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Home Winners > Winners 2019 > SPAIN: Duero Valley (including Ribera, Rueda & Toro)

Winner Details

Spain: Duero Valley, including Rueda & Toro

2019 GOLD: 4      SILVER: 5      BRONZE: 5      COMMENDED: 9
2018 GOLD: 2      SILVER: 7      BRONZE: 3      COMMENDED: 9

After a couple of stunning performances that made it one of the competition’s star categories in 2015 and 2016, this region has slipped back into the pack somewhat. Four Golds this year wasn’t a bad effort though, and it was also good to see a white make it on to the Gold List: Diez Siglos’ Nekora is only our second white Gold in the past four years.

Interestingly, the feedback for the Rueda blancos was pretty good this year, certainly more consistently positive than it was for their supposedly more prestigious red brethren. The Ribera/Toro tintos were often criticised for being over-alcoholic and raspingly tannic.

This may well be a vintage issue, or it could simply be a question of time. Certainly, it was interesting that our Gold reds were all from 2014 or 2015, while no 2017s did better than Bronze. A year or two to settle down seems to make a big difference on the high baked plains of Castille.

There were a few good wines at the more affordable end of things, but generally speaking our tasters felt that this is becoming a region where you need to spend £20-plus to get something good.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Rueda is a hard area to find great white wines from, but there’s good value for money. It shines during the summer and dies during the winter.’ Emanuel Pesqueira, consultant

‘Peaks and troughs. A lot of faults in the reds: oxidation, VA, unattractive yeasty elements and some dirty winemaking. I was looking forward to this round – but it was disappointing.’ James Fryer, Woodhead 17

‘I wasn’t blown away by the whites. A few have a nice personality, but some of the wines are made just to please everyone. There needs to be wow factor and a good price, otherwise it won’t sell.’ Lionel Perriner, team leader

‘Quite a challenge. I generally quite like the style but a lot of the reds were unapproachable: green, volatile, and powerful, stripping tannins. I couldn’t see a place for them.’ Jim Bass, Scarlet Hotel

‘Rueda is not well known as a region, but most of the whites were refreshing and delicate with good acidity, so good for food pairing in spring. I like the way they use local or indigenous varieties.’ Francesca Turra, Mondrian London

‘The Duero is my favourite region, so I’m pretty demanding, but some here were unbalanced. The alcohol was too high, and there wasn’t enough structure to balance it.’ Adam Michocki, The Glasshouse 

Award winners

Found 23 wines

Spain: Duero Valley, including Rueda

Valdubón, Reserva 2014, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Gold medal winner

This Gold medallist was both ‘pretty and powerful’, according to team leader Jade Koch, who described it as ‘vibrant, with good concentration and tight bramble fruit, as well as some violet notes’. ‘Dark and chewy, with sweet plums and coffee notes, and fruit balanced well with oak influence – there’s ageing potential here,’ added Scarlet Hotel’s Jim Bass, while team leader Nigel Lister considered it to be ‘versatile with all roast meats, and fillet steak too’.

£15.65 Matthew Clark

Familia Chavarri, Valle de Oron 2015, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Gold medal winner

As this was led to the Gold podium, Adam Michocki of The Glasshouse described it as ‘a very modern style of wine from the Duero Valley, with lots of dark fruit’, while team leader Jade Koch was impressed by ‘liquorice spice and vanilla, together with balanced tannins’. Finding some additional ‘toasted oak notes’, Tobias Gorn of Boisdale Restaurants thought it would ‘go very well with dishes containing duck or bacon’.

£7.89 LWC Drinks Ltd (Merchant and Shippers)

Pago de los Capellanes, Reserva 2014, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Gold medal winner

‘Very complex,’ began team leader Carlos Ferreira on encountering this clear Gold-medal candidate, going on to describe ‘lots of plum, floral and leather notes, followed by freshness on the palate’. James Fryer of Woodhead 17 further identified ‘coffee, leather and dried black fruits on the nose, followed by dried plums, coconut husk and some velvet tannins on the palate’, while team leader Nigel Lister summed it up as ‘elegant and concentrated’.

£30.76 Enotria&Coe

Diez Siglos, Nekora, Verdejo 2018, Rueda, Spain

Gold medal winner

Awarding a Gold medal, team leader Jan Konetzki said ‘this is clearly a really good bottle at this price point’. ‘It’s refreshing, concentrated and full of fruit,’ added Claire Love of Loves Consultancy, while Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn described it as having ‘fresh, lemony and tropical fruit aromatics with a steely length’, going on to add: ‘The palate is ripe with pink grapefruit and minerals.’ ‘Calls out for oysters by the sea,’ added consultant Emanuel Pesqueira.

