Summary of the Spanish wine vintages on a year by year basis, with recommendations of wines to look out for.
This section is updated regularly.
One to watch out for - the 96's are very good across all regions. Growers took full advantage of the warm and dry October weather to harvest 'a point' and the result is wines that are fruit driven and full of body. Keep an eye out for Ribera del Duero's (my personal favourite) which are excellent this year. A couple of good bodegas to look out for are Protos and Pesquera.
A difficult vintage for most with appalling weather coming at exactly the wrong times in Navarra and Ribera del Duero, resulting in decidedly average wines. Things were not much better in Rioja although the better known bodegas still managed to turn out some good wines. Elsewhere, large crops in Penedes and Somontano produced some good wines. Compared to the 96's though, keep your money in your pocket and choose another year ending with a 6.
Heavy rain across the Ribera del Duero region in June and August resulted in a smaller than usual crop but one of concentration, both in terms of the grape quality and the price achieved for them at market. Good wines in general but start drinking them up now. Rioja reds are very good from this year with fantastic weather throughout the summer resulting in a bumper crop of very high quality wines. An excellent vintage in Somontano - these wines are the pick of the bunch for this year.
Overall a very good vintage and worth adding a few bottles to your cellar. The Riberas are delightful - thick and chewy blackcurrenty mouthfuls that are drinking well now but the rain during picking reduced acidity and these are wines to drink up in the next few years rather than keep an age. Rioja produced some good wines but frost was an issue and reduced the crop size significantly. Despite Navarra seeing a great deal of frost, the wines coming out of this region are amazing - still quite tannic and likely to require cellaring for a few years yet but will be worth the wait.
Not a huge amount to say for this vintage - it was generally good but a difficult year for growers, with extremes of temperature in Winter and Summer affecting the overall quality of the grapes in many regions, especially Rioja.
One of the most successful vintages in recent times, with medium sized harvests producing some excellent wines, especially wines based on the Tempranillo grape - keep an eye out for 2001 Riojas and Riberas from the leading bodegas and you will be in for a treat
A good year across most of Spain and that despite some pretty rough conditions, especially in Navarra which saw heavy rains throughout August. If you want to err on the side of caution, then bypass every region except Ribera del Duero, which had a bumper harvest this year and produced some very good wines. Other regions are good, but not as good.
Keep your eye out for wines from Penedes and Somontano which benefited from excellent growing conditions throughout the year. Rioja also had a successful year whilst Ribera del Duera and Navarra suffered from heavy rains in October which did not help matters.
Generally an improvement on the 2003's especially in Rioja which produced a larger than average harvest despite very hot weather. Ribera also suffered very high temperatures around the end of August and into September but the wines are delicious and will keep for another 10 years quite happily. Another cracking year in Penedes and Somontano with warm dry days and cool breezy evenings resulting in very good harvests all round.
Poor old Ribera! Whilst other regions around Spain experienced one of the best vintages on record, Ribera suffered from very high temperatures throughout the summer and little rain to cool things down. The wines are good but not great. Rioja is the place to put your pounds, with an exceptional harvest and wines that will be memorable for years to come.