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Winner Details

Duero Valley (including Ribera, Rueda & Toro)

We saw a big entry from the Duero Valley this year, particularly from the reds. And since they were well received by our tasters, it all added up to make 2020 a record year for the region in this competition: 34 medals and 60 wines picking up an award.

The whites were not super exciting, though they were well priced and picked out by several judges as a possible alternative to, say, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. But the star performer by some distance was the tintos.

Interestingly, while our tasters could pick two very different styles – fruit-driven and fresher, and bigger/oakier, it was the way in which the latter wines appear to have subtly changed that made the big difference. Winemakers, it seems, are managing to dial back the oak and alcohol a couple of notches, without losing their classic muscular regional style.

From The Tasting Teams

‘In the past, the reds have been too oaked, but now it’s more sensible, and the finesse of the winemaking is stunning. Even big, chunky, meaty ones were well made.’ Andre Luis Martins, team leader

‘The whites were simple and not overly exciting but good value for money – most were under £10.’ Andres Ituarte, team leader

‘Some reds had loads of fruit, young blue fruit picked earlier with freshness and acidity; others had loads of oak. They fall in different price categories so they’re for different markets.’ Harry Crowther, Grape Times

‘I enjoyed the cheapest wine we tasted. I like the ones with brightness and minerality.’ Oliver Zelenczuk, London Shell Co

‘You could serve these with something rich, like slow-cooked pork cheeks, lamb shank or mushrooms with a green vegetable. They need dishes with sauce, because the tannins could be too drying otherwise.’ Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche

‘You don’t want the palate to be completely tired after one sip, and the best wines here achieved that: good fruit intensity, balanced tannins and ready to drink.’ Alonso Abed, Trivet

‘Some of these whites would make a good alternative to Kiwi Sauvignon.’ Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards

‘This flight was easier than expected. Deep, powerful wines can easily be too much, but most of these were fresh and juicy.’ Aurore Anguenot, Aviary

‘The more expensive wines were clearly fabulous, but you need to know what to do with them – decant them, give them time.’ Charlie Young, team leader

Award winners

Found 60 wines

Spain: Duero Valley, including Rueda

Cruz de Alba, Crianza 2016, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Gold medal winner

'A bold, warm red - you can taste the warm sun of the vintage. A class act.' Jan Konetzki, team leader. 'With great complexity and a body well balanced with refreshing acidity, this would be good as a house red in a fine-dining restaurant.' Gaetano Giangaspero, C&C. I'd recommend this to enjoy throughout a meal, with its smooth and velvety texture and ripe tannin structure.' Sara Rossi, Trinity Restaurant.

£14.32 Enotria&Coe

Pagos del Rey, El Púgil, Barrel Aged Tempranillo 2018, Toro, Spain

Gold medal winner

'Juicy and fresh, showing some good character - this is a wine to drink now.' Martin Lam, team leader. 'A well-balanced wine, with ripe fruit, a hint of herbal and savoury notes too, with a light, easy-drinking structure.' Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns. 'A modern style of winemaking, with red fruit character and a spicy, mineral finish. For this price it's magic.' Tanya Mann, consultant.

£7.98 Matthew Clark

Bodegas Astil, Gabrihel, French Oak 2014, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Gold medal winner

'A classy wine oozing quality and poise, with white and black pepper spice, cedar and blackcurrant aromas, and with big tannins and acidity very well woven together.' Charlie Young, team leader. 'Earthy leather and tobacco leaf, with thyme and sage melding with a deep, rich dark-fruit palate. Smooth and rich, with tannins encapsulated by a still vibrant acidity.' Tim Handley, Royal Automobile Club.

£30.10 LINAJE GARSEA

Lagar de Proventus, Tr3smano, Vendimia 2016, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Gold medal winner

'A stunning wine with complexity and all the ingredients of a great Duero red.' Jan Konetzki, team leader. 'A big, oaky number showing tertiary character on the palate, with juicy black fruit, dry leaf and velvet tannins with mocha and spice.' James Fryer, team leader. 'A wine for special occasions, or a good option by the glass on Coravin, with good structure, ripe tannins and a long finish.' Sara Rossi, Trinity Restaurant.

