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Home Winners > Winners 2019 > SPAIN: Rest of Spain

Winner Details

Rest of Spain

2019 GOLD: 5      SILVER: 5      BRONZE: 2      COMMENDED: 10
2018 GOLD: 1      SILVER: 5      BRONZE: 4      COMMENDED: 9

Taking in everywhere south of Madrid, plus various Spanish islands, this is a selection of entries that could politely be described as ‘eclectic’. It’s not uncommon for us to have a high number of entries here, and with style and quality varying so wildly, the kick-out rates in the first round of judging can be as brutal as the early stages of X Factor.

This year, our overall medal count was about what we’d expect, but our five Golds made it a pretty good year for the ‘rest of’ category; a feeling enhanced by the largely positive feedback from our tasting teams.

In a year where value for money was hard to find, our tasters really enjoyed tasting flights of wines where, once the faulty stuff had been weeded out, there was a strong range of entries under £8, and a £12 trade-up really got you something special.

Surely it’s only a matter of time before that Christmas number one and nationwide tour…

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘It was exciting wine, and the value for money was really good. It’s nice to see some emerging small regions really explode and do well. They’ve learned what consumers want, but they’ve kept the typicity.’ Lionel Periner, team leader

‘In the past I’ve found the whites from this flight to be approachable, and an alternative for white Burgundy drinkers, but this time I was a bit disappointed. To me they were losing their texture, structure and character. The best could easily be listed at a gastropub, as an aperitif for a sunny day, but not for a restaurant wine list.’ Stefano Barbarino, Chez Bruce Restaurant

‘Over-extracted or oxidative or aromatically strange to start with, but around £12 the reds got better.’ Laurent Richet MS, team leader
‘The whites were slightly disappointing, with only a few that were outstanding. And more for a pub or gastropub than for a fine dining wine list.’ Annamaria Juhasz, The Fat Duck

‘You can expect very dry, very ripe fruits. But some of these winemakers know how to polish the corners.’ Carlos Ferreira, team leader
‘Great value-for-money wines. Almost all our medal-winning reds were under £8. Good for pubs or possible house reds.’ Adam Michocki, The Glasshouse

 

Award winners

Found 22 wines

Spain: Rest of Spain

Vegalfaro, Pago de los Balagueses, Garnacha Tintorera 2016, Valencia, Spain

Gold medal winner

‘Deeply concentrated plum fruit, with a peppery edge, lovely structure and hints of black tea’ was how team leader Laurent Richet MS described this Gold medallist. Chiara Sieni of Bottles Group found ‘rich aromas of coffee, black fruit and herbs, a peppery palate and a long finish’, while Sonal Clare of Purnell’s Restaurant noted: ‘Gamey, feral and intense; spiced black fruit with a hint of tea.’ For Heddon Street Kitchen’s Timothy Connor this wine’s qualities were more simply put: ‘It’s a hidden gem, designed for you to show off.’

£14.25 Vintage Roots

Macià Batle, 1856 2015, Mallorca, Spain

Gold medal winner

Team leader Laurent Richet MS enjoyed this Gold medal winner’s ‘structure, intensity and body’, admiring its ‘dark fruit spice and length’, and describing at as ‘ripe and well balanced’. ‘Gamey, volcanic, with iron and lead,’ added Sonal Clare of Purnell’s Restaurant, who found it ‘youthful but approachable’ and thought it was ‘Bordeauxesque’. Meanwhile Timothy Connor of Heddon Street Kitchen thought it was worthy of a Gold medal for its value and point of difference: ‘For the price, this would be a really great example to show off just how much else Spain has to offer.’

£12.70 Boutinot

Dominio de Fontana, Sauvignon Blanc/Verdejo 2018, Central Castile, Spain

Gold medal winner

‘A juicy, fresh, apricot quaffer,’ summarised team leader Angela Reddin as this took a well-deserved Gold, further describing ‘green crab-apple jelly with a slight spritz on the tongue’. An impressed Annamaria Juhasz of The Fat Duck found ‘white pepper on the nose, with stony minerality, fresh lemon and peach blossom – pithy, with good concentration and balance’. Anita Vighova of Manor House Hotel added ‘notes of pine and grass, and some lively acidity with gooseberry notes’, while praising its ‘good value for money’.

