1997 was a variable wine vintage throughout Northern Spain due to the unsettled weather conditions throughout most of the growing season. In most wine regions the summer was a damp squib, with heavy rains and cool temperatures being the norm. However, the weather suddenly recovered at the start of September and the vintage was rescued from the jaws of disaster.
In Rioja a mixed bag of wines was produced with dilution and rot being serious hazards. However, those who harvested late and made very rigorous grape selections in the vineyard actually produced very good quality wine, albeit for medium rather than long-term keeping. In short, a forward vintage with some good quality Crianzas but few Reservas or Gran Reservas.
Ribera del Duero saw better weather altogether and September was very warm and dry, prompting Alejandro Fernandez of Pesquera to describe the month as