Home Winners > Winners 2015 > SPAIN: North, including Navarra

Winner Details

Spain: North, including Navarra 

2015: Gold 2 Silver 6 Bronze 3 Commended 6
2014: Gold 1 Silver 3 Bronze 3 Commended 3

Spain’s north takes in (with the greatest of respect to all the bodegueros therein) some of the less fashionable DOs in the country. But what Navarra, Campo de Borja, Calatayud, Cariñena and Somontano  lack in box-office status, they can deliver in value for money. We’ve had some very well-priced Golds from here down the years.

2015’s competition, however, gave us something else, showcasing what the region can do at the upper end. The two Gold-Listed entries were magnificent wines, and though neither was exactly cheap, they were supported by a solid string of mid-priced Silvers.

Star Performer

Congratulations to Bodegas Chivite and Pago de Circus, which between them had an astonishing eight of this category’s 11 medals.

FOOTNOTE: Includes wines from Somontano, Campo de Borja, Calatayud & Cariñena.

From the Tasting Teams

‘The whites showed the great diversity of wines from the regions, but if you put these wines on a wine list you have to hand-sell anything that isn’t Rioja or a well-known name.’ Lukasz Walkowiak, Oxo Tower Restaurant

‘For the reds, there was more disappointment in the lower price-points than the higher ones – and the lower prices weren’t that low!’ Christophe Richelet, consultant sommelier

‘You can still recognise some of the old character, but can really see the new direction that Spain is going in, too. You can sell these precisely because they taste different from Rioja.’ Maria Rodriguez, consultant sommelier

Award winners

Found 17 wines

Spain: North, including Navarra

Pago de Cirsus, Opus 11, Selección 2009, Navarra, Spain

Gold medal winner

Multi-layered, elegant, long and precise, a wine to fall in love with. Caroline Brangé of 28°-50° Mayfair found ‘complexity, vanilla, well-integrated oak with black pepper and leafy herbs’, while Hawksmoor Air Street’s Julian Bicknell noted: ‘Violets and Chinese spice aromas, punchy fruit, deliciously plummy with lots of new oak.’ 'One of those wines that you can smell for hours,' said the Orrery's Lorenzo Abussi. Match with hare, venison, or rib-eye.

£61.32 Spanish Fine Wine

Chivite, Finca de Villatuerta, Chardonnay Sobre Lías 2012, Navarra, Spain

Gold medal winner

‘Great wine with amazing texture and length, complex aromatics,’ began impressed team leader Olivier Marie, continuing: ‘Wet chalk with honeyed character and a phenolic finish, but pleasant, with pithy minerality. A lot of oak, but it is well made, with complex, precise character.’ ‘Spice, richness, complexity, vibrant and persistent flavours with great freshness and balance,’ concurred Vinoteca Marylebone’s Mya Brown.

£13.49 Matthew Clark

Pago de Cirsus, Selección de Familia 2009, Navarra, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Inky and very ripe, modern style with juicy, bold flavours, very precise, with new oak in balance,’ said the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s Mike Best, continuing: ‘Seriously good, with finesse, power and elegance.’ ‘Rich and generous, plush and plump, with spice and berries,’ added team leader Simon Woods.

£19.28 Spanish Fine Wine

Pago de Cirsus, Cuvée Especial 2010, Navarra, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Dusty aromas, with juicy black fruits and dominant oak on the palate, but then fat, juicy berry fruit and a decent length, savoury finish,’ said team leader Martin Lam, with Julian Bicknell of Hawksmoor Air Street adding: ‘Warm and chunky, very attractive red, made with love, needs food.’

£12.72 Spanish Fine Wine

Gran Feudo, Edición, Chardonnay 2014, Navarra, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Mellow and soft, with crisp fruit character and balanced acidity, good for mussels by the beach,’ suggested consultant Caroline Symington, with with team leader Olivier Marie adding: ‘Slightly confected apricot and yellow plum fruit, with an oily texture and long-lasting finish.’

£8.49 Matthew Clark

Chivite, Finca de Villatuerta, Syrah 2011, Navarra, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Raisin, plum, stewed fruit nose with delicious fruit chutney character on the palate,’ began the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s Mike Best, continuing: ‘Good balance, with a mix of traditional and modern styles. Pronounced intensity and characterful.’

£14.75 Matthew Clark

Chivite, Colección 125, Reserva 2010, Navarra, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Cranberry, plummy, crunchy black fruit on the nose, very elegant, velvety and even on the palate, with nice freshness and a cherry yoghurt-y finish,’ commented Julian Bicknell of Hawksmoor Air Street, concluding: ‘Delicious.’

£19.25 Matthew Clark, Berry Bros & Rudd

Bodega de Sarría, Señorío de Sarría, Chardonnay 2014, Navarra, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Aromatic melon and peach nose, delivering a punchy, tropical melon palate and moreish citrus fruit, with some crisp acidic lime notes to finish,’ said Claire Love of Loves Restaurant, with team leader Olivier Marie noting: ‘Stone fruit and lime blossom, with lemony character and herbal, grassy, under-ripe fruit touches.’

£5.80 Boutinot

Finca El Paso, Garnacha NV, Cariñena, Spain

Bronze medal winner

‘Rich, punchy, dark berry and plum fruit, fresh and juicy style; a lovely, honest, juicy red that would be great value by the glass,’ said team leader Simon Woods, with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s Mike Best agreeing: ‘Simple, dark berry fruit with a hint of smoke on the palate.’

£5.67 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Pagos de Araiz, Roble 2013, Navarra, Spain

Bronze medal winner

‘Red fruit and herbs on the nose, with big, juicy, crunchy fruit and spices on the palate,’ began team leader Martin Lam, with consultant sommelier Christophe Richelet finding: ‘Bright red fruit and garrigue herbs, oak notes and a touch of liquorice.’

£6.62 Enotria&Coe

Pago de Cirsus, Barrel Fermented, Chardonnay 2012, Navarra, Spain

Bronze medal winner

‘Some toasty spice with citrus, well-integrated oak with rich, toasted body, tree/stone fruits,’ said Mya Brown of Vinoteca Marylebone. Lukasz Walkowiak of Oxo Tower Restaurant agreed: ‘Creamy nose, some peach and ripe apple, with buttery texture and a lovely touch of vanilla.’

£9.58 Spanish Fine Wine

San Alejandro, Pablo, Old Vine Garnacha 2013, Calatayud , Spain

Commended medal winner

Gran Feudo, Viñas Viejas, Reserva 2010, Navarra , Spain

Commended medal winner

£10.99 Matthew Clark

Borsao, Berola 2010, Campo de Borja , Spain

Commended medal winner

£9.65 Boutinot

Guelbenzu, Lombana 2005, Ribera del Queiles , Spain

Commended medal winner

£11.35 Boutinot

Pago de Cirsus, Oak Aged 2012, Navarra, Spain

Commended medal winner

Pago de Cirsus, Vendimia Seleccionada 2011, Navarra, Spain

Commended medal winner


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