£7.99 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Viñátigo, Vijariego Blanco 2017, Tenerife, Spain

Gold medal winner

This intriguing Gold winner reminded team leader Angela Reddin of ‘churches, with incense, candle wax and dried flowers, leading to a dollop of honey on the finish’, adding that it was ‘ageing gracefully’. Manor House Hotel’s Anita Vighova, meanwhile, enjoyed the ‘elegant oiliness of the mid-palate, and a long finish’, while Annamaria Juhasz of The Fat Duck appreciated its ‘lemon curd and apricot notes’, calling this a ‘complex food wine’.

£18.20 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Casa del Valle, Antina 2017, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Gold medal winner

Adam Michocki of The Glasshouse described this worthy Gold medal winner as being ‘bright, with raspberries, blueberries and cassis, with a lovely violet nose and a plush texture; it finishes long and has a pleasant aftertaste. It’s also great for the price’. Meanwhile James Fryer of Woodhead 17 described its ‘purple dusty fruits’ and ‘bright, blueberry-juiced, velvety palate’, and Le Gavroche’s Rémi Cousin summed it all up succinctly: ‘Velvety texture, easy drinking, good with food.’

£6.36 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Félix Solis, Casa Albali, Crianza 2015, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Concentrated fruit and a long finish, this has all the meaty notes you want from a Spanish wine,’ said Heddon Street Kitchen’s Timothy Connor. ‘And there are nice hints of cedar and liquorice,’ added Lucie Kalertova of Sexy Fish.

£6.37 Matthew Clark

Dominio de Fontana, Tempranillo/Syrah, Roble 2016, Central Castile, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘This has great fruit that’s perfectly in balance with the acidity,’ thought Timothy Connor of Heddon Street Kitchen, adding: ‘A great wine to chill slightly and serve with duck leg or breast.’ ‘Tuna sashimi or game,’ suggested Lucie Kalertova of Sexy Fish.

£7.99 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Dominio de Fontana, Garnacha/Syrah 2017, Central Castile, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘This has a nice musky, earthy and darkly fruited nose,’ said Woodhead 17’s James Fryer, ‘and there’s also good structure and lovely tannins.’ ‘It has a good balance of raspberry and strawberry fruit, with herbal elegance, too,’ added team leader Lionel Periner.

£7.99 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

El Tesoro, Monastrell Shiraz 2017, Jumilla, Spain

Silver medal winner

Lucie Kalertova of Sexy Fish picked up ‘hints of tomato leaf and a light touch of forest floor’ on this fresh-tasting Silver medal winner, ‘and there’s some juicy, cooked blueberry fruit and notes of hibiscus tea to finish,’ she added.

£5.40 Boutinot

Illana, Expression, Petit Verdot 2015, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Silver medal winner

‘Very fruity and spicy in an easy-drinking style,’ said team leader Laurent Richet MS, adding: ‘With its brightly intense cherry, vanilla and plum, this would be good by the glass or to have with cheese.’

£4.69 Barwell & Jones

Juan Gil, Yellow Label, Monastrell 2017, Jumilla, Spain

Bronze medal winner

‘This has a nice spicy, red apple nose with hints of smoke and clay,’ said James Fryer of Woodhead 17, ‘there’s a red fruit palate with a touch of forest floor.’

£7.50 Boutinot

Casa del Valle, El Tidón 2017, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Bronze medal winner

‘A great tapas wine,’ thought Timothy Connor of Heddon Street Kitchen, ‘with fairly light but vibrant red cherry fruit and nicely controlled tannins.’

£6.25 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Quinta de Quercus, Uclés 2016, Central Castile, Spain

Commended medal winner

Bodega Biniagual, Memóries de Biniagual, Blanc 2017, Majorca, Spain

Commended medal winner

El Grifo, Malvasia, Seco Colección 2017, Lanzarote, Spain

Commended medal winner

CVA, Vara y Pulgar 2014, Vino de la Tierra de Cadiz, Spain

Commended medal winner

£15.77 Top Selection

Sierra Norte, Pasión de Bobal 2016, Utiel-Requena, Spain

Commended medal winner

£8.40 Boutinot

Casa del Valle, Hacienda, Syrah 2017, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Commended medal winner

Casa del Valle, Finca Valdelagua 2015, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Commended medal winner

Casa del Valle, Hacienda, Selección Especial 2017, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Commended medal winner

Casa del Valle, Orquestal Reserva 2015, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Commended medal winner

Vinicola de Tomelloso, Finca Cerrada, Viura 2018, La Mancha, Spain

Commended medal winner

£7.25 Amathus

 

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