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Home Winners > Winners 2016 > SPAIN: Duero Valley, including Rueda

Winner Details

Spain: Duero Valley, including Rueda 

2016 Gold: 8 Silver: 12 Bronze: 5 Commended: 7
2015 Gold: 6 Silver: 11 Bronze: 0 Commended: 10

The winemaking regions running along and around the Duero have caught fire in this competition over the past few years: four Golds in 2014 became six last year and a record-breaking eight in 2016.

The whites were, broadly speaking, consistent and attractive rather than genuinely exciting – wines that will turn up, do a decent day’s work and go home. They might not engage you much in conversation, but they’re not too demanding or annoying either. It was probably significant, however, that our one white Gold this year had a bit of ‘new Rioja’ barrel work…

The reds, however, were a different story, winning over large numbers of our tasters who, presumably, weren’t afraid of a bit of oak, fruit and tannin in their glass of vino collapso. It’s clearly a style that, when done well, resonates with customers, too.

Generally speaking, it was all about Toro under £10, with lots of good-value bottles on show, moving into the more ambitious offerings from Cigales and, particularly, Ribera del Duero above this level. The multi-regional La Unica (that traditional Ribera/Toro/Rioja combination) was one of the more unusual wines to have made it on to our Gold List down the years.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘The whites are summery, glass-on-the-lawn sort of wines.’ Richard Brooks, Caroline Catering

‘Even though the reds were powerful wines, they were balanced, with good freshness, and the oak was well integrated, too. They are good mostly for slightly older customers.’ Georgi Mihov, Bohemia Bar and Restaurant

‘They’re not quite as turbocharged as Malbec – full bodied but with a bit more European structure.’ Frédéric Jean-YvesBillet, Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa

‘At the cheaper end a lot of the whites tasted the same.’ Tobias Brauweiler MW, Hakkasan Group

‘I thought these were great – more fruit driven than Rioja, but with that same Tempranillo fruit. In the last year, people have started. We don’t even need to put them on By The Glass. They just walk out the door.’ Mya Brown, The Ledbury

‘The reds are big wines, but I didn’t find much in the way of complexity. No layers, just fruit, tannin…’ Mark Gurney, Cafe Murano

‘I was looking for intensity and richness, and that’s what I found. The big question was the silkiness or astringency of tannin. Some gripped in the right way and others didn’t.’ Alex Cooper, Haymarket Hotel

‘These kind of reds go well with the American tastes – people who like big fruit and big wines. It’s a nice interpretation of Tempranillo, though personally I find Rioja ages rather more elegantly.’ Gabriele Galuppo, Theo Randall at the InterContinental

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

Award winners

Found 32 wines

Spain: Duero Valley, including Rueda

Marqués de Riscal, Limousin, Reserva, 2014, Rueda , Spain

Gold medal winner

A weightier style of white, with its well-integrated oak, the lovely balance and flavours gave Marqués de Riscal a white Gold to match its two red ones. Team leader Annette Scarfe MW enjoyed the 'delicate oak on the nose, fresh acidity and complexity', while Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering found it 'attractively clean and fresh, but rich and ripe with some nice, toasty complexity'.

£9.73 Enotria&Coe

Milénico, Milénico, 2012, Ribera del Duero , Spain

Gold medal winner

Depth and deft use of oak marked Milénico for the top table. 'Deep purple colour with smoky tobacco, ripe black fruits bringing sweetness on the palate, but fresh blackcurrant acidity and drying tannins providing good balance,' said team leader Tom Forrest, while JKS Restaurant's Sunaina Sethi added: The lovely fruit is deep and intense, tannins are nicely ripe, while oak gives structure. This could do with time or a steak!'

£22.63 Please contact winery for further information

Comenge, Familia Comenge, Reserva, 2011, Ribera del Duero , Spain

Gold medal winner Food Match

Power and versatility gave Comenge not just Gold but a Steak Food Match Trophy. 'Garnet in colour, with strong notes of vanilla and spice on the nose, the palate is balanced with fine tannins and acidity, and a good lick of fruit,' said Fifteen Cornwall's Elly Owen. 'Fruity nose with flowery hints, complex with a touch of green herbal aromas,' began Gabriele Galuppo of Theo Randall at the InterContinental, adding: 'Elegant and balanced with silky tannins.'

£12.75 Eurowines

Rejadorada, Bravo, Old Vines, 2010, Toro , Spain

Gold medal winner

Richness and complexity led Rejadorada to the Gold enclosure. 'Robust and intense, with leathery tobacco characters and grippy tannins,' said Alex Cooper of Haymarket Hotel, while team leader Tom Forrest noted: Llight aromas of violets and black fruits, the palate is soft and smooth with some leafy violets. Nice wine.' Decant well before serving.

£32.00 Enotria&Coe

Pagos del Rey, La Unica, 2012, Ribera del Duero/Toro/Rioja , Spain

Gold medal winner

While still regarded as young, quality shone through for La Unica. 'Ripe with dark fruits on the nose, soft, squashy dark berries and plum on the palate, blackened with vanilla oak,' said team leader Tom Forrest, continuing: 'Drying tannins on the finish, with nice spice.' 'Rich, soft, complex and well balanced,' confirmed Erik Simonics of The Savoy. 'Plenty of potential to be bright and beautiful,' said Bread Street Kitchen's Timothy Connor.

£83.67 Matthew Clark

Torreduero, Marqués de Peñamonte, Reserva, 2009, Toro , Spain

Gold medal winner

'Very easy drinking, with vanilla, cherries and deep intense fruit,' said JKS Restaurant's Sunaina Sethi of this Gold Lister, continuing: 'The use of new oak is evident. Great value.' Alex Cooper of Haymarket Hotel found 'bold, dark, rich fruit with a charred and earthy character', while team leader Laura Rhys MS noted 'well-integrated tannins with the acidity bringing freshness on the finish'.

£8.06 Hayward Bros (Wines) Ltd

Torreduero, Marqués de Peñamonte, Crianza, 2013, Toro , Spain

Gold medal winner

Toasty oak and spice marry with spicy red and black fruits and a fine price to give Torreduero Gold. A good example of Tempranillo with juicy red and black fruits, and fresh acidity. Team leader Laura Rhys MS found 'dark cherry and berry fruit', while Haymarket Hotel's Alex Cooper noted 'richness and cherry intensity with clove spice notes'.

£6.90 Hayward Bros (Wines) Ltd

Pagos del Rey, El Púgil, Tempranillo, 2014, Toro , Spain

Gold medal winner

Great food-matching potential with good value gives Pagos del Rey one of its pair of Golds. 'Lively, young red fruit on the nose, very attractive warm, plummy character,' said Caroline Catering's Richard Brooks, continuing: 'Develops well on the palate, with a good length. Ideal for a range of red meat dishes.' The Sign of the Don's Arnaud Fiol noted 'good balace, medium body with a vanilla finish'.

£6.20 Matthew Clark

Agrícola Castellana, Cuatro Rayas, Verdejo, 2014, Rueda , Spain

Silver medal winner

'Lovely zesty fruit on the mid-palate, multi-layered with an oily texture,' began team leader Annette Scarfe MW, with Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering agreeing: 'Fresh and lively, another good choice for summer and salads.'

£7.11 Bibendum Wine

Diez Siglos, Nékora, Verdejo, 2015, Rueda , Spain

Silver medal winner

Stefano Pirondi of Bread Street Kitchen noted 'a nice entrance and lots of stone fruit and citrus through to the end', while Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering commented that its 'neutral style gives plenty of scope for easy drinking by the glass'.

£6.00 Boutinot

Marqués de Cáceres, Excellens, Sauvignon Blanc, 2014, Rueda , Spain

Silver medal winner

Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering summed it up neatly as 'a lively wine with an attractive range of fruit flavours', with team leader Annette Scarfe MW noting: 'Attractive grapefruit nose with pronounced, juicy acidity and freshness.'

£8.00 Fine Wines Direct , Laytons , Inverarity Morton

Pagos del Rey, Analivia, Verdejo Blanco, 2015, Rueda , Spain

Silver medal winner

'Slight spritz, a little reductive and phenolic, but grapefruit pith flavours in support,' said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, with Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering adding: 'Comes through on the palate as an easy, fresh white for casual drinking.'

£6.79 Matthew Clark

CVNE, Buenos Dias, Verdejo, 2014, Rueda , Spain

Silver medal winner

A good, versatile option to match with a variety of salad dishes, suggested Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering: 'Lively wine with attractive zingy fruit and a zesty feel in the mouth.' 'Fresh acids and a dusting of white pepper,' added team leader Sam Caporn MW.

£6.24 Hatch Mansfield

Ramón Bilbao, Monte Blanco, Verdejo, 2015, Rueda , Spain

Silver medal winner

Team leader Annette Scarfe MW found 'good, cool-ferment typicity with green asparagus notes on the palate', while Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering noted 'lots of zingy fruit, suitable for a range of fresh dishes as well as by the glass'.

£7.25 Ellis of Richmond

Linaje Garsea, Reserva, 2011, Ribera del Duero , Spain

Silver medal winner

'Intense, developed character, cedar, tobacco and dark chocolate on the nose with good palate structure, ripe blackberry and raspberry notes, length and tannins,' said Mya Brown of The Ledbury, with Frédéric Jean-Yves Billet of Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa noting its 'complex, spicy, Liquorice Allsorts character, great with food'.

£19.90 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Tábula, Damana, Reserva, 2011, Ribera del Duero , Spain

Silver medal winner

Erik Simonics of The Savoy highlighted its 'dark fruits, spice and chocolate character with nice oak treatment', while team leader Tom Forrest noted 'ripe, dark fruits with some peppery spice, sweet ripeness on the palate with dark berries and currant notes, grippy tannins and nice acidity'.

£12.26 Bibendum Wine

Abadía Retuerta, Selección Especial, Sardón de Duero, 2012, Castilla y León , Spain

Silver medal winner

Alex Cooper of Haymarket Hotel found it 'intense, lingering and silky', while team leader Laura Rhys MS noted: 'Black cherry, blackcurrant and spice, oak-driven but still integrated with rich fruit, tar and spice notes.'

£17.16 Enotria&Coe

Rejadorada, Novellum, Crianza, 2012, Toro , Spain

Silver medal winner

'Spicy red and black fruits, ripe and aromatic on the nose, followed by warm jammy fruits and cinnamon spice notes on the palate, with nicely balanced pepper, good length and a clean finish,' said team leader Tom Forrest.

£12.72 Enotria&Coe

Finca Museum, Museum Real, Reserva, 2010, Cigales , Spain

Silver medal winner

'Powerful animal and old leather aromas with blueberry, tobacco and cedar wood, good acidity and balanced tannin. Great wine all over,' said Frédéric Jean-Yves Billet of Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa. 'There's a pleasing, slightly spicy, plummy finish. Will match a wide range of red meat dishes,' said Caroline Catering's Richard Brooks.

£12.64 Cockburn & Campbell

Casa Rojo, Alexander vs The Ham Factory, 2012, Ribera del Duero , Spain

Silver medal winner

Erik Simonics of The Savoy found 'nice spice, dark fruit and delicate balance, at a good price', while team leader Tom Forrest noted 'spicy notes, blackberry and blueberry with a touch of chocolate bitterness balancing the fruit sweetness, nice pepper and drying tannins'.

£16.45 Matthew Clark

Diez Siglos, La Báscula, Heights of the Charge, Verdejo/Viura, 2014, Rueda , Spain

Bronze medal winner

The judges found this a pleasantly light, fresh and clean wine, with team leader Annette Scarfe MW highlighting its 'delicate use of oak and neutral but ripe melon fruit'.

£6.85 Boutinot

Cruz de Alba, Cruz de Alba, 2013, Ribera del Duero , Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Balanced fruit and spice, round but bold on the palate, with sweet, juicy fruit and cardamom spice hints with good acidity,' said Alex Cooper of Haymarket Hotel.

£12.35 Ellis of Richmond , Sommelier's Choice

Cruz de Alba, Finca Los Hoyales, 2012, Ribera del Duero , Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Complex nose with aromas of blueberry, cocoa and meaty notes,' began Georgi Mihov of Bohemia Bar and Restaurant, continuing: 'Medium-full bodied with excellent balance, more blueberry flavours with notes of coffee mingling with tobacco and sweet spices, and lasts for ages.'

£40.00 Sommelier's Choice

Finca Villacreces, Pruno, 2014, Ribera del Duero , Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Complex red berry, tobacco and cocoa aromas, medium-full body with well-balanced juicy fruit and liquorice notes on the finish,' said Georgi Mihov of Bohemia Bar and Restaurant, with Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa's Frédéric Jean-Yves Billet agreeing: 'Herbaceous, spicy plum, tannin, long finish. Good for red meat.'

£11.45 Liberty Wines

Torreduero, Peñamonte, Crianza, 2012, Toro , Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Brooding and bloody, with redcurrant and cherry, crisp crunchy fruit, light and approachable,' began team leader Jade Koch, while Mya Brown of The Ledbury felt it was a 'great-value red, rich and spicy on the nose with good structure and bright, quality fruit'.

£6.00 Hayward Bros (Wines) Ltd

Diez Siglos, Verdejo, 2015, Rueda , Spain

Commended medal winner

£6.00 Boutinot

Rolland & Galarreta, Rueda, 2012, Rueda , Spain

Commended medal winner

£11.77 Matthew Clark

Torreduero, Peñamonte, Verdejo, 2015, Toro , Spain

Commended medal winner

Hacienda Zorita, Tempranillo, 2012, Castilla y León , Spain

Commended medal winner

Marqués de Riscal, Riscal 1860, Tempranillo, 2012, Castilla y León , Spain

Commended medal winner

£7.59 Enotria&Coe

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

Commended medal winner

CVNE, Buenos Dias, Tempranillo, 2013, Ribera del Duero , Spain

Commended medal winner