Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Spanish Value Wines (under £20); (see blue link below).
The dream of Adur began when Maitena and Héctor Gómez were establishing their winemaking careers. As their abilities and command of the winemaking process grew, they began to think of a winery of their own. The pull of Maitena’s family roots led them back to the Basque country, in the tiny Txakolina Getariako DO.
Sourced from 3 hectares of vines in Getaria, the yields are carefully controlled in order extract maximum intensity of aromas from the Hondarribi Zuri grape.
Fermentation takes place in French barrels all from the first press at a temperature of 12 ºC. 10% of the wine then undergoes malolactic to slightly reduce the acidity and provide more weight and balance on the palate. The Txakoli is then left in contact with the lees for 6 months to add volume and texture.
Wonderfully intense and elegant on the nose with white fruit, pear, fresh herbs and citrus notes. The palate is searingly fresh with poise and tension, notable salinity a long, complex finish.
This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
The 2016 vintage was Awarded 88 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Galician Whites; (see blue link below).
The grapes for this lively wine come from some of the best sites in the Avia Valley and were hand harvested in September. They then undergo a whole bunch cold soak for eight hours. They are then crushed and pressed and fermented for 14 days at controlled temperatures of 16C in stainless steel tanks. There is no malolactic fermentation.
Ailala Treixadura is pale gold in colour with lively reflections. There are clean, powerful aromatics on the nose with apricot, white flowers and a sort of saline, sea-shell undertone. Spices such as clove, mint and fennel are also present. The palate displays sweet lemon and ripe melon with plenty of zing and grapefruit peel. A wine of great complexity and style and with bags of character. Treixadura is truly a noble grape!
This delicate, noble white pairs excellently with all seafood; crab linguine, steamed razor clams, or pan-fried seabass.
The 2015 vintage was awarded 88 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Galician Whites (but was alas already sold out by the release of the magazine!); (see blue link below).
Adega Algueira is responsible for producing some of the most interesting and esoteric wines this side of the equator. It’s interesting to think that the Old World is still capable of throwing up a few surprises using native grape varieties. Former El Bulli sommelier, Ferran Centelles, is not a man prone to hyperbole, so when he described Adega Algueira as ‘truly a revelation,’ the world sat up and took notice. Located in the spectacular Galician region of Ribeira Sacra, the hard work starts in the vineyard. The impossibly steep slopes can only be compared to those in the Mosel in Germany where it is only possible to pick the grapes by hand. The winery utilises biodynamic practices across its land and uses wild yeast to ferment the wines. Grapes like Merenzao, Alvarello, Loureiro or Treixadura may sound a little strange and intimidating, but our advice is to dive straight in.
The Algueira winery is located in the midst of old chestnut and oak tree forests,on the banks of the river Sil, where the monks built their monasteries back in the 12th Century, A scenario which reflects the calm and peacefulness necessary for the creation of their wines. The building is integrated into the surrounding nature, and it resembles a monastic Romanesque building. The winery relies on leading, new technologies to make and bottle their wine.
This wine was fermented in stainless steel without yeast inoculation and was then aged for one year in bottle.
This white wine is made from a blend of Spanish grape varieties, mostly Godello and Albarino. It is a fresh and fruity wine, with floral aromas and flavours of citrus and melon. Flavours of peach and nectarine are well-balanced by fresh citrus fruit. This wine is characterised by its creamy texture and silky finish.
The 2016 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Galician Whites; (see blue link below).
Alter came highly recommended by Lalo Anton of Izadi. He had admired this small, family-run winery since their first vintage a couple of years ago marked them out as one of the most serious producers in the region. The winery was founded by José Pérez Pousa on the banks of the Miño river in 2014, with the wish to preserve the tradition of their native land, where wine has been produced since the 2nd century BCE. The wine is named ‘alter’ to mean ‘another wine more’ in Latin.
Alter has 24 hectares of its own vineyards, which are divided into 168 small plots planted with native white varieties Treixadura, Godello and Loureira. The vines are on average 15-30 years old and are planted on decomposed granite, with sand and clay. The vineyards benefit from a perfect mesoclimate with good diurnal ranges particularly during the growing season. Fruit is able to fully ripen while retaining fresh acidity.
The wine is a blend of 80% Treixadura, 15% Godello and 5% Loureira fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and then aged on the lees for 3-6 months to add depth.
The wine is aromatic with aromas of white flowers, grapefruit and green apple. The palate is lively with brisk acidity, white peach and a delightful savouriness that prompts you to reach for another glass.
Bodegas Beronia is quintessentially Rioja. Its wines are defined by the region and the soils in which the vines are grown, and its name linked to the history of the land where the winery is found. Beronia was founded in 1973 by a group of businessmen, friends from the Basque country who would come to La Rioja on holiday. The friends had a great love of food and wine and created their own gastronomic society in the area. They decided to produce their own wines to enjoy with the local cuisine, specialising in Reserva and Gran Reserva style wines. Today Beronia is one of the most renowned Spanish wineries both in international and domestic markets, producing pure and traditional Rioja wines.
