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Home Winners > Winners 2015 > SPAIN: Duero Valley, including Rueda

Winner Details

Spain: Duero Valley, including Rueda 


2015: Gold 6 Silver 11 Bronze 0 Commended 10
2014: Gold 4 Silver 10 Bronze 3 Commended 5


Would the Spanish be offended if we described Ribera del Duero as being their answer to Tuscany? Certainly, in the Sommelier Wine Awards the red section performs in the same way: a few sub-£10 wines then it’s maximum oak, fruit and ego as we head through the price-points. Few complaints from our tasters, it has to be said. The astonishing string of Silver medals is proof of a lot of high-quality wines provided you have the wallet to match. The whites were patchier, with rather too much confected fruit, but the medal winners had purity, character and (hooray!) good pricing.

Star Performer

Congratulations to Abadía Retuerta for scoring Gold with two majestic interpretations of Ribera del Duero, one Petit Verdot and one Syrah

FOOTNOTE: Includes wines from Rueda, Cigales, Toro & Ribera del Duero.


From the Tasting Teams


‘I really like Verdejo. It’s great with shellfish and lighter grilled fish.’ Gustavo Medina, Rex Whistler Restaurant

‘Some of the cheaper wines here were better than the more expensive ones. They had good tannins and rich fruit. Not complex, but drinking well now.’ Alejandro Icart, Fera at Claridge’s

‘There were some pretty good wines at the top end, but from Spain I expect price to quality, and I’m not sure we got that here.’ Jonathan Kleeman, The Ritz Hotel

‘There’s lots of really bad Verdejo in the supermarkets, and if you were asking customers to fall in love with the grape over Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc I’m not sure how easy it would be. It should be a classic, but the region is going through a bad moment just now.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘The reds deliver exactly what we’re looking for. The food matches can be quite simple to allow the wine to be the star.’ Roger Jones, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn

Award winners

Found 27 wines

Spain: Duero Valley, including Rueda

Abadia Retuerta, Pago Garduña, Sardón de Duero 2011, Castilla y León, Spain

Gold medal winner

Showing it's no one-grape winery, Abadía Retuerta scores its first Gold for a rich, complex Syrah winner. ‘Sweet spices, blueberry, cassis and pepper characters with dried figs and almond notes, tight but good length,’ said Neil Alexander of L’Enclume, with team leader Angela Reddin agreeing: ‘Sawn wood nose, malty forest berry aromas with a succulent, dark, juicy palate, very fine tannins and plenty of oak. Very intense.' Still young, it is pleasurable now, and will evolve. Match with woodcock.

£46.78 Enotria&Coe

Palacios Vinoteca, Trus, Crianza 2011, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Gold medal winner

A red Gold to match Vinoteca's Gold for its white Rioja, this had immediate appeal. ‘A juicy, inviting nose leads to fresh red fruit and cedar wood notes, followed by a warm and spicy palate with an elegant finish,’ said Giancarlo Cuccuru of The Gilbert Scott, adding: 'Savoury, edged with black plum fruit, this is deep and dark with vanilla, fruit and a juicy finish.'

£12.90 Georges Barbier of London

Abadia Retuerta, Petit Verdot, Sardón de Duero 2011, Castilla y León, Spain

Gold medal winner

The one they swooned over. ‘Has an attractive intensity of flavours, a cracking wine,’ said an impressed Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, with team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW agreeing: ‘Gloriously long, with a nicely wed balance of black plums with vanilla and green herbs.’ 'Very Ribera del Duero,' said Hakkasan Group's Christine Parkinson. 'Best to decant, or let it age,' recommended The Harrow at Little Bedwyn's Roger Jones, suggesting a juicy fillet of venison with truffles.

£82.52 Enotria&Coe

Pago de los Capellanes, El Nogal 2010, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Gold medal winner

Suaveness and sophistication took El Nogal to the top. ‘Lovely, big, intense, rich red fruit flavours,’ enthused Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, concluding: ‘Follows through on the palate. A big wine, needs big food, but delish!’ Gustavo Medina of Rex Whistler Restaurant also found: ‘Fresh herb notes, silky tannins, red fruit and thyme notes, with chocolate on the finish.’ 'Complex. Depth, savouriness, sweet jamon, espresso and very dark chocolate. Duero at its best,' said Athila Roos of The Arts Club.

£36.49 Enotria&Coe

Larchargo, Valle de Orón, Verdejo 2013, Rueda, Spain

Gold medal winner Pub & Bar

Once more, Larchago takes to the Gold podium, this time with a fresh, herbaceous Verdejo offering remarkable value, hence it garnering one of the Perfect Pub Quartet spots. ‘Rich fruits with a touch of fresh grape juice,’ began Carlos Ferreira of New Street Wine Shop, adding: ‘Aromatic, fresh style with a good finish.’ ‘Uncomplicated white with rich fruits on the nose and a fresh palate, good for all meals,’ agreed Sarah Riddle of Sketch.

£5.60 Copestick Murray, Greene King

La Báscula, Heights of the Charge, Verdejo/Viura 2013, Rueda, Spain

Gold medal winner

A delightful blend, this shows notable food-matching versatility, resulting in a worthy Gold. The nose of honey and flowers is encased in a little oak, with dry, candied lemon peel and some yellow apple flavours. ‘Very clean and fresh, showing some restraint on the fruit for a well-made, easy wine,’ said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, with Gustavo Medina of Rex Whistler Restaurant highlighting: ‘Delicate nose, good concentration of lime and lemon fruit, good value white.’