£6.70 Boutinot

Marqués de Cáceres, Verdejo 2018, Rueda, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Aromatic, herbaceous notes of green vegetables, and cut grass lift to a citrussy palate, where lemon and lime notes blend with pear and green apple to a nice fresh finish.’

£7.64 Halewood International

Torreduero, Peñamonte, Crianza 2016, Toro, Spain

Silver medal winner

This was, according to Scarlet Hotel’s Jim Bass, ‘fruit forward, with some delicate plum jam notes, leading to silky tannins, good depth and weight for food’, while Woodhead 17’s James Fryer remarked on its ‘dry cherry and white pepper aromas, balanced acidity, clay and subtle pepper’.

£8.85 Hayward Bros (Wines) Ltd

Protos, Crianza 2015, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Silver medal winner

Adam Michocki of The Glasshouse liked this wine’s ‘ripe black fruit character, with cassis and blackberry, as well as some toast, smoke and tar, and additional vanilla and clove spice. A classic wine from the region, with a lot of expression.’

£19.60 Bibendum

Protos, Reserva 2013, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Silver medal winner

Tatiana Mann of The Vine Eno Gastropub described ‘forest fruits on the nose, as well as some eucalyptus, and an earthiness too, leading to a subtle structure with velvet tannins – and ready to drink now’.

£23.87 Bibendum

Abadía Retuerta, Pago Negralada Tempranillo 2015, Castilla y León, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Ripe and well crafted,’ began team leader Laurent Richet MS, who found ‘blackberry, cassis, dates and figs, as well as some vanilla notes’, while Tatiana Mann of The Vine Eno Gastropub liked its ‘very good texture, with well-balanced tannins and acidity, and some good fruit concentration’.

£54.39 Enotria&Coe

Valdemar, Fincas Valdemacuco 2017, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Bronze medal winner

‘Some green and spicy aromas here are followed by a fruity palate that’s well balanced, with some big tannins,’ said team leader Carlos Ferreira.

£11.00 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Valdubón, Verdejo 2017, Rueda, Spain

Bronze medal winner

The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones noted: ‘Minerally notes of wet stones mingle with more exotic notes of mango and passion fruit. Elegant and balanced this would work well with food.’

£8.33 Matthew Clark

Pagos del Rey, El Púgil, Tempranillo 2017, Toro, Spain

Bronze medal winner

‘Black cherry, leather and spice aromas, with more black fruit on the spicy palate, along with some black pepper and paprika. Good balance and a long finish,’ said team leader Carlos Ferreira.

£7.31 Matthew Clark

Familia Chavarri, Valle de Oron, Verdejo 2017, Rueda, Spain

Bronze medal winner

‘Creamy, quite tropical notes of mango and pineapple blend with a nice minerality,’ said Mondrian London’s Francesca Turra, while The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones suggested it would be a ‘good seafood, lobster wine’.

£7.93 LWC Drinks Ltd (Merchant and Shippers)

Protos, Roble 2017, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Bronze medal winner

‘A dynamic, powerful and intense wine, with vanilla, cassis and blackcurrant on the nose, and juicy plum, meaty notes and some mint on the palate,’ thought team leader Laurent Richet MS.

£11.10 Bibendum

Valdubón, Crianza 2016, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£10.88 Matthew Clark

Diez Siglos, Verdejo 2018, Rueda, Spain

Commended medal winner

£6.70 Boutinot

Pagos del Rey, Analivia, Verdejo 2018, Rueda, Spain

Commended medal winner

£7.05 Matthew Clark

Diez Siglos, Momento Diez 2017, Rueda, Spain

Commended medal winner

£12.00 Boutinot

Pagos del Rey, Sentero, Tinta de Toro Roble 2017, Toro, Spain

Commended medal winner

£7.29 Matthew Clark

Pinna Fidelis, Roble 2017, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£8.50 Boutinot

Bodegas Castillejo de Robledo, Altos de Valdoso Roble 2017, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£11.83 Bodegas Olarra

Bodegas Comenge, Biberius Roble 2017, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£9.25 Eurowines

Abadía Retuerta, Selección Especial 2015, Castilla y León, Spain

Commended medal winner

£20.47 Enotria&Coe

 

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