We use cookies to operate this website and to improve its usability. Full details of what cookies are, why we use them and how you can manage them can be found by reading our Privacy & Cookies pages. Please note that by using this site you are consenting to the use of cookies.

Accept
Reject
Home Winners > Winners 2016 > SPAIN: North-West, including Albariño

Winner Details

Spain: North-West, including Albariño 

2016 Gold: 4 Silver: 4 Bronze: 3 Commended: 7
2015 Gold: 3 Silver: 5 Bronze: 3 Commended: 4

Rather like the ‘northern Spain’ flight, these wines split opinion, with two neighbouring tasting teams simultaneously praising the Albariños for their ‘consistency’ and berating them for ‘inconsistency’. This book sees no reason to doubt either team (such contradictions are part of wine tasting), though we would like to point out that this is the third year on the trot when we’ve had two Albariños on our Gold List, so they were, at least, consistent in that, whatever the vagaries of the individual flights.

Interestingly, both the Golds came from 2015, suggesting that it’s a rather riper, more intense year than the ‘elegant’ (ie cool and rain-affected) 2014, which gave lighter, highly drinkable wines, but not necessarily ones that leap out of a line-up.

Perhaps most encouraging (and surprising) here was the performance of the reds. Two Gold-Listed wines, and five further medals was a hugely encouraging performance and suggests that the restaurant trade needs to start looking past Albariño, however much of a must-stock and an easy sell it might be.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Punters would really like [the Mar de Frades]; it has depth and intensity.’ Natasha Hughes MW, team leader

‘The most consistent flight we’ve tasted.’ James Hocking, The Vineyard Group (of Albariño)

‘The most inconsistent flight today.’ Andrés Ituarte, The Avenue (of Albariño)

‘Albariño sells well, and it’s a crowd pleaser. If you like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, then it has more body, complexity and flavour.’ Ned Neville-Rolfe, Vinoteca King’s Cross

‘Albariño is easy to sell, so you just need a good-quality wine.’ Emilie Sagot, The Sign of the Don

‘The whites would work with a lot of seafood; there’s purity and a bit of saltiness in the wine.’ Charles Van Wyk, FJB Collection

‘I was expecting a bit more fruit opulence from the reds.’ Sam Caporn MW, team leader

FOOTNOTE: Includes wines from Galicia, Valdeorras & Bierzo.

Award winners

Found 18 wines

Spain: North West, including Albarino

Marqués de Vargas, Pazo San Mauro, Albariño, 2015, Rías Baixas , Spain

Gold medal winner

'Aromatic, bath salt fragrance with apricot notes, a little green on the palate but has freshness and length,' said team leader Natasha Hughes MW of this different style of Albariño, with its hint of Moroccan lemons and notes of sea salt. Tanguy Martin of La Trompette also noted 'fennel, almond, peach and apricot' flavours on a 'dry, mineral, classy and vibrant' palate.

£7.63 Majestic Commercial

Mar de Frades, Albariño, 2015, Rías Baixas , Spain

Gold medal winner

Minerals and a zesty fruit flourish marked Mar de Frades out for Gold. 'With its ripe peach and white melon, it's like biting into a fresh peach,' said Ned Neville-Rolfe of Vinoteca King's Cross, 'the acidity cutting through its oily texture.' Emilie Sagot of The Sign of the Don added: 'Interesting peach and apricot fruit with a nice almond finish.'

£9.75 Cellar Trends , Ellis of Richmond , Sommelier's Choice

Godelia, Red, Bierzo, 2011, Castilla y León , Spain

Gold medal winner

Serious and savoury, Godelia struck Gold with its class. 'Good cedar aromas, palate tightly structured with some red fruit notes,' said team leader Sam Caporn MW, while The Vineyard Group's James Hocking added: 'Dusted cocoa powder, coffee and vanilla, the palate is showing bags of rich, red fruits. Crying out for a rare rib-eye steak.'

