One of the most famous and well-known critics on the international spectrum is British Tim Atkin who has a vast knowledge about La Rioja's wine region. He recently published his first warehouse classification in the zone and decided to sort them according to very controversial criteria.
To make this whole classification, Atkin established 5 different categories based only on the quality of each cellar and their wine. It is a model inspired by the Bordeaux one, used since the 19th century in France and made up by Napoleon III to classify the Bordeaux Chateaux.
Until now, no one had dared to use it in Spain, but Atkin has been the first one to do it, assuring that he will be actively updating his list.
After paying a visit to all of the cellars from La Rioja, he made the following classification:
- First Category: Abel Mendoza, Artadi, Contador, Finca Allende, La Rioja Alta SA, López de Heredia, Marqués de Murrieta, Muga, Remélluri, Sierra Cantabria, Vinos de Telmo Rodríguez and Viñedos de Páganos.
- Second Category: Artuke, Contino, CVNE, Marqués de Riscal, Ostatu, Palacios Remondo, Pujanza, Ramírez de Ganuza, Roda, Tentenubio, Valenciso and Viña Real.
- Third Category: Amézola de la Mora, Basilio Izquierdo, Bodegas Bhilar, Castillo de Cuscurrita, Dominio de Berzal, Finca Valpiedra, Hermanos Peciña, Miguel Merino, Pedro Balda, Peña del Gato (JC Sancha), Rothschild/Vega Sicilia and Tobía.
- Fourth Category: Baigorri, Biurko Gorri, Bodegas Bilbaínas, Bodegas de la Marquesa, Exopto, Gómez Cruzado, Marqués de Cáceres, Marqués de Terán, Marqués de Vargas, Olivier Riviër, Orben and Vivanco.
- Fifth Category: Amarén, Barón de Ley, Benito Urbina, Carlos Serres, Eguren Ugarte, La Emperatriz, Lacus, LAN, Landaluce, Luis Cañas, Sonsierra, Torre de Oña and Crus Bourgeois.
There were some unclassified cellars, which would equal to Crus Bourgeois, such as: Aldónia, Bagordi, Bárbara Palacios, Beronia, Bodegas del Medievo, Bodegas Palacio, Campillo, Covila, El Coto, Faustino, Finca Nueva, Hacienda El Ternero, Ijalba, Ilurce, Izadi, Juan Carlos Sancha, Laventura, Leza García, Luis Alegre, Manzanos Wines, Martínez Lacuesta, Miguel Ángel Muro, Navarrsotillo, Ontañón, Paco García, Perica, Petralanda, Proelio, Puelles, Quasar, Ramírez de la Piscina, Ramón Bilbao, Santalba, Valdemar, Viña Bujanda, Viña Herminia, Viña Salceda, Viñedos de Aldeanueva, Viñedos Real Rubio and Zugober.
Luis Cañas Reserva Selección de la Familia 2008 is a wine with a very good vintage in which the harvest was late compared to usual in La Rioja and in which wines have a fruity, fresh and aromatic profile.
La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 2004 is a red wine from this DO: Rioja is made with graciano and tempranillo of 2004 and has a volume of alcohol of 12.5º.