£41.67 Lagar de Proventus

Bodega Hermanos del Villar, Oro de Castilla, Crianza 2016, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Gold medal winner

'Classic and expressive, with vanilla, coffee, strawberry and red cherry leading the way, and a very good finish.' Alonso Abed, Trivet. 'Very perfumed, with charming ripe flavours of black cherry and blackcurrant, plus violets and blackcurrant leaf, leading to sweet cooking spices like nutmeg, clove and cinnamon on top of chocolate and vanilla notes.' Adam Michocki, The Man Behind The Curtain.

£20.00 Bodega Hermanos del Villar

Bodegas Mazas, Mazas Verdejo 2018, Toro, Spain

Gold medal winner

'A creamy and refreshing wine with green apple notes, some stone fruit and a hint of elderflower.' Elisa Soggia, Trivet. 'Very intense, zingy and zesty, with juicy preserved lemon, sage, dried herbs and liquorice, along with a complex, long palate.' Olivier Gasselin, OenoTrade. 'Textbook... this is ripe, juicy and crisp with high intensity and a long finish.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader.

£5.90 Bodegas Mazas

Emilio Moro, Emilio Moro 2017, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Gold medal winner

'This packs a punch on the nose, with dense black fruits and well-integrated oak, and a touch of herbal greenness adding a nice top note.' Angela Reddin, team leader. 'Fresh, balsamic notes on the nose, with blackberries and some plum to complement, and an elegant palate with good weight and a lingering tea and tobacco finish. This would be a bestseller in a steakhouse.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant.

£11.83 C&D Wines

Diez Siglos , Nékora, Verdejo 2019, Rueda, Spain

Silver medal winner

'This is really vibrant and fresh on the nose, with grassy notes alongside stone fruits, lemon and lime, and with some lovely mineral notes too. The acidity carries these flavours through onto the palate.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards. 'Very tropical on the nose, with a citrus palate that has green tinges of asparagus.' Nelio Pinto, Candlesticks.

£8.72 DIEZ SIGLOS DE VERDJEO

Pagos del Rey, El Púgil, Tempranillo 2018, Toro, Spain

Silver medal winner

'A fruit-driven nose, with good flowery hints to complement, while the palate's clean with good freshness and acidity, ending in a lingering fruity note.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant. 'Fresh and juicy, with jammy damsons and wild raspberries, this would be perfect with dark chocolate fondant and confit dark cherries.' Aurore Anguenot, Aviary.

£7.50 Matthew Clark

Bodegas Veganzones, 912 de Altitud, Limestone Soil 2018, Rueda, Spain

Silver medal winner

'Fresh ripe and jammy red berries with smoked cigar aromas, leading to sweet spices - an elegant and fresh wine.' Andre Luís Martins, team leader. 'A juicy and pleasant wine with good fruit and well-integrated tannins.' Elena Serban, Heritage Restaurant. 'A wine to enjoy through a meal or on its own, due to its freshness and crunchy fruit.' Sara Rossi, Trinity Restaurant.

£5.48 Bodegas Veganzones

Bodegas Astil, Gabrihel American Oak 2014, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Silver medal winner

'Earthy and developed, with black truffle, forest floor, toast, leather and farmyard notes on top of a mocha and nutmeg character, as well as some red fruits like cherries and currants.' Adam Michocki, The Man Behind The Curtain. 'A vibrant nose of classy, elegant red and black fruits, with lovely structure on the palate, and earthy, spicy notes. A nice savoury, classical style with some minerality.' Cinthia Lozano, The Winery Honduras.

£24.88 LINAJE GARSEA

Bodegas Algil, Algil 2018, Toro, Spain

Silver medal winner

'A rich and complex wine with notes of blackberries, tobacco leaves and toasted spices, with clove and cocoa powder notes too.' Elena Serban, Heritage Restaurant. 'This opens with sappy black fruits, along with cinnamon and coffee, and some nice leafy notes. Very elegant.' James Fryer, team leader.

