All in all, a successful wine vintage in Spain with the Rioja reds being particularly attractive. There were some instances of frost in late April and early May in Rioja but the damage was not widespread. Flowering took place in excellent conditions and July and August were hot and dry.
It rained intermittently in September and this slightly took the edge off what had otherwise been a perfect growing season. The wines however are extremely impressive, if not quite at the level of the stunning 1994s and 1995s.
In Ribera del Duero unseasonably cold April and May were followed by hailstorms in late June and in mid August. However the vintage was redeemed by the period of warm and dry weather at the beginning of October. The vintage has produced a smaller than average crop of harmonious and concentrated wines that, while approachable now, will amply reward medium term cellaring.