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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > SPAIN: North-West, including Albariño

Winner Details

Spain: North-West, including Albariño

2018 Gold 2       Silver 6                 Bronze 8              Commended 7
2017 Gold 8       Silver 5                 Bronze 4              Commended 16

Last year our tasters went slightly nuts in this region. 2017’s eight Golds was about as many as the region had managed over the previous three years, so dropping back to a couple this year could be seen as more like a return to normality.

In fact, it was surprising that there weren’t a couple more. You could definitely argue that our tasters could have rounded out their selection here with a Godello and/or a pricier lees-contact Albariño, though it was good to see the red Gold trend continue – Godelia picking up its second top spot in three years.

One of the Albariño trends from this year was the increasing presence of both lees work and time in oak. It’s a move we’re seeing increasingly in Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc as well, and just as it is in New Zealand, it proved controversial with our tasters here, too. Some loved the extra weight, mouthfeel and complexity, others feared that customers will cry ‘foul’ if they order an Albariño expecting fresh citrus fruit and get cream and spice.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘We found classical styles as well as some barrel-fermented ones. On a wine list I think they need to be split into those different styles, as they’re so different.’ Tatiana Mann, The Vine Eno Gastro Pub

‘You choose Albariño because you want Albariño – there’s no point in winemakers getting too clever and going too far from that style. We’ve been seeing Albariño at silly prices, but today proved you don’t need to pay that.’ Sue Jones, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn

‘I’ve had an easy time selling the more expensive red wines from this region – they show very well straight out of the bottle – you don’t have to wait for them to open up.’ James Fryer, Woodhead 17

‘Godello is different, and can be excellent when the fruit is uncluttered by oak. It has an excellent future, both in Spain and further afield. I’d like to see it in New Zealand.’ Angela Reddin, team leader

‘We had a split between classic zingy Albariño – perfect seafood wine – to that level above where there’s longer lees contact, and sometimes some barrel fermentation/ageing, which is fine as long as they don’t lose sight of that original Albariño profile.’ Martin Lam, team leader

‘Outside London the price point is a stretch, but if you’re well represented in Spain, these reds are perfect wines to take that a step further.’ Euan McColm, Beaverbrook

Award winners

Found 23 wines

Spain: North West, including Albarino

Godelia, Selección, Tinto 2012, Bierzo, Spain

Gold medal winner

A clear Gold winner, according to Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason, describing a wine that was ‘deep and earthy, with mocha and charred-meat aromas, leading to a big, beefy, complex palate’, which led, he thought, to a perfect match for a rack of lamb. A ‘juicy, elegant style’, added team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, who thought this showed ‘dark fruit and fine tannin on a gloriously juicy palate with a long, rasping finish’.

£12.81 Moreno Wines

Paco & Lola, Albariño 2017, Rías Baixas, Spain

Gold medal winner

Taking the sole Albariño Gold in the competition, this ‘textbook example’, according to team leader Laura Rhys MS, earned its medal for its ‘attractive floral nose with pear and peach notes, as well as some spice and minerality, and beautiful acid’, while The Don’s Carlos Ferreira thought it had a ‘very fresh palate and good acidity, with a creamy, oily aftertaste’. Tatiana Mann of The Vine Eno Gastro Pub spoke highly of its ‘spicy stone fruits and very refreshing character’, while Rhys saw it as a perfect partner for seabass ceviche.

£9.87 Matthew Clark

Dominio de Tares, Quinta del Obispo, Mencía 2015, Bierzo, Spain

Silver medal winner

Team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW liked the ‘herbal aromas, zippy, crunchy, chewy palate with a vivid line of acid and glorious bramble fruits’, while Beaverbrook’s Euan McColm picked up ‘fresh cherry and smoke, a touch of dried meat, herbal in the mouth with prominent tannins, but rewarding overall’.

£8.17 Davy's Wine Merchants

Bonfire Hill, La Báscula, Atlantic Way, Albariño 2016, Rías Baixas, Spain

Silver medal winner

Jurijs Nemkovs of Hakkasan Mayfair highlighted this wine’s ‘fresh, juicy, saline style with some wet stone minerality, very ripe fruit and long finish’, with Tatiana Mann of The Vine Eno Gastro Pub noting its ‘beautiful depth, citrus and creamy texture with chalky lemon and pineapple length’.

£9.00 Boutinot

Castro Martin, A2O, Albariño 2016, Rías Baixas, Spain

Silver medal winner

The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones noted that this was ‘frizzante, with good citrus fruits, showing a nice balance between its freshness and good weight and texture’, while team leader Martin Lam found ‘honey and a hint of oak, concentrated and rich but still keen acidity, and good for the price’.