£21.00 Bodegas Algil

Bodegas Virtus, Vega del Yuso 2015, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Silver medal winner

'Lovely aromatics on the nose, with very nice harmony between ripe, rounded fruit and oak integration, and a good finish.' Harry Crowther, Grape Times UK. 'Pleasant aromas of dark fruit with well-integrated oak, and some firm dry tannins on the palate, leading to cacao and oak on the finish.' Lionel Periner, team leader.

£19.00 Bodegas Virtus

Milénico, Milénico 2015, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Silver medal winner

'Charming and warm, with well-integrated flavours of ripe dark fruits like blackcurrant and black cherry, with toast, smoke, leather and forest floor, as well as vanilla, chocolate and nutmeg. This has a very well-balanced structure of acidity, tannins and alcohol.' Adam Michocki, The Man Behind The Curtain.

£28.00 Milénico

Milénico, Valdepila 2015, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Silver medal winner

'Black cherry, mulberry and blackcurrant notes at first, with some earthy flavours like forest floor too.' Adam Michocki, The Man Behind The Curtain. 'Good mocha and chocolate notes together with some strong cherry flavours, with good complexity. Good to drink now, with a meat-heavy dish, or to keep for another year.' Alonso Abed, Trivet.

£17.00 Milénico

Dominio Basconcillos, Viña Magna 2017, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Silver medal winner

'A super-elegant wine with very appealing aromas, and super-juicy too. This can age, but is already very approachable.' Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche. 'Great palate texture here, with substantial flavours and body - an elegant and refined wine to be paired with grilled dishes, or with dark chocolate.' Alonso Abed, Trivet.

£25.00 Dominio Basconcillos

Juan Gil, Shaya, Verdejo 2018, Rueda, Spain

Silver medal winner

'This is floral and green, with hints of flower stem and celery, leading to a palate that's soft and supple, with ripe melon fruits.' Victoria Sharples, St John Restaurant Group. 'Tropical and green fruit notes, with some white peach and vanilla too.' Elisa Soggia, Trivet. 'Chalky and soft, with notes of pear and apple.' Jade Koch, team leader.

£11.07 Enotria&Coe

Cuatro Rayas, Barrel Fermented Verdejo 2017, Rueda, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'A rich and nutty nose alongside fresh cut grass and citrus, with a palate that's rounded and creamy with refreshing acids.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards. 'This has some pleasant, mild oxidation, with Marcona almond and juicy nectarine notes. Balanced and complex.' Hamish Greening, Twenty Seven by Jamie Rogers.

£10.30 Bibendum

Bodegas Astil, Crianza 2015, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Classic style, offering a more developed wine, with notes of leather, dry leaves and tobacco along with that mature and baked cherry element.' Alonso Abed, Trivet. 'A dark black fruit core to this, with lots of complexity, and definitely showing its age, with notes of leather and earth, Christmas spices and a bit of butter on the finish.' Andres Ituarte, team leader.

£15.43 LINAJE GARSEA

Abadia de Acón, Targum 2014, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'An intense nose, with coffee and sweet spice as well as some ripe mulberry, this is full-on and intense, with plenty of tannins - one for those who love strong New World styles.' Charlie Young, team leader. 'Fresh crushed herbs, mint, tobacco and red berry aromas, while the palate is juicy, with great freshness, depth and length.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant.

£20.00 Abadia de Acón

Casajús, Finca Doña Len 2016, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Lovely ripe fruit that's well balanced by integrated acidity, and with ripe tannins - and those complex flavours linger.' Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns. 'Elegant ripe red and dark fruit, and notes of cured meat, with a hint of Mediterranean spices, leading to elegant complexity on the palate.' Lionel Periner, team leader.

