The vintage for Familia Martínez Bujanda

The vintage is a factor that the consumer takes into account when evaluating a wine. The prices of great French wines vary greatly depending on the characteristics of the vintage and negociants make, or lose, a lot of money when they decide to buy wines of great international references en primeur, i.e. before the wine has been aged or matured in the cellars.
In Spain, however, respect for the vintage is relatively recent. It was not until well into the 1980s that Rioja controlled wines by vintage. You have probably heard of the “inexhaustible” 1970 Rioja vintage which, as the years went by, continued to be renewed in the wine cellars’ bottle racks for the simple reason that it was in demand for its quality and because there was no control by the Control Board .
That changed in 1985, although perhaps not everyone knows that nowadays the legislation allows the blending of wines from different vintages. These are not the wines known and extended at the time by the large wineries as C.V.C. (vintage of several vintages), but it is possible to add up to 15% of wine from another campaign and respect the vintage referred to on the label. This circumstance makes sense. Traditionally, the historic wineries of Rioja, and many continue to do so today, ‘refresh’ wines after long ageing with others from younger vintages. as part of a historical wine practice that mixes varieties and origins (within the same appellation) to obtain what they understand to be the best possible blend.
For Familia Martínez Bujanda, however, as a producer of wines from singular estates and vineyards, the vintage is an absolutely fundamental factor. The wine is the result of the terroir, the knowledge and hand of the producer and what the weather determines each vintage. Without being strictly the same every year, the first two factors are fairly stable, but the climate determines the differences between our Finca Valpiedra, Finca Montepedroso and Finca Antigua wines .
No two wines are the same as no two harvests are the same and, as we have said on previous occasions, Familia Martínez Bujanda ‘works without a net’, that is to say, subject to what nature determines, in this case the climate. In 2013 we decided not to make Finca Valpiedra because the vintage made life too difficult for us -we did make one of the best Cantos de Valpiedra in our history- and now we are in the market with the 2010 vintage, one of the best we have ever made.
Pending what happens this summer with the drought, and after having “dodged” the terrible spring frosts in Rioja, Rueda and La Mancha with preventive practicesWe are very hopeful about the 2017 vintage, but no matter what happens until the end of the cycle, our wines will be the result of the vintage: no more, no less.

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