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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > SPAIN: North, including Navarra & Txakoli

Winner Details

Spain: North, including Navarra & Txakoli

2018 Gold 2        Silver 4                Bronze 5              Commended 6
2017 Gold 3        Silver 3                Bronze 4              Commended 5

When this competition started, ‘north’ basically meant Navarra, with a bit of Campo de Borja thrown in. Now, it seems to be increasingly about Txakoli, which has risen in our tasters’ mindsets from ‘what’s that and how do you pronounce it?’ to ‘we like this and can see a use for it’. Navarra, on the evidence of this competition, seems barely to have moved forward over the past decade.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘I was blown away by the diversity of styles in the Txakoli flight, from simple, delicate and saline to lees-aged and even barrel-fermented. It can take up a lot more in terms of food pairing now.’ Sumita Sarma, Sumilier

‘Txakoli is extremely good as a wine by the glass, an interesting alternative to a Vinho Verde.’ Jacopo Mazzeo, The Pig Hotel

‘Commercially, wines from this part of Spain are not important. No one is going to miss them if they’re not on the list.’ Harry Crowther, Grape Times UK

‘I once had a guy who asked for a Txakoli, but he was from Irouléguy. They might not ask for it specifically, but they’re happy to be led to it.’ Adam Michocki, Glasshouse

‘There were a few good reds here, but they were the exception.’ Lazaros Engonopoulos, Coq d’Argent

Award winners

Found 17 wines

Spain: North, including Navarra

Príncipe de Viana, 1423, Reserva 2013, Navarra, Spain

Gold medal winner

‘A steak-and-mash wine,’ began Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason in his praise of this Gold winner, going on to describe a wine that was ‘punchy and elegant, with good structure and weight, and notes of plums, cherries, red apples and some sweet spice’. ‘Black fruit pastilles on the nose, black cherry and a juicy, balanced mid-palate,’ added team leader Nigel Lister, with Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club finding ‘fresh cassis and violet aromas, plum-spice and lighter green notes’.

£12.49 House of Townend

Gaintza Txakolina 2017, Geteriako Txakolina, Spain

Gold medal winner

The judges thought this Gold Lister had a fresh and uncomplicated style that epitomised the region, summed up by Woodhead 17’s James Fryer as ‘spritzy and prickly, showing lemon rind fruit character balanced by flashy acids, and finishing salty’. ‘Green apple notes, and good concentration that would go well with food,’ thought Simon Cassina of Winexponent, adding that this would be just as well suited to being ‘an aperitif, by the glass’.

£9.95 Liberty Wines

Pagos del Moncayo, Prados, Fusión, Garnacha/Syrah 2016, Aragón, Spain

Silver medal winner

Full of rich red fruits and some earthy complexity, our judging panel found, revealing raspberry and plum fruit, notes of fresh tobacco leaf and baking spices with jammy and peppery notes on the finish, with good elegance and balance, too.

£10.04 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Bodega de Sarría, Señorio de Sarría, Reserva 2011, Navarra, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Some development here,’ said Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club, noting ‘dark cherry aromas with light gamey characters, unripe plum with gentle tomato leaf notes and touches of fresh tobacco’, while team leader Nigel Lister picked up ‘liquorice notes, tomato and beetroot with spiced cherry’.

£8.70 Boutinot

Gorka Izagirre, Txakoli 2016, Bizkaiko Txakolina, Spain

Silver medal winner

This was ‘a good example of Txacoli for people who want to step into this grape’, said Adam Michocki of Glasshouse, highlighting its ‘lemony, crunchy yellow apple, pear, pomelo and melon ripe fruit character, good smooth length and nice minerality’.

£9.90 Boutinot

Gorka Izagirre, 42 By Eneko Axta, Txakoli 2014, Bizkaiko Txakolina, Spain

Silver medal winner

Adam Michocki of Glasshouse found plenty to like in this wine, with its ‘pronounced intensity of lime, lemon, peach and ripe green apple, with melon and floral complexity of honeysuckle, acacia and white blossom, juicy concentration and mineral’, concluding it was ‘excellent to pair with seafood, with a prolonged finish’.

£17.33 Boutinot

Pagos del Moncayo, Prados, Colección, Garnacha 2015, Aragón, Spain

Bronze medal winner

Lazaros Engonopoulos of Coq d’Argent enjoyed this wine’s ‘big black fruits, meaty aromas with hints of baking cake, full body and balance, with loads of spice, cooked fruit and rounded tannins on the palate’. ‘Lovely cinder toffee and cassis through the palate and charry toast on the finish,’ added team leader Nigel Lister.

£13.68 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Hiruzta, Berezia, Txakoli 2016, Geteriako Txakolina, Spain

Bronze medal winner

Sumilier’s Sumita Sarma praised the ‘Chablis style’ of this wine, noting the ‘good fruit concentration and lees giving it a rounded style’, and picking up on its ‘fresh, lemon-zesty acidity, vibrant style of mango sorbet fruit, making a great, refreshing summer wine that would pair well with heavier grilled fish’.

£14.94 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Ochoa, Uvadoble 2016, Navarra, Spain

Bronze medal winner

‘A broad and generous style of wine,’ began Sumilier’s Sumita Sarma, with its ‘dry, crisp, ripe lemon and apricot, butteriness and creamy expression with underlying racy acidity, hints of coconut and strong toast and smoke characters on the finish’.

£8.83 Davy's Wine Merchants

Príncipe de Viana, Edición Blanca 2017, Navarra, Spain

Bronze medal winner

A ‘slightly restrained style but showing elegance’, thought Sumita Sarma of Sumilier, who found it ‘dry, with outstanding acidity, revealing apricot, ripe lemon and tropical expression’, while Woodhead 17’s James Fryer highlighted ‘lemon pith, broad acids and a herbaceous, taut finish’.

£10.83 House of Townend

Príncipe de Viana, Edición Limitada 2014, Navarra, Spain

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Nigel Lister highlighted a ‘lovely nose of crushed red fruits and stewed blackcurrants’, and Richard Cavagin-Carey of The Harwood Arms found ‘decent balance all round and nice grip, with a hint of greenness’.

£10.83 House of Townend

Tandem, Inmune 2016, Navarra , Spain

Commended medal winner

Ochoa, Crianza 2014, Navarra , Spain

Commended medal winner

Bodega de Sarría, Señorio de Sarría, Chardonnay 2016, Navarra, Spain

Commended medal winner

£6.22 Boutinot

Albret, La Viña de Mi Madre 2013, Navarra, Spain

Commended medal winner

Gaintza Txakolina, Aitako 2015, Geteriako Txakolina, Spain

Commended medal winner

Paco By Paco & Lola 2016, Navarra, Spain

Commended medal winner

£10.86 Matthew Clark

 

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