£11.43 Bibendum

Liberty Wines, El Cante, Godello, Monterrei 2016, Galicia, Spain

Silver medal winner

Opening with ‘floral, pastille aromas’, this showed ‘lime, creamy gooseberry, good freshness and a lightly mineral finish’, said team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW.

£6.72 Majestic Commercial

Liberty Wines, El Cante, Albariño 2016, Rías Baixas, Spain

Silver medal winner

Tatiana Mann of The Vine Eno Gastro Pub noted this wine’s ‘pure aromatic nose with strong fruits and spices, rounded body with very well-integrated acidity’, finding it a ‘pleasant wine at this price point’.

£6.98 Majestic Commercial

Gancedo, Capricho, Val de Paxariñas 2017, Bierzo, Spain

Silver medal winner

Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin found ‘flint, lemon curd, leafy floral notes, clean and crystalline on the palate with a slight fizz and fresh on the finish’, while team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW noted ‘complex lees, citrus and gooseberry aromas’.

£10.60 Boutinot

Valmiñor, Serra da Estrela, Albariño 2017, Rías Baixas, Spain

Bronze medal winner

Davide Dall’Amico of Royal Automobile Club enjoyed this Albariño’s nose of ‘citrus and a touch of apricot and melon’, finding the palate ‘lean but intense, precise with a chalky minerality, crispy freshness and long finish, for a typical style’.

£8.90 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Finca Os Cobatos, Godello, Monterrei 2016, Galicia, Spain

Bronze medal winner

A ‘lively and fruity style, with yellow fruit highlights, moderate intensity and floral, peppery notes’, said Masahito Suzuki of The Social Company, with Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin finding it ‘bright, with fresh lime, intense and pure orange blossom, mineral and quince complexity’.

£9.25 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Angel Sequeiros, Quinta Gaviñeira, Albariño 2014, Rías Baixas, Spain

Bronze medal winner

‘Delicate use of oak gives body and stature, an elegant style with creamy texture and savoury saline notes,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, declaring it ‘a great example with good length’.

£10.95 Top Selection Ltd

La Val, Orballo, Albariño 2016, Rías Baixas, Spain

Bronze medal winner

While Royal Automobile Club’s Davide Dall’Amico found ‘citrus and fresh melon on the nose, then a dry and precise, mineral palate’, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones noted ‘grapefruit creaminess, freshness, lovely balance and good length’.

£7.89 Boutinot

La Val, Finca de Arantei, Albariño 2016, Rías Baixas, Spain

Bronze medal winner

A ‘vegetal and fattier’ style for The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones, who found it ‘slightly smokier and toasty in style, an Albariño with a bit more attitude, as well as stone fruit and stony mineral character’. ‘Into the richer, honeyed style, creamy but still refreshing,’ agreed team leader Martin Lam.

£9.39 Boutinot

Pazo de Villarei, Albariño 2016, Rías Baixas, Spain

Bronze medal winner

A ‘bright, very lemony and herbal style of Albariño with vibrant acidity’, said Tatiana Mann of The Vine Eno Gastro Pub, while team leader Annette Scarfe MW admired its ‘lovely mid-palate with lees work giving a creamy texture along with the ripe apricots’.

£8.25 Fuller's

Martín Códax, Lías, Albariño 2015, Rías Baixas, Spain

Bronze medal winner

A bouquet of ‘citrus, nectarine stone fruit, melon and honeysuckle’, began Royal Automobile Club’s Davide Dall’Amico, who found a ‘crisp and precise palate with soft edges, rounded by a bit of oak, decent length and floral hints’.

£12.50 Liberty Wines

A Coroa, Godello, Valdeorras 2015, Galicia, Spain

Bronze medal winner

A ‘smooth, subtle and long’ experience, began team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, with its ‘slightly leesy aromas, then bright and vibrant palate, complex with gooseberries, sweet spices and greengage characters’.

£12.20 Bibendum

Parente García, Quinta do Avelino, Treixadura, Ribeiro 2015, Galicia, Spain

Commended medal winner

Pagos del Rey, Pulpo, Albariño 2017, Rías Baixas, Spain

Commended medal winner

£9.90 Matthew Clark

Vinos Valtuille, Pago de Valdoneje, Mencía 2016, Bierzo, Spain

Commended medal winner

£9.59 Bibendum

Pazo Barrantes, Albariño 2016, Rías Baixas, Spain

Commended medal winner

Pombal y Lanzada, Arcan, Albariño 2016, Rías Baixas, Spain

Commended medal winner

Losada, Crianza 2014, Bierzo, Spain

Commended medal winner

£11.50 Matthew Clark

Veiga Naúm, Albariño 2017, Rías Baixas, Spain

Commended medal winner

£9.25 EWGA

 

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