£37.00 Casajús

Linaje Garsea, Señorio de Caleruega 2010, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'This has outstanding aroma complexity of blackcurrant and black pepper, with its age starting to show some tertiary aromas of mushroom and forest floor. This is authentic, with good typicity, and well suited to fine-dining and Michelin-starred restaurants.' Sara Rossi, Trinity Restaurant.

£49.67 LINAJE GARSEA

Bodegas Diez Gómez, La Jota de To, Roble 2018, Toro, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'This opens with fresh prunes and a hint of tar, smoke and tobacco on the nose, with a palate that's rich but very fresh, with a spicy finish. I see this working by the glass in a fine-dining restaurant.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant. 'Crushed violet purple fruits and spice, with lovely ripeness of fruit and some velvet tannins.' James Fryer, team leader.

£9.00 Bodegas Diez Gómez

La Granadilla, Dominio de la Granadilla, Verdejo 2019, Rueda, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Pungent, perfumed and floral, this has some spritz on the crisp and fresh palate that's really saline and pithy, with quite a warm, long finish.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader. 'Spiced mandarin, grapefruit and pear, with a very linear backbone, this is juicy, crunchy and quite crystalline.' Olivier Gasselin, OenoTrade.

£9.95 La Granadilla

Valdehermoso, Perseo 7, Verdejo Sobre Lías 2018, Rueda, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Great value for money here - this is fresh and cleansing, with some bittersweet notes.' Olivier Gasselin, OenoTrade. 'With peach and pineapple on the palate, this is an easy-drinking, supple style.' Nelio Pinto, Candlesticks. 'Floral, perfumed and grassy, this is crisp, fresh and juicy.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader.

£3.95 JUNTA DE CASTILLA Y LEÓN/ICE

Bodegas de Crianza de Pozaldez, Liberso, Curioso Verdejo 2017, Rueda, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'A bright and fresh wine on the nose, with a bigger body, and some worn woody notes showing a lovely style for the region. Notes of vanilla and caramel, with pear and peach too.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'Great acidity allows flavours of lemon curd, lime zest, toast and cream to punch through on the palate.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards.

£15.00 Bodegas de Crianza de Pozaldez

Bodegas de Crianza de Pozaldez, Liberso, Curioso Verdejo 2018, Rueda, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'A mineral and fresh wine with green apples and some tropical fruits.' Elisa Soggia, Trivet. 'A juicy, moreish and really attractive palate, with rich butterscotch and pretty fruit.' Jade Koch, team leader. 'Grapefruit and some smoke at first, with a mineral, crisp palate and high acidity, leading to a mouth-watering finish.' Matthieu Longuère MS, team leader.

£15.00 Bodegas de Crianza de Pozaldez

Bodegas Lambuena, Lambuena, Crianza 2016, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Rich and concentrated, with some savoury herbal notes and luscious ripe fruit, and an earthy, dry finish.' Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns. 'This has some grippy tannins over fresh dark berries notes, along with some generous oak spice.' Jan Konetzki, team leader.

£20.00 Bodegas Lambuena

Concejo Bodegas, Concejo 2015, Cigales, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'This has great structure, with silky tannins and great complexity.' Sara Rossi, Trinity Restaurant. 'Elegant, poised and classy, with some power on the palate, and a great tannin profile. With notes of dark chocolate through the palate, this is ripe but not jammy, and good for tasting menus, matched with venison or lean, dark meat.' Charlie Young, team leader.

£25.00 Concejo Bodegas

Nidia, Verdejo Sobre Lias 2018, Rueda, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Stone fruits with white peach, green apples and a hint of tropical fruits, as well as some vanilla and lime zest, with a floral finish.' Elisa Soggia, Trivet. 'On the nose there's lime and orange, with white pepper and pineapple on the finish.' Nelio Pinto, Candlesticks. 'Juicy and fresh, with citrus and a hint of tropical passion fruit, as well as some zippy acidity.' Victoria Sharples, St John Restaurant Group.

