Rioja rivalry

Thu 31 Mar 2005

According to an article in the Daily Telegraph by wine correspondent Jonathan Ray, the popularity of Rioja wine in the UK is facing strong competition not only from Australia and Chile but also from up-and-coming regions within Spain.

'Ribera del Duero and Navarra are already established as serious rivals and areas such as Toro, Jumilla, Priorat and La Mancha are coming up fast,' says Ray, while wine buyer Andrew Baker suggests 'If you like to drink top-quality Rioja, but don't want to pay more than 10 a bottle, it's worth looking at wines from these regions, as they can make great alternatives.'

In response to competition from the New World, a new fruitier style of Rioja is emerging. Tom Perry, official spokesman for the Rioja Regulatory Council says 'Rioja ia adaptable. Our winemakers realise that younger consumers want more fruit and less oak. We have responded by making wines that are more fruit-driven and concentrated than of old, with shorter periods of ageing and higher levels of alcohol.'


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