The winter of 1988/89 turned out dry and frosty - one of the driest in Spain's wine vintage records. This caused irregular budding in the spring: Viura vines suffered the most damage, Tempranillo and Garnacha were also affected, albeit to a lesser extend.
Warm conditions in the spring, compensated to some degree. The summer was hot but, the adverse effect came in the form of hailstorms over quite wide areas of Rioja Alta and more localised parts of Rioja Alavesa.
The resulting was an early harvest, with above average wines drinking now. Only 5% of the harvest was made to Gran Reserva wines.