Rioja set for allocation pressure

Berry Brothers & Rudd has strengthened its Rioja portfolio as the merchant’s Spain buyer Simon Field MW acknowledged growing demand for this region’s top wines.

Haro in Rioja

Haro in Rioja

Introducing a total of nine new producers from across Spain at the merchant’s annual Spanish tasting, including mature vintages from Rioja’s Bodegas Roda and Bodegas Amézola de la Mora, Field noted: “There’s lots of talk in the press about gran reserva really getting into its stride in the US market.”

Similarly in the UK among Berry Bros’ customers he reported: “increasing interest in these wines which still represent superb value.” However, as a result of this category’s growing popularity, Field told the drinks business: “I suspect that the allocations will get tighter and the prices will go up.”

His suggestion that many of Rioja’s most prestigious wines remain under-valued echoed comments made earlier this month by Spanish specialist Sarah Jane Evans MW at a tasting to mark the 50th anniversary of the region’s acclaimed 1964 vintage.

For all the interest in Rioja’s most traditional names, Field observed: “customers do seem to get the new style stuff too,” noting that in particular, “Allende and Artadi are doing very well.”

Despite growing demand at the top end, combined with Spain’s ongoing economic problems, which are putting pressure on the lower priced end of the market especially, Field reported: “I’m generally impressed that the wineries we work with have been very stable on prices and allocation.”

Having added producers from regions as diverse as Catalonia, Navarra, Rías Baixas and Jerez in the last year, Field highlighted the growing value of Spain to Berry Bros’ business. “We’ve had double figure growth in the last three years and I see that continuing as our customers look to diversify a bit,” he observed.

Looking ahead to potential areas of expansion within the merchant’s Spanish portfolio he remarked: “I’d like to do more in Catalonia. We’ve done a bit more in Costers del Segre and Montsant but there’s more there. Perhaps we should look at Navarra and I don’t think we have anything from Somontano, which is probably an oversight.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Manager

The Old Curiosity Distillery
United Kingdom

Brand Development Executive

Manchester Gin
Manchester, UK

Marketing Assistant

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, UK

PR Manager

Master of Malt
London, UK

Sales Manager

Hairy Dog Brewery
Haywards Heath, UK

National Operations Director

Amathus Drinks Plc
London, UK

Sales Executive – Hush Heath Estate

Hush Heath Estate
London/ Kent

Marketing Manager

Zonin UK
Richmond, UK

Unsigned Talent Tasting

London,United Kingdom
20th Sep 2018

Love Wine, Love Chile

London,United Kingdom
25th Sep 2018

Almaviva Masterclass

London,United Kingdom
26th Sep 2018
Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2018

Enter your wines into the Champagne Masters 2018, the only blind competition dedicated to Champagne in the UK.

Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2018

the drinks business is proud to announce the fifth year of its Global Cabernet Sauvignon Masters

Click to view more