Rioja Stands Out at 2024 IWSC

At this year’s IWSC wine judging event, the quality of RIOJA was impressive.

According to the 2024 International Wine & Spirit Competition, Rioja wines stood out among the best with some ambitious entries. The Gran Reservas were especially notable for their quality, complexity, and ageability, earning several gold medals. The gold-medal-winning Reservas were praised for their balanced use of oak, which added spice and complexity without overshadowing the rich black fruit flavors. These wines reflected their origin.

iwsc Highlights:

In the white wine category, IWSC judges enjoyed a variety of white Riojas, from young, approachable wines to classic aged versions, showing their longevity.

The Crianzas also impressed, offering fresh fruit flavors complemented by sweet spice notes from the oak.

Image Courtesy of International Wine & Spirit Competition

Rioja Garners High Praise from Judges

The expert panels at IWSC were particularly impressed by the quality and ambition on display in the Rioja wines. Rioja’s Gran Reservas, known for their aging potential, were awarded numerous gold medals, showcasing exceptional complexity and elegance. The judges commended the use of oak in these wines, noting how it added “an extra layer of spice and complexity” without overpowering the rich fruit character. This focus on highlighting the grape’s natural characteristics and a strong “sense of place” were recurring themes throughout the Rioja entries.

Wines of All Ages Impress

The tasting encompassed a wide range of Rioja wines, from young and approachable whites to aged expressions showcasing the region’s capacity for long-term aging. The Crianzas, known for their balance of fruit and oak, were also well-received, with judges highlighting their “fresh fruit concentration” complemented by “attractive sweet spice character” imparted by oak aging.

Overall, Rioja stood out for:

  • High-quality Gran Reservas with exceptional complexity and ageability.
  • Gold medal-winning Reservas showcasing a delicate use of oak.
  • A broad spectrum of white Rioja styles, from young and fresh to aged and complex.
  • Crianzas offering a delightful balance of fruit and oak.

The full results of the IWSC 2024 Wine Judging, including all award winners, were revealed on May 20th.

Overall, IWSC judges were pleased to see standout wines from Spain, awarding medals to those that highlighted fresh fruit flavors without being overpowered by oak or overextraction.

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