£8.00 Nidia

Pagos del Rey, Condado de Oriza, Tinto Roble 2018, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Notes of black cherry, black plum, cassis and blueberry, along with sweet spice notes of cinnamon and clove, and a touch of toast from oak ageing. All well balanced and very smooth.' Adam Michocki, The Man Behind The Curtain. 'Pleasant red fruit with well-integrated oak. Good value for money.' Gaetano Giangaspero, C&C.

£7.00 Adnams

Montegaredo, Gran Selección 2016, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'A really exciting, complex nose, with a palate that sets the juices flowing - this is rich, textural, lengthy and oaky. Young, but could be drunk now with rich food, like a rib-eye.' Angela Reddin, team leader. 'This has red and dark cherries, as well as spicy notes with earthy and herbaceous flavours - very round, with a fresh finish.' Elisa Soggia, Trivet.

£22.00 Montegaredo

Emilio Moro, Finca Resalso 2018, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'Good typicity, with red fruits, dry red earth and spice, with some lifted florals. A fruity, spicy crowd-pleaser, this would make a great second wine in a bistro.' James Fryer, team leader. 'Very good value for money and very versatile. This could be served as an aperitif or as a match with a light starter.' Sara Rossi, Trinity Restaurant.

£7.91 C&D Wines

Pinna Fidelis, Roble 2018, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'A textured body with grippy tannins, and a buttery, green-stem character, with some nice purity, and lots of spice and leather on the finish, all making for a good match for game and beef. And very good for the price.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'Mocha, strawberry and black cherry with good tannins to match red meats and salty foods.' Alonso Abed, Trivet.

£8.50 Boutinot

Protos, Crianza 2015, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£16.73 Bibendum

Cuatro Rayas, Azumbre, Verdejo 2018, Rueda, Spain

Commended medal winner

Tabula, Damana, Reserva 2015, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£14.28 Bibendum

Cuatro Rayas, Verdejo 2018, Rueda, Spain

Commended medal winner

£8.48 Bibendum

Linaje Garsea, Selected Harvest 2018, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£12.70 Linaje Garsea

Bodegas Veganzones, 912 de Altitud Clay Soil 2018, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

Viyuela, Selección 2016, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£13.50 Viyuela

Linaje Garsea, Crianza 2015, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£15.43 LINAJE GARSEA

Bodegas Astil, Gabrihel Spanish Oak 2014, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£32.70 LINAJE GARSEA

Bodegas Astil, Roble 2018, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£8.97 LINAJE GARSEA

Pago de Los Capellanes, Reserva 2015, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£33.11 Enotria&Coe

Solterra, Alto de Los Zorros, Crianza 2014, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£8.00 Solterra

Arrocal, Selección 2016, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£9.00 Arrocal

Maires, Ademán, Valdearanda 2017, Toro, Spain

Commended medal winner

£18.00 Maires

Diez Siglos, Momento Diez, Verdejo 2017, Rueda, Spain

Commended medal winner

£12.00 Diez Siglos

Bodegas Viña Mayor, El Secreto 2016, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

Frutos Villar, Conde de Siruela, Roble 2018, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£7.99 Frutos Villar

Bodega Hermanos del Villar, Oro de Castilla, Verdejo 2019, Rueda, Spain

Commended medal winner

Hijos de Alberto Gutiérrez, De Alberto, Verdejo, Organic 2019, Rueda, Spain

Commended medal winner

Marqués de Riscal, Rueda Verdejo, Organic 2019, Rueda, Spain

Commended medal winner

Marqués de Riscal, Limousin 2018, Rueda, Spain

Commended medal winner

Emilio Moro, Malleolus 2017, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£19.98 C&D Wines

Cepa 21, Hito Tempranillo 2018, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£8.32 C&D Wines

Cepa 21, Cepa 21 Tempranillo 2015, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£12.01 C&D Wines

Pinna Fidelis, Crianza 2017, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£13.00 Boutinot

Tabula, Damana, 5 Tinto 2016, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Commended medal winner

£10.00 Bibendum

 

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