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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > SPAIN: North, including Navarra & Txakoli

Winner Details

Spain: North, including Navarra & Txakoli

2017 Gold: 3 Silver: 3 Bronze: 4 Commended: 5
2016 Gold: 1 Silver: 7 Bronze: 2 Commended: 4

Those who think Spain is all parched plains and sunburn should look at these results and think again. North of Rioja that Atlantic influence makes it decidedly cool, with our tasters generally liking the whites (both Chardonnay and Txakoli) and less keen on the reds. Though when they got them right (as our medal winners did) there was an attractive cedary elegance to those, too.


‘The Txakolis were good. I expected a very fresh, acid, mineral style, but they were also showing a bit of ripeness. There was fruit, mineral, saltiness and that light perlant fizz.’ Laurent Richet MS, team leader

‘The reds were a very difficult flight – very unbalanced. Wines like this are very hard to pair with food.’ Federico Forte, Plateau

‘There was an overuse of Cabernet Sauvignon and oak with these wines. I would have liked to see more Garnacha and other native Spanish varietals.’ Simon Cassina, Winexponent

‘These rustic styles require a bit of hand selling, but they do have a place on wine lists with the right food.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘There’s a lot to discover with Txakoli, it’s something different and unique. The challenge for consumers is pronouncing it!’ Diana Rollan, Hakkasan Group

Award winners

Found 15 wines

Spain: North, including Navarra

Albret, La Viña de Mi Madre, Reserva 2012, Navarra, Spain

Gold medal winner

‘Appealingly juicy,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW of this Gold-worthy wine, enjoying its ‘delicious, opulent, rich and ripe fruit with notes of liquorice and cinnamon spice’, while Simon Cassina of Winexponent rated it ‘excellent, with black berries and great concentration, good use of oak on a full, spicy palate’, advising: ‘This will be good for further ageing.’ Team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW thought this was ideally suited to barbecued goat or seared red meat.

£16.58 Bodegas Príncipe de Viana

Gorka Izagirre, Txakolí 2016, Bizkaiko Txakolina, Spain

Gold medal winner

Taking Gold for Txakolí, this had, according to Smith & Wollensky’s Scott Levy, ‘salty savoury notes with lime zest, nice sharp dryness with hints of green apple’, while team leader Olivier Marie found a ‘salty mineral nose, lovely concentration of fruit on a slightly perlant palate’. The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira found ‘a tropical nose, with peach and mango, and some creaminess’, while team leader Lionel Periner praised its ‘fresh and well-balanced palate, with a dry finish’.

£9.81 Boutinot

Chivite, Finca de Villatuerta, Chardonnay 2014, Navarra, Spain

Gold medal winner

A great-value Gold from Navarra, this had ‘mineral aromas and oily texture, with leesy character and good acidity, lovely ripeness and a hint of oak, well made and balanced’, according to impressed team leader Laurent Richet MS, who concluded: ‘Almost over-delivers at the price.’ Fellow team leader Lionel Periner praised ‘nice apricot aromas and a floral note, leading to a dry, aromatic palate, with good length – a match for octopus terrine with avocado’.

£10.78 Enotria&Coe

Albret, Chardonnay 2016, Navarra, Spain

Silver medal winner

A satisfying glass for Smith & Wollensky’s Scott Levy: ‘Creamy, peachy notes on the palate with lovely peach and tropical stone fruit flavours, elegant and vibrant with a very pleasing finish.’ Team leader Laurent Richet MS found ‘lovely intensity on the nose, with hints of apricot jam and crushed apples’.

£10.22 Bodegas Príncipe de Viana

Gorka Izagirre, G22, Txakolí 2015, Bizkaiko Txakolina, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Tropical style, with banana and pineapple notes, lovely aromatic flavours full of juicy fruit,’ said Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky, with Hakkasan Group’s Diana Rollan finding it a ‘riper and richer style, smoky and flinty with citrus and tropical notes on the nose, citrus, grassy and phenolic on the palate’.

£12.35 Boutinot

Chivite, Colección 125, Reserva 2011, Navarra, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Lovely and jammy on the nose, with ripe black and red mixed fruit aromas,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, who found it a ‘big wine with juicy tannins and good complexity’. ‘Plum and cherry, sweet spices with rich fresh plum and Cox apple notes on a powerful palate with tannic attitude,’ added Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club.

£16.91 Enotria&Coe

Albret, Juan de Albret, Reserva 2012, Navarra, Spain

Bronze medal winner

Federico Forte of Plateau felt this wine was ‘balanced and fruity, with minerals and graphite notes, plum and blackcurrant, oak and a creamy yoghurt richness mid-palate, some greener flavours, too, but earthy, complex and long on the finish’.

£11.48 Bodegas Príncipe de Viana

Adur, Txakolina 2015, Getariako Txakolina, Spain

Bronze medal winner

‘Mineral with lemon hints and grapefruit on the nose,’ began Hakkasan Group’s Diana Rollan, continuing: ‘Dry with grassy pear character, salty and vibrant with notes of citrus, a refreshing and crunchy style.’ ‘Very forward and springy on the tongue, with grass and hay notes,’ added Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky.

£11.86 Enotria&Coe

Hiruzta, Berezia, Txakoli 2015, Geteriako Txakolina, Spain

Bronze medal winner

Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky enjoyed its ‘savoury minerality with perfumed fruit, crisp and sharp acidity and pleasant finish, with a lovely hint of fizz on the tongue’, and for team leader Laurent Richet MS there was plenty of fruit and complexity: ‘A seaweed, sea breeze nose, grapefruit zest, lovely ripe peach and apricot, melon, mango and pineapple.’

£14.86 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Tandem, Ars Nova 2012, Navarra, Spain

Bronze medal winner

‘Red fruit with violet perfume, meaty cigar leaf character on the palate with elegant tannin, and a fruit liqueur freshness on the finish,’ said Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club, while team leader Annette Scarfe MW noted: ‘Ripe, almost baked fruit, lots of cassis at the core with toasty oak and spice.’

£10.39 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Príncipe de Viana, 1423 2012, Navarra, Spain

Commended medal winner

Príncipe de Viana, Edición Blanca 2016, Navarra, Spain

Commended medal winner

Albret, Crianza 2013, Navarra, Spain

Commended medal winner

Chivite, Finca de Villetuerta, Selección Especial 2011, Navarra , Spain

Commended medal winner

£10.66 Enotria&Coe

Hiruzta, Txakoli 2016, Geteriako Txakolina, Spain

Commended medal winner


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