The grapes were harvested at the end of September. This variety gives fruity wines with floral notes but also has noteable levels of acidity. The grapes underwent static maceration without de-stalking for 16 hours. Fermentation was carried out at a controlled temperature of between 14 and 16°C for 15 days. The wine then remained in bottle for two months before being released to the market.
This Viura has a bright yellow and green colour. On the nose it is fresh with intense herbal aromas including fennel. There is also a notable presence of white fruits such as pear and surprisingly also orange peel. On the palate this wine is full, round and lively with aniseed notes which together with the fruit gives freshness. It is long and persistent.
This young, fresh wine should be served well chilled and is ideal with salads, fish and white meats.
The delightful Angela Martin and her husband, Andrew McCarthy, run the Castro Martin estate in Rias Baixas, on Spain's Galician coast, where production of Albarino at their bodega can be traced back to as far as 1887. Angela and Andrew have always worked ahead of the curve, creating beautiful expressive wines some five years before Rias Baixas even became a protected geographical region.
Here Bodegas Castro Martin explain this wine's unusual name: "The name of the wine is A-2-O (not A-twenty), and is derived from the word Albariño itself. The word starts with the letter A and ends in the letter O. In other words from A to O…. simple, but not very romantic!"
The winemakers have produced an excellent information and tasting sheet for this wine. To see this please click on the blue link below.
Duquesa de Valladolid combines the viticultural and winemaking know-how that winemaker Luisa Freire gained working at Santiago Ruiz in Galicia to elevate the distinctive hint of aromatic herbs and punchy finish of Verdejo to a new level. The grapes are from a 15-year-old vineyard and are harvested during the cool of the evening to ensure freshness.
Grapes are grown in vineyards at 600 to 800 metres above sea level, where the trellis system has been adopted for 15 to 30 years. The soils are composed of gravel and are poor in organic matter with low water retention.
Grapes were harvested at night to ensure that optimum freshness was preserved. The grapes were destemmed and lightly crushed prior to fermentation, which was at low temperatures for three weeks in order to obtain maximum aromatic extraction. The wine is then subject to post-fermentative lees ageing prior to bottling to bring out a slightly savoury note.
The wine is pale straw yellow in colour with youthful green hues. On the nose, it has tropical aromas of pineapple accompanied by white flowers and hay. On the palate, it has crisp acidity, characteristic of the Verdejo variety and a balanced and lively finish.
Santiago Ruiz came from a tradition of winemakers in Galicia, with his grandfather being one of the first to produce and bottle wines in the region in 1860. A staunch defender of quality Albariño, as well as the area’s other indigenous varieties, Santiago became an ambassador for the wines of Rías Baixas. Today, the estate is managed by his winemaker daughter Rosa Ruiz, including the new winery built in 2007 and fully equipped with the latest advances in technology for making her clean, expressive white wines.
The O Rosal area enjoys a privileged location within the Rías Baixas DO, with more sun exposure and lower rainfall than other subzones. Santiago Ruiz’s 38 hectares are planted with native white grape varieties including Albariño, Loureiro, Treixadura, Caíño Blanco and Godello. This site benefits from an even more favourable microclimate thanks to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the Miño River. Trained along trellises, the fruit experiences optimal aeration and sun exposure, leading to excellent grape maturation.
2016 was a mixed vintage. Periods of rain and hail threatened the quantity and quality of fruit but bright, sunny weather spells allowed vines to recover and reach optimal maturity levels while reducing the incidence of Botrytis caused by the rains. Such conditions forced wine growers to work diligently in the vineyards and that hard work was rewarded with wines of distinct quality and balance.
Gentle maceration of grapes occurs during a soft pressing. After the sediments have been settled for 15 to 20 hours, the juice is fermented at controlled temperatures between 16-17ºC for 20-21 days. Each variety is vinified separately and then blended to produce the distinctive Santiago Ruiz style.
This wine is yellow straw in colour with green reflections. The nose is very aromatic, with pear, apple and citrus fruit characters, aniseed and some subtle spicy notes. Concentrated flavours on the palate are carefully balanced by clean acidity and stony minerality. A very flavourful wine with a long and crisp finish.
This wine is a delicate yellow colour with hints of golden straw. The aromas are floral with the predominant notes being jasmine and honeysuckle. There is also some stonefruit influence including ripe peaches and a little spice. It is dry and crisp with citrus flavours and a pleasant mineralit with a good but noticeable level of acidity. Its finish is very elegant and crisp. This wine works tremendously well with spicy dishes such as Thai food - alternatively why not try it with a spicy paella?!
The guiding philosophy of Protos is "Quality above all". For this reason, the whole process leading to the production of their wine undergoes an in-depth analysis. The vineyards are controlled exhaustively by both technicians and experts