£6.95 Boutinot

Epifanio Rivera, Erial Tinto 2012, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Fresh, green vegetal notes with roasted cocoa on the nose, dry tannin with spice on the finish and a sweet chocolate note at the back,’ said Giuseppe Longobardi of The Cross at Kenilworth, with Alejandro Icart of Fera at Claridge’s finding: ‘Floral, minty nose with lots of red fruit character on the palate and soft tannins, with good, chocolatey intensity.’ Match with pork.

£10.70 Laytons

Pago de los Capellanes, Reserva 2011, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Dense and deep colour with a meaty nose of black fruit compote and lots of spicy, savoury elements,’ began team leader Angela Reddin, concluding: ‘Juicy, rich, concentrated palate, and very long.’ ‘Pepper and Tabasco on the nose, very rich palate with soft, creamy texture and good length,’ agreed Alejandro Icart of Fera at Claridge’s.

£29.21 Enotria&Coe

Abadia Retuerta, Pago Valdebellón, Sardón de Duero 2011, Castilla y León, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Very good nose of black fruits and smoky mushrooms, notes of wet leaves and grass, leather and meat on the palate, very well balanced with a long finish,’ said an impressed Carlos Ferreira of New Street Wine Shop of Abadía's Cabernet Sauvignon. ‘Beautiful bouquet of spiced fruit and chocolate, with a rustic finish of black fruit and apple skin, still young but very good,’ added Sarah Riddle of Sketch.

£46.78 Enotria&Coe

Hacienda Zorita, Abascal Vineyard, Limited Production 2010, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Silver medal winner

Dark fruit aplenty, with raisins, plums and dark spices on the nose, and plums on the palate. 'There's a lovely depth of oranges, spice, toast and black fruits,' said Studio Alto's Neil Bruce, continuing: 'Lovely tannins, weight and balance. Very good.' Match with lamb.

£25.78 The Haciendas Company

Cillar de Silos, El Quintanal 2014, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Silver medal winner

’Young, fresh, fruit-driven nose with juicy red fruits on the palate, holds together well for a fruity finish,’ said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, with Gustavo Medina of Rex Whistler Restaurant adding: ‘Modern style, red and black fruit with a good tannic core and freshness.’

£6.92 Majestic Commercial

Clunia, Finca el Rincón de Clunia 2011, Castilla y León, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Soft fresh fruit, cherries and vanilla, with some spice and warmth,’ began Giancarlo Cuccuru of The Gilbert Scott, with Carlos Ferreira of New Street Wine Shop noting: ‘Black fruit and plum on a spicy, smoky nose, very good balance of acidity and tannin.’ Match with wild boar or venison.

£29.70 Bodegas Príncipe de Viana

Hacienda Zorita, Abascal Vineyard, Reserva 2009, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Full and rich, with intense black and red fruits complementing the spices,’ began Jonathan Kleeman of The Ritz Hotel, continuing: ‘Full body with a long finish and the structure to age well.’ ‘Rich wine, with nice, peppery fruit on the nose and good complexity,’ added Alejandro Icart of Fera at Claridge’s.

£18.72 The Haciendas Company

Pagos del Rey, La Unica 2011, Ribera del Duero/Toro/Rioja, Spain

Silver medal winner

Team leader Angela Reddin said: ‘Opaque crimson red, brooding complex nose, intense and animal. Huge power here.' ‘Tobacco, leather and cocoa, with spirity notes and good balance,’ noted Giuseppe Longobardi of The Cross at Kenilworth. Very concentrated and layered, too young to add to a list now, but a welcome visitor. We hope it returns.

£100.00 Matthew Clark

Covitoro, Cañus Verus, Viñas Viejas 2009, Toro, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Coconut oak on the nose, with rich spices, dark fruits and creamy cherry notes on the palate, with a spicy finish,’ began team leader Tom Forrest, with Carlos Ferreira of New Street Wine Shop agreeing: ‘Tobacco, spicy nose with black fruits and good acidity.’

£9.70 Boutinot

Javier Sanz, Verdejo 2014, Rueda, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Intense and fruit-driven, with vibrant, juicy, long, clean fruit on the palate and a polished, clean finish,’ said a satisfied Andrea Fasan of La Petite Maison, with Nigel Sutcliffe of Truffle Hunting also noting: ‘Most characterful nose, clean citrus and green grass palate.’

£9.79 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Bodegas Tábula, Tábula 2011, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Big and ripe on the nose, with a fresh, focused palate,’ began Joris Beijn of Marcus, with team leader Tom Forrest finding: ‘Rich coconut oak, warm red and black fruits, soft, stewy blackcurrant notes and big tannins.’ With its richness and grippy finish, one for the steak house, was the verdict.

£22.35 Bibendum

Abadia Retuerta, Selección Especial, Sardón de Duero 2011, Castilla y León, Spain

Commended medal winner

£17.61 Enotria&Coe

Marqués de Riscal, Rueda Blanco 2014, Rueda, Spain

Commended medal winner

£7.75 Enotria&Coe

Abanico, Piedra Blanca, Verdejo 2013, Rueda , Spain

Commended medal winner

Pago de los Capellanes, Crianza 2011, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£17.08 Enotria&Coe

Larchago, Valle de Orón 2012, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

Ossian, Blanco 2012, Castilla y Léon, Spain

Commended medal winner

Demoted to Commended in Round 2 due to bottle variation - Bottle 1 corked, Bottle 2, 'better than previous, but still not medal worthy - 'lactic elements'; at price should be better.

£16.30 Justerini & Brooks

Valdemar, Fincas, Valdemacuco, Roble 2013, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

Dominio de Atauta, Parada de Atauta 2012, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£11.90 Boutinot

Pinna Fidelis, Crianza 2011, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£9.85 Boutinot

Cuatro Rayas, Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Rueda, Spain

Commended medal winner

£6.79 Bibendum

 

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