£10.26 Moreno Wines

Algueira, Pizarra, Ribeira Sacra, 2012, Galicia , Spain

Gold medal winner

Balance and individuality gave Algueira's 100% Mencia a Gold. 'A very pure varietal style with lovely length and fruit purity,' said team leader Sam Caporn MW, continuing: 'Fragrant and unusual, herbal, complex and long. Pure and interesting.' Zuzanna Rogowska of M Restaurants added: 'Smooth, juicy and delicate, with oak aromas and nice balance. Great quality.'

£28.54 Bibendum Wine

Marqués de Vargas, Pazo San Mauro, Albariño, 2014, Rías Baixas , Spain

Silver medal winner

While team leader Natasha Hughes MW found 'good typicity, with lime marmalade on a crisp, bright, saline palate', Emilie Sagot of The Sign of the Don also enjoyed its 'citrus, white peach and medium finish'.

£7.63 Majestic Commercial

Mar de Frades, Finca Valiñas, Albariño, 2014, Rías Baixas , Spain

Silver medal winner

James Hocking of The Vineyard Group found notes of 'bacon and fresh anis' on the nose, adding that a 'lovely touch of stone fruit with white peach and a long finish make this a stunning wine'. 'The oak helps this to stand out, but its very clean and fresh,' added Tanguy Martin of La Trompette.

£14.95 Sommelier's Choice

Losada, Tinto, Bierzo, 2011, Castilla y León , Spain

Silver medal winner

'Funky, natural aromas on the nose, with lovely ripe fruit on the palate, good acidity and tannin balance,' said Daniel Murray of Berners Tavern. 'Lovely fragrant nose, classic balance and structure,' added team leader Sam Caporn MW.

£10.95 Matthew Clark

Losada, La Bienquerida, Bierzo, 2012, Castilla y León , Spain

Silver medal winner

Daniel Murray of Berners Tavern found a 'nice vanilla-oaky nose, rich, ripe fruit with dry minerality and big big tannins', while team leader Sam Caporn MW noted: 'Good cedar and light spice, with mulberry fruit, a lovely wine.'

£26.38 Matthew Clark

A Coroa, Godello, Valdeorras, 2014, Galicia , Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Delicate and fairly neutral, but a sophisticated wine with lovely texture and length,' said team leader Annette Scarfe MW. 'Some lively fruit and depth, has all sorts of food possibilities,' concluded Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering.

£11.42 Bibendum Wine

Godelia, White, Bierzo, 2014, Castilla y León , Spain

Bronze medal winner

'A fresh, well-balanced wine with a fantastic mouthfeel,' declared FJB Collection's Charles Van Wyk, who found: 'Pronounced aromas of stone fruit and pear, along with salty almond and vanilla notes from use of oak.'

£8.46 Moreno Wines

Finca Os Cobatos, Godello, Monterrei, 2014, Galicia , Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Balanced and pretty,' said Avenue Restaurant's Andrés Ituarte, who enjoyed its 'light minerality, bright acids and fresh green fruits', while Aurélien Constant of Galvin La Chapelle highlighted its 'clean, white flowers and delicate peachy structure'.

£8.40 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Alma Atlántica , Mara Martin, Godello, Monterrei , 2015, Galicia , Spain

Commended medal winner

£7.50 Liberty Wines

Félix Solís Avantis, Pulpo, Albariño, 2014, Rías Baixas , Spain

Commended medal winner

£9.22 Matthew Clark

Eidosela, Charquiño, Albariño, 2015, Rías Baixas , Spain

Commended medal winner

Castro Martin , Family Estate, Albariño , 2014, Rías Baixas , Spain

Commended medal winner

£11.67 Bibendum Wine

Pazo das Tapias, Alma de Tinto, Mencía, Monterrei, 2014, Galicia , Spain

Commended medal winner

£7.98 Enotria&Coe

Cuatro Pasos, Black, Mencía, Bierzo, 2012, Castilla y León , Spain

Commended medal winner

£9.95 Liberty Wines

Losada, Altos de Losada, Bierzo, 2011, Castilla y León , Spain

Commended medal winner

£15.16 Matthew Clark