If you're in the mood to treat yourself and want to see some of the best that Spain has to offer, then see scores, tasting notes and prices on six interesting new releases from the recent Wines of Spain tasting in London.
See below for six reasons why Spain’s reputation for fine wine is on the rise.
- Chivite Coleccion 125 Blanco 2012, DO Navarra (100% Chardonnay)
From Chivite’s Legardeta single estate in Navarra close to the Pyrenees, this is one of Spain’s most northerly vineyards at an altitude of nearly 600m altitude. Barrel fermented by the Bordeaux oenologist and consultant, Denis Dubourdieu, using a mix of new and second use oak barrels, this benchmark chardonnay is fresh, elegant and savoury. On the palate, stone fruits mingle with ripe melon and pear which are followed by a toasty finish. Expertly textured, with superb mid-palate weight and balance. The 2012 is only just starting to drink now and has a long life ahead of it.
Indicative price: From £24.95
Stockists: Waitrose and Berry Bros & Rudd (BBR)
- Chivite Coleccion 125 Reserva 2010, DO Navarra
A delicious 100% Tempranillo which also comes from the Legardeta estate. A bright lifted nose of raspberries and strawberries leads on to a sweet and supple red fruit profile on the palate. The focus is on precision and elegance rather than power, so the tannins are gentle and soft while the acidity is bright and balanced. Traditional tempranillo at its best.
Indicative price: from £24.95 x one 75cl bottle
Stockists: Waitrose and BBR
- Martires 2013 Finca Allende DOCa Rioja 100% Viura
This extraordinary white hails from a tiny (1ha) vineyard in Briones in Rioja Alta with old vines (planted in 1970) on loamy clay soils. Yet the first debut vintage of Martires was only as recent as 2008. This richly cosseted Viura is barrel fermented in 100% new French oak which is evident in the colour and texture of the wine. Both the nose and palate are powerful and exotic with notes of peach, lemon sherbet, lime and honeysuckle, together with a saline savouriness. Yet the wine doesn’t lack freshness alongside its glossy richness and complexity. Long and powerful.
Drink 2015- 2023
Indicative price: £95
- Calvario 2007 Finca Allende DOCa Rioja
Another Allende masterpiece from a south-east facing vineyard in Briones with a mix of gravel and red clay, together with stones that wouldn’t look out of place in Chateauneuf du Pape. The blend is 90% tempranillo, 8% garnacha tinta and 2% graciano from the classic 2007 vintage in Rioja. The primary fruit nose is scented and serious with a hint of sous bois bottle age. On the palate, the wine unfurls revealing layers of supple red fruits, plums, balsam and cigar box, all cloaked in ripe velvet-like tannins and medium body. Wonderful elegance, restraint and complexity.
Drink 2015- 2025
Indicative price: £95
- Corimbo 1 2010 Bodegas La Horra, Ribera del Duero
From the Roda stable, this stunning red is a joint venture with the Balbas brothers who provided access to some excellent old vineyards in Burgos in Ribera del Duero. It’s 100% tempranillo and is only the second vintage from this label in the UK after the 2009. The 2010 is altogether fresher with ripe cassis and black fruits, tealeaf, minerals and spice. The acidity is linear and balanced, while the firm tannins suggest this has good ageing potential. Alcohol weighs in at 14.5% but is not remotely intrusive. The same goes for careful oak handling in US and French barrels.
Stockist: Hedonism Wines
- La Comtesse de Pazo Barrantes 100% Albarinho 2011, Marques de Murrieta, DO Rias Baixas
Oak aged Albarinho might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this was right on message for my palate. Murrieta are best known in Rioja, but this comes from its 12 hectare estate in Rias Baixas’ Salnes Valley. I picked out pear, citrus and orchard fruits together with cream and honeysuckle. Also lovely richness, vibrancy and density. Needs food and best decanted if you plan to drink it sooner rather than later.
Indicative price £36.99
Stockists: ND Wine Merchants (Swansea), The Tasting Room (Bath), Planet of the Grapes.
Written by John Stimpfig