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Home Winners > Winners 2020 > Catalonia

Winner Details

Catalonia (including Priorat)

With the possible exception of Priorat, these northern and north-eastern regions of Spain are not that well known by most restaurant customers, so you’re firmly in hand-sell territory here – particularly for styles like Txakoli, which are as challenging to drink as they are to pronounce.

So right from the start there were caveats from our tasters here regarding ease of sale and (particularly for Catalonia) pricing.

On the plus side, what we didn’t have, for the most part, were questions over the quality – particularly when it came to the reds. In the early stages there were some wines where ambition didn’t match delivery, but once these had been removed, there were some very good wines here that could fit everywhere from Spanish fine dining to gastropubs – and that went for both reds and whites.

From The Tasting Teams

‘The Catalan whites were hit and miss in terms of the quality of wine versus the price point.’ Agostinho Leite, Bistrot Pierre at The Royal William Yard

‘That minerality and particularly character of the tannins [in the Catalan reds] means you need some creative food matching. It’s lovely that they weren’t over oaked. There was this herbal garrigue note, with a charming dark fruit character.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘The highest priced Catalan reds were really outstanding. They’d work well for Spanish fine-dining restaurants.’ Gianluca Provenzani, Belmond Cadogan Hotel

‘The Catalan reds would work for the middle of a restaurant wine list – in that £50-60 range on a list. They’re really good value.’ Dave Cushley, Prestonfield House

‘If it’s not for a Spanish-focused restaurant then Catalan wines are a hand sell.’ Erik Simonics, Annabel’s

Award winners

Found 21 wines

Spain: Catalonia, including Priorat

Vall Llach, Vi de Finca, Mas de La Rosa 2016, Priorat, Spain

Gold medal winner

'A lovely style - modern, precise and elegant - with a fine backbone underneath. This is complex and chunky, with rounded tannins supported by a very fine acidity.' Olivier Gasselin, OenoTrade. 'Great winemaking, with ripe black cherry and currant fruits, vanilla oak, cinnamon and nutmeg, and well-balanced oak, as well as mouth-filling herbal mint and medicinal notes. One for fine-dining Spanish restaurants.' Tom Forrest, team leader.

£78.75 Matthew Clark

McAlindon Wines, Creu Celta 2016, Priorat, Spain

Gold medal winner

'Great typicity and intensity, with a leafy character, and sour plum and sour cherry notes.' Olivier Gasselin, OenoTrade. 'Complex aromas of garrigue, mint, dark fruit, sticky dates, dark chocolate and coffee, with a rich palate of stewed fruits giving way to dried herbs and spice. Acidity maintains integrity, while the grippy, ripe tannins are integrated. Great to pair with fatty meats and bold flavours.' Charlie Carter, L' Atelier Du Vin.

£14.29 Direct Wine Shipments

Familia Torres, Salmos 2016, Priorat, Spain

Gold medal winner

'Serious stuff, with plenty of muscle gloved in velvet. With notes of spiced blackberries, plums, cedar, coffee, Asian spices and graphite, this is tannic, grippy and layered, with a superb finish.' Angela Reddin, team leader. 'Typically Priorat, this is savoury, slatey and salty, with dark fruits. A stylish wine.' Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader. 'A deep and brooding wine that needs a hearty meal to accompany it.' Charlie Carter, L' Atelier Du Vin.

£13.44 Fells

Casa Mariol, Syrah Reserva 2014, Terra Alta, Spain

Silver medal winner

'An exuberant aroma profile that's deep, fruity and earthy, with a hint of leather, leading to a fresher palate and a spicy, earthy finish.' Charlie Carter, L' Atelier Du Vin. 'Dry and intense, with good oak integration, lots of plummy character and spice, with a fine backbone and a mineral finish.' Olivier Gasselin, OenoTrade.

£11.42 Top Selection

Vall Llach, Embruix de Vall Llach 2017, Priorat, Spain

Silver medal winner

'A hint of violet and a smudge of vanilla smoke, with spiced poached plum with Scottish raspberry - this is brooding, intense and complex. The palate is a glorious patchwork of textures, flavours and satisfaction, and with so much more to give.' Angela Reddin, team leader. 'An approachable Priorat that's gloriously aromatic.' Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader.

£21.79 Matthew Clark

Vall Llach, Idus, Priorat 2017, Priorat, Spain

Silver medal winner

'Sweet dark fruits on the nose with a liquorice, herby edge, and a spicy, herbal palate that's showing some minerality, and opening out to reveal rich raspberry fruit with some ripe, herbal complexity after a while. Not a big wine but quite an expressive and elegant one that may well develop over the next few years. Perfect for grilled pork cheeks.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London.

£35.75 Matthew Clark

Mas Macià, Xarel-Lo 2019, Catalonia, Spain

Silver medal winner

'This opens with citrus lime zest and some floral notes, as well as green sweet herbs, and with refreshing lime zest and crispy light yellow plum notes on the palate.' Andre Luís Martins, team leader. 'With a floral, lifted nose and good density of stone fruit flavours, this is well-made and user-friendly.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers.

£7.15 Boutinot

Mont Rubi, Black, Garnacha, Penedès 2018, Catalonia, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'A sweet red and black fruit nose and nice plummy blackberry fruit on the palate, with a savoury, spicy edge. Quite chewy and dense.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London. 'Blackberry and violet aromas, with slightly grippy tannins and a delicate earthy character.' Valentin Radosav, Gymkhana Restaurant London.

£10.95 Jeroboams

Mont Rubi, Durona Tinto, Penedès 2008, Catalonia, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Very perfumed and elegant, with lovely ripeness and precision, sweet-and-sour plums, and some refinement and length on the palate, with a superb finish with some savouriness, bitter chocolate and rancio-like notes.' Olivier Gasselin, OenoTrade. 'Matching well with aged cheese, this is for red wine lovers looking for something emotional and complex.' Gianluca Provenzani, Belmond Cadogan Hotel.

£13.35 Jeroboams

Scala Dei, Prior 2017, Priorat, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Schisty cherry, raspberry and strawberry aromas, and a fresh palate with minerally plum and currant, supported by oak and vanilla.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London. 'A good balance between the aroma and palate, with a good hit of spice on the nose, but softer on the palate. This will pair well with charcuterie, olives and sun-dried tomatoes.' Antóin UáRuairc, UK Midland Sommelier.

£23.81 Enotria&Coe

Vall Llach, Porrera, Vi de Vila 2016, Priorat, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'A superb example that's perfectly balanced, and crying out for food to show its full repertoire. Gorgeous.' Antóin UáRuairc, UK Midland Sommelier. 'A sumptuous character laden with ripe fruits, which swells to rich fleshy strawberry fruits on the mid-palate, and with a long finish.' Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader.

£45.16 Matthew Clark

Casa Mariol, Garnatxa Negra 2018, Terra Alta, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'With fresh and vibrant red fruit character, this is linear and juicy, with well-balanced acidity and alcohol, and a nice fruity finish too.' Charlie Carter, L' Atelier Du Vin. 'Confident winemaking, showing some cool, calm black fruit, and, overall, some restraint and elegance.' Dave Cushley, Prestonfield House.

£9.70 Top Selection

Familia Torres, Sons de Prades 2015, Conca de Barbera, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'With notes of pineapple at first, this is creamy and rich, characteristic of a slightly aged Spanish wine - warm and a little bit earthy, with good potential.' Agostinho Leite, Bistrot Pierre at The Royal William Yard. 'Citrusy and stone fruits, with white peach and gooseberries, as well as creamy vanilla and toasted hazelnut.' Elisa Soggia, Trivet.

£12.30 Fells

Mont Rubi, White Xarel-lo, Penedès 2018, Catalonia, Spain

Commended medal winner

£10.95 Jeroboams

Mont Rubi, Durona Blanco, Penedès 2017, Catalonia, Spain

Commended medal winner

£13.35 Jeroboams

Raimat, Ventada, Garnacha Blanca, Organic 2017, Costers del Segre, Spain

Commended medal winner

£10.94 Matthew Clark

Vall Llach, Aigua de Llum, Viognier 2018, Priorat, Spain

Commended medal winner

£43.11 Matthew Clark

McAlindon Wines, Terra Sagrada 2016, Priorat, Spain

Commended medal winner

Casa Mariol, Garnatxa Blanca 2019, Terra Alta, Spain

Commended medal winner

£9.70 Top Selection

Familia Torres, Fransola 2018, Penedès, Spain

Commended medal winner

£12.72 Fells

Franck Massard, El Brindis, Montsant 2017, Catalonia, Spain

Commended medal winner

£11.09 Enotria&Coe


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