Home Winners > Winners 2016 > SPAIN: Rioja, White

Winner Details

Spain: Rioja - White

2016 Gold: 1 Silver: 0 Bronze: 2 Commended: 4
2015 Gold: 3 Silver: 2 Bronze: 4 Commended: 1

For a category that has been on something of a roll in the Sommelier Wine Awards over the past few years, culminating in three Golds last year, this was a bit of a disappointment. Tasters seemed somewhat conflicted about the whole modern versus traditional debate, and the wines rather got caught in the crossfire.

Well done to Bodegas Baigorri, though, for upgrading from Silver last year to Gold in 2016.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘This was not an easy flight but I started to feel more positive halfway through.’ Zigmars Grinbergs, Vinoteca

‘At the more expensive end of the flight we saw that more traditional style. The cheap end was very fruity and not much to it.’ Laure Patry, Social Wine & Tapas

‘There are more interesting modern styles of herby Riojas. I wouldn’t want just a modern style though – you need both modern and traditional.’ Devon Pryor, Blandford Comptoir

Award winners

Found 22 wines

Spain: White Rioja

Riojanas, Canchales 2015, Rioja, Spain

Gold medal winner Pub & Bar

Phenomenal value alongside purity of fruit gave this a Pub & Bar Trophy as well as Gold. 'Berries and floral notes with good balance on the finish,' said Emilie Sagot of The Sign of the Don, while team leader Martin Lam said: 'Fresh, unoaked, with nice structure. A medium-weight, very good value modern wine.' ‘Very fresh, nice focus, great quality to price ratio,’ added The Clove Club’s Sam Heathcote.

£4.90 Hayward Bros (Wines) Ltd

Baigorri, Barrel Fermented, Blanco 2013, Rioja, Spain

Gold medal winner

From Silver for the 2014 in 2015, to Gold for the 2013, age obviously suits Baigorri's barrel-fermented blanco, with its delightful apricot and tart peach notes and lengthy finish. Devon Pryor of Blandford Comptoir found 'sunned hay, bruised golden apples on a savoury, floral palate with good texture', while Laure Patry of Social Wine & Tapas highlighted its 'almonds, floral notes, full toasty palate with herbal notes and well-integrated oak'.

£14.64 Matthew Clark

Beronia, III aC 2011, Rioja, Spain

Silver medal winner

Laurent Richet MS of Restaurant Sat Bains was impressed with this wine's 'deep, ripe fruit, vanilla and prune flavours, so smooth and elegant yet rich and full-bodied', while team leader Andrea Briccarello found it an 'intense, ripe and deep plum and cherry fruit cocktail with good concentration, oak and length'.

£30.99 González Byass

Ramón Bilbao, Mirto 2011, Rioja, Spain

Silver medal winner

'Dark and powerful, really built for the long term, with sweet American oak prominent on the nose at this stage,' said Michael Best of WSET. 'Big and rich style with plenty of berry and redcurrant fruit. Needs food,' added Charles Pashby-Taylor of Dabbous.

£24.95 Ellis of Richmond, Sommelier's Choice

Forcada, Flor de Baco, Vendimia Seleccionada 2012, Rioja, Spain

Silver medal winner

'Good typicity and classic style, showing integrated oak,' began Charles Pashby-Taylor of Dabbous, while team leader Jade Koch noted 'ballsy oak and concentration, with a little lick of sun-dried tomato on the finish'.

£5.99 Frederic Robinson

Ramón Bilbao, La Báscula, The Charge, Tempranillo/Garnacha 2013, Rioja, Spain

Silver medal winner

'Medium-long with black fruits. Smoky, meaty and voluptuous,' began Chantal Serrano of The Cinnamon Club, while Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky London noted: 'Bold black fruit, earthy, nutty aromas with sour cherry and menthol, slightly medicinal hints on a dry palate.'

£6.85 Boutinot

Aldonia, VME 2013, Rioja, Spain

Silver medal winner

'Appealing, restrained blackcurrant fruit with a tannin lick and violets on the finish,' began team leader Jade Koch, with Michael Best continuing: 'Understated elegance and perfume here. Tannic, yes, but the fruit and acidity persist in balance.'

£11.55 Top Selection Ltd

Muriel, Conde de los Andes 2013, Rioja, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Intense, complex nose, soft and fruity palate with nutty notes, well structured and changing and evolving at every turn,' said Mauro Pirovano of New Street Grill, with Laurent Richet MS of Restaurant Sat Bains adding: 'Intense, dark fruit, prune, fig, a balanced and serious wine.'

£15.03 Muriel Wines

Valenciso, Barrel Fermented, White 2014, Rioja, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'The oaky influence brings vanilla, cinnamon and extra complexity, with a toasty balance,' began Vinoteca's Zigmars Grinbergs, while Gabriele Galuppo of Theo Randall at the InterContinental found it 'a more buttery, flowery style with freshness, balance and minerality'.

£11.50 Boutinot

Martínez Laorden, La Orbe 2009, Rioja, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Aromatically gorgeous!' enthused WSET's Michael Best, continuing: 'Red fruit compote nose, but dried fruit, like Christmas cake with added freshness. Serious wine, yet fresh and bright.' 'High tannin, good structure, would be nice with a big steak,' agreed Fiona Bastia of Park Chinois.

£11.19 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Solagüen, Blanco 2015, Rioja, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Very good,' began Vinoteca's Zigmars Grinbergs, noting: 'Juicy spice and complexity, notes of white flowers and camomile.' 'Only slight notes of the barrel, sawdusty on the palate with Asian pear and bitter almond complexity,' said Devon Pryor of Blandford Comptoir.

£6.43 Eurowines

Olarra, Otoñal 2015, Rioja, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Interesting toasty notes and jammy fruit on the nose. Dry, rich, earthy flavours on the palate with nice tannins. Very moreish and great value,' said Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky London.

£4.64 C&D Wines

Rolland & Galarreta, Rioja 2011, Rioja, Spain

Bronze medal winner

Fiona Bastia of Park Chinois highlighted the 'beautiful, dark ruby colour', before commenting: 'Good fruit and chocolate-like flavours, a heavy wine but will be very enjoyable with a good steak. Good potential for ageing, too.'

£12.57 Matthew Clark

Casa Rojo, The Invisible Man 2013, Rioja, Spain

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Andrea Briccarello found it 'exuberant', showing 'violets, earthy notes and good tannins with leather and coffee hints on the palate', while Mauro Pirovano of New Street Grill also noted 'warm and jammy fruits, complex, spicy pepper and violets'.

£11.44 Matthew Clark

Orben, Red 2011, Rioja, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Dark fruit in a ripe, modern style,' began WSET's Michael Best, continuing: 'Serious wine, very ripe, very powerful, very tannic.' 'Big and ballsy, good fruit concentration, warming cherry, tobacco and leather. Needs beef,' suggested team leader Jade Koch.

£15.75 Liberty Wines

Rioja Vega, Tempranillo 2014, Rioja, Spain

Commended medal winner

Valdemar, Conde Valdemar, Viura/Verdejo 2015, Rioja, Spain

Commended medal winner

Forcada, Alma de Forcada, Cepas Viejas, Garnacha 2012, Rioja, Spain

Commended medal winner

Valdemar, Inspiración, Alto Cantabria, Tempranillo Blanco 2015, Rioja, Spain

Commended medal winner

Valdemar, Inspiración, Selección 2011, Rioja, Spain

Commended medal winner

Muriel, Viña Muriel, Reserva, Blanco 2011, Rioja, Spain

Commended medal winner

£11.65 Moreno Wines

Vintae , Bodega Classica, Heredad de Tejada, Blanco 2014, Rioja , Spain

Commended medal winner

£7.25 Enotria&Coe

 

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