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Home Winners > Winners 2013 > SPAIN: other regions, including Jumilla

Winner Details

Spain: Rest of Spain, including jumilla

Not much in the blanco spectrum, but great, and interesting reds from ‘cheap and cheerful’ up to the real wallet-busting wines

The next time a member of the public tells you that it’s impossible to tell the difference between a cheap bottle of wine and an expensive one, let us know and we’ll arrange for them to taste through the Rest of Spain reds flight at next year’s Sommelier Wine Awards.

‘Ah,’ said one taster, as the flavours of wine #22 battled on their palate like a troupe of Kilkenny cats, ‘There’s the El Nido…’

To be sure, at £75 it’s one of the most expensive wines in the entire competition. But, as with last year, when it also picked up a Gold (and a Critics' Choice to boot), our tasters felt it was well worth the money and, even as a pricey hand sell, would impress the punters with pockets deep enough to be able to afford it.

One of the joys of this flight is its diversity, covering La Mancha, southern Spain and the Islands, and also its value for money. The Acantus Tinto might have sounded like a Roman general in Asterix, but our tasters all loved its easy charm.

‘The thing about inexpensive wines like this is you get an elegance because they’re not trying too hard or weighed down by tannin or oak,’ said York & Albany’s Nigel Lister. ‘That freshness makes them very good with food.’

There was no shortage of wines that did the ‘cheerful and Spanish’ shtick very well at under £8. And as well as those that metaphorically ambled around wearing a sombrero and carrying a stuffed donkey, there was also real concentration at the top end.

Sure, there were one or two baked and extracted wines, suggesting that not everyone south of Madrid has got the hang of viticulture yet. And some of the chunkier efforts probably needed a knife and fork rather than a Riedel glass, but for everything except whites this was a strong showing.

The wines that stood out had a ‘generous Mediterranean character which hadn’t been occluded by the winemaker’, said Etrusca Restaurant’s Luigi Buonanno. ‘Youthful, juicy ripe fruit and good food-friendly structure.’

Overall, this flight rounded off a good Sommelier Wine Awards for Spain.

‘Rioja might have struggled, but everywhere else was superlative. We saw good quality at acceptable prices from all over,’ said Hakkasan’s Christine Parkinson.

‘Spain is right up there at the moment. I had no problem with putting a lot of Spanish Golds on this year’s list.’
Christine Parkinson, Hakkasan Group

‘These wines showed what Spain is doing really well, bringing out really interesting indigenous character from exciting varieties and regions that have been hidden behind bulk wine production.’
Robert Giorgione, consultant