Pedro Ballesteros, the only Spanish Master of Wine, was asked to read out the rating from the Consejo Regulador of D.O. Rueda, which classed the 2016 harvest as Very Good. The rating was given after studying the report and results from the Tasting Committee for wines from the 2016 harvest, following analysis since last November.
According to data from the report, "the conditions for maturation have resulted in intense wines with good structure in the mouth, given the alcohol content and acidity, making the varietal character of Verdejo grapes show up clearly in the wines at a good level throughout".
Pedro Ballesteros congratulated the producers for the unprecedented commercial success of Rueda Verdejo. In addition, he was appreciative of the fact that such success did not prevent the current priority from being research into quality, terroirs and innovations that place Rueda as a world-class, classic region for fine wines.
The experts confirmed the quality of wines made with the indigenous grape variety from the area. This included Carlos González, Director of the Guía Peñín, who stated that "the most authentic and unique Verdejos come from Rueda". Such praise came after tasting 238 wines from the denomination in March during their visit to Rueda together with their team of experts.
Success has also been found at the various international wine competitions. Added to the 30 medals gained in the last International Wine Competition in Brussels, are 15 awarded in June this year at the 31st Bacchus Competition for the 2016 harvest, and the five medals from the International Wine Challenge in Bordeaux, among others.
Finally, the great "judges" -the consumers- have also endorsed the quality of the 2016 grapes. According to the last report from the consultancy firm AC Nielsen (2016), the D.O. Rueda accounts for 40.5% of sales of good quality white wine in Spain. Moreover, Rueda is the favourite Denominación de Origen for white wine among young consumers in Spain, who find them fresh, mild and fruity, and associate them with good weather and shared moments. These qualities are also highly appreciated by women, the sector where consumption of D.O. Rueda wines is increasing.