Tim Atkin, master of wine and the top international opinion leader, who was not afraid to rank the wineries in the Rioja region, published his second monographic report in January, Rioja Special Report 2017, having tasted 850 wines from more than 150 wineries.
Atkin maintains his ‘controversial’ winery pyramid from last year in which, following the framework of the historic Bordeaux classification of 1855, he groups Rioja wineries according to different quality levels; using subjective criteria of course. We say that this is controversial because it was Atkin himself who described his classification as such; aware that his commitment to young wine producers with small wineries that grow their own vines was going to cause friction, which is what happened.
At Familia Martínez Bujanda we have always thought that the opinion that really matters when it comes to our wines is that of our customers. We feel that critics help but that in reality, wine tasting has little to do with consuming a bottle of wine, which we like to relate to good times, whether they are culinary pleasures or not, and to good company.
In any case, what we do reaffirm is that a commitment to exceptional vineyards, to our estates and our terroirs, all with their own identities, is the path to offering a different and honest product. Tim Atkin has taken our Rioja winery up a level in his 2017 report. Finca Valpiedra has moved up from the third to the second tier of the pyramid, making it comparable to a second growth Medoc. This, for a relatively young winery such as ours, which was opened in 1999 and in which we are still reaping the fruits of arduous parcelling and selection work while continuing to learn and understand the vineyards, is quite a boost.
Our concept of vine growing, which we also apply at Finca Montepedroso (Rueda) and Finca Antigua (La Mancha), involves reflecting as honestly as possible on the potential of each estate and on our vineyards. We make wines that reflect the identity of our terroirs.
The Atkin report rates the Finca Valpiedra 2010 with an outstanding score, 95 points. Cantos de Valpiedra was rated with 93 points. In this case from the difficult harvest of 2013 in which, by way of commitment to the honesty that we take pride in; we did not produce Finca Valpiedra, due to issues with the harvest. Both wines are selected by Atkin as Riojas of the year in the Reserva and Crianza categories.