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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > SPAIN: Rest of Spain

Winner Details

Rest of Spain

2018  Gold 1         Silver 5                Bronze 4              Commended 9
2017  Gold 6         Silver 7                Bronze 8              Commended 19

This ‘Rest of Spain’ category takes in pretty much everywhere south of Madrid plus the islands. As such, it’s very much a mixed bag of styles and quality, and predicting the medal count each year is like trying to guess the flight path of a bluebottle.

But one thing became clear from the start – we weren’t going to get many white medals, because we saw a big drop in entries. It’s tempting to say ‘who cares?’, but in fact, we had three white Golds last year so it was a bit of a loss. The frosts of 2017 might have had something to do with it.

As for the reds, there was some discussion about whether the cheaper wines were ‘simple and well made’ or just ‘boring’, and whether the more expensive wines were ‘typical’ or ‘overoaked’. The answer to all four questions is probably ‘yes’.

Either way, while value for money was OK we’d have liked to see some more knockout wines under £10. Portugal seems a better bet.


‘I came into it not overly excited but it was better than expected. Not just big, over-extracted, heavy, woody wines. And there’s some good value to be found.’ Andrés Ituarte, Coq d’Argent

‘I preferred the cheaper styles – they were good value. As they pumped up the price the oak got out of control, and I penalised them for that. Where they pared it back there was good juicy fruit.’ Sam Caporn MW, team leader

‘As soon as you get to £8 you’d just go to Rioja, where there’s more consumer confidence.’ James Franklin, Fenwick

‘There were fewer faults than you’d expect. The alcohol was fairly balanced, and the oak was better integrated. There’s some thought going into the winemaking process. In that south-eastern corner they’re understanding Monastrell a lot better.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

‘The cheaper wines were not what I expected – they were more commercial. The higher-priced wines were more typically Spanish: spicier, bolder, terroir-driven wines.’ Christoph Hons, Park Chinois

Award winners

Found 19 wines

Spain: Rest of Spain

Luzón, Altos de Luzón 2013, Jumilla, Spain

Gold medal winner

Seeing Gold in this Spanish red, James Franklin of Fenwick loved its ‘cracking nose of ripe, delicate fruits and cured ham, with soft warming spice and jammy rich notes on the palate’, while team leader Sam Caporn MW thought it ‘characterful, with tight black fruit and nice balance, plums, cassis and bramble fruit’. ‘Crushed-velvet tannins, wet earth and leather’ combined with ‘dark fruit and black pepper’ sealed the deal for Woodhead 17’s James Fryer.

£11.77 Bodegas Luzon

Es Fangar, Fangar, Elements, Pla I Llevant 2012, Mallorca, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Dense and dark, and a wine you could cellar,’ said Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte, picking up on ‘lots of spice with liquorice and star anise, good quality’, while team leader Tom Forrest noted ‘stewy ripe dark berries, cinnamon and clove spice with drying tannin and black pepper notes on the finish’.

£23.10 Bancroft Wines

Gil Family Estates, Juan Gil, Yellow Label, Monastrell 2016, Jumilla, Spain

Silver medal winner

A ‘distinctive’ style, said team leader Sam Caporn MW, with its ‘attractive, lifted fruits of the forest, apple and raspberry’, while Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia enjoyed its ‘simple, easy-drinking, plummy and crunchy fruit with hints of mocha’.

£6.82 Boutinot

Luzón, Colección, Garnacha Tintorera 2016, Jumilla, Spain

Silver medal winner

An ‘excellent by-the-glass’ choice, suggested Fenwick’s James Franklin, with its ‘great purple haze, layered spice and fruit and good, grippy tannins’. For Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia it had ‘intensely perfumed cherry fruit leading to a crunchy palate with mocha touches’.

£8.15 Bodegas Luzon

Familia Castaño, Colección, Yecla 2014, Murcia, Spain

Silver medal winner

Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte found appeal in this wine’s ‘tobacco and charred earth, extra-ripe black fruits and liquorice, with a bit of salt’, while team leader Tom Forrest highlighted its ‘leafy red and black berry notes, spicy pepper and juicy finish’.

£11.25 Liberty Wines

El Vínculo, Paraje La Golosa 2004, La Mancha, Spain

Silver medal winner

James Franklin of Fenwick found ‘maturity on the nose, smoke with ash and mushroom, earthy spice notes’ and then a palate with ‘well-integrated tannin and a long finish’, while Christoph Hons of Park Chinois noted ‘smooth tannins, fresh and aromatic, unusual style, bold with cassis and floral notes’.

£15.00 Fine Wines Direct

El Vínculo, Crianza 2013, La Mancha, Spain

Bronze medal winner

This earned a ‘Wow!’ from team leader Sam Caporn MW, for its ‘very distinctive aroma of oak, spice, fragrant floral and bacon notes’, with Christoph Hons of Park Chinois admiring ‘lots of spices and good body with mouth-drying tannins but a bold, spicy finish’.

£10.76 Fine Wines Direct

Gil Family Estates, Honoro Vera, Merlot 2016, Jumilla, Spain

Bronze medal winner

Antóin UáRuairc of UK Midland Sommelier Ltd felt this was ‘very oaky but kept expanding, warm and fruity on the palate, jammy and very pleasant’, while Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte noted ‘dusty cocoa, red cherry and tart currants, simple but decent for the cost’.

£6.87 Boutinot

Finca La Estacada, Varietales, Reserva 2014, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Bronze medal winner

‘Starts with cherry, then moves on to jams and syrups on the nose, and a very interesting set of red fruits on the palate with light tannins,’ began Antóin UáRuairc, of UK Midland Sommelier Ltd, while Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte found it ‘easy drinking but hard to fault, with layered black fruits and balanced acids’.

£8.37 Bibendum

Bernabeleva, Navaherreros, Blanco 2015, Madrid, Spain

Bronze medal winner

A leesy, lactic, oxidative style, our judges found, offering a palate of cooked stone fruits, honey, acacia and camomile floral character with hints of orange and nuts, minerals and stony spice, though very persistent on the palate and original in style: a handsell.

£13.06 Bibendum

Cien y Pico, Doble Pasta 2015, Manchuela, Spain

Commended medal winner

£9.88 Liberty Wines

Finca Antigua, Tempranillo 2015, La Mancha, Spain

Commended medal winner

Murviedro, Cepas Viejas, Bobal 2014, Utiel-Requena, Spain

Commended medal winner

£8.04 Boutinot

Bonfire Hill, Turret Fields, Monastrell/Shiraz 2014, Jumilla, Spain

Commended medal winner

£7.59 Boutinot

Luzón, Colección, Crianza 2015, Jumilla, Spain

Commended medal winner

£8.93 Bodegas Luzon

Gil Family Estates, Juan Gil, Moscatel Seco 2016, Jumilla, Spain

Commended medal winner

£7.37 Boutinot

Arráez, Mala Vida 2016, Valencia, Spain

Commended medal winner

£8.50 Liberty Wines

Arráez, Vividor, Bobal 2016, Utiel-Requena, Spain

Commended medal winner

£8.75 Liberty Wines

Familia Castaño, Hécula, Monastrell, Yecla 2016, Murcia, Spain

Commended medal winner

£7.45 Liberty Wines


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