New GuildSomm Vintage Cards: Rioja

We've posted vintage cards for Rioja. You can vote up or vote down based on your opinion of vintage quality.  We will be posting more regions soon.

Are you enjoying this format?

  • I like the simplicity of the cards and their format. I think the up/down voting is 1) too simplistic and 2) lacking details about the "why". For example, the 2013 Loire currently sits at -7. Was that 7 votes total, all down or for e.g., 35 total, 14 up and 21 down? At -7, was the whole region voted negatively, for all wines; white, red and sweet? I think there's value in allowing voters to describe why they selected up or down. This could become especially important for regions known for wines that need longer aging to mature. 

  • It is a compiled number. If there are five up votes and 10 down votes then it would be a -5. There’s not really a practical way to make this more nuanced, however the comment area is a perfect place for people to post their more detailed perspective of the vintage. 

  • I think that these are a great first step, but I feel that there needs to be a bit more fleshing out.  The Wine Scholar Guild's vintage reports are a fantastic example of vintage reports and it would be cool if the Guild could work on something like that, but a bit more expanded.

    Information that I'd like to see (and I sometimes find hard to find):

    • Frost over winter (vines killed, buds killed, etc)
    • Flowering conditions (early and rapid flowering vs long and drawn out, etc)
    • Rain leading up to fruit set (was there water stress so the berries were kept small, etc)
    • Rain leading up to harvest (was there enough water stress to push energy into verasion, etc)
    • Sun/heat leading up to harvest (were the grapes able to get ripe)
    • Harvest weather (rain to dilute the grapes, mildew, etc)
    • Reds vs whites vs dessert styles in regions that have them and any exceptions to sub-regions
    • Information on how this affect the final wines, regardless of the quality
  • We will definitely take a look at all of these suggestions. Our primary goal with this format is simplicity and as a mechanism for the community to give a general ranking as well as allow for people to make their own detailed comments.  Red, versus white, versus sweet, will be noted in regions where they are a definitive style, such as the cards we posted for the Loire. 

    There are other outlets which I think are better equipped to make detailed analysis of vintages, and we are looking to see where we can make our best contribution.