For once, the wines were not tasted according to the known categories of crianza, reserva and gran reserva, but instead, the 15 wines were organised according to the village where they were produced by the Association of Family Wineries in Rioja, of which Finca la Emperatriz is a member.
Master sommelier Juancho Asenjo took us on a journey, from north to south and east to west, back and forth across the geography of Rioja to discover the differences between the wines, even though they are all part of the same denomination of origin. There was a very wide range of wines on show, reds and whites, young and aged wines. On this occasion, the aim was not to choose the best wine, but simply to try to understand how location influences the wines, whether it be the shadow of a certain mountain range or the influence of one river valley or another.
The eventual aim is to deepen our knowledge, knowing that the quality of a particular wine goes far beyond the basic standards defined by the regulating council of the DO. With that, we would be able to communicate this authenticity to the discerning wine-drinker, as quality is as much about personality as anything else, which is one of the main drivers of any wine-maker. Juancho Asenjo was enthusiastically in favour of this attempt of the Association of Family Wineries in Rioja to distinguish themselves and their wines in this way.
The event took place at the Riojaforum Congress hall, with wine industry people from Rioja, as well as guests who travelled from other parts of Spain like Huesca, Barcelona or Valladolid, which shows just how much interest there is in discovering the nuances of these wines which, although they may have clearly defined individual personalities, are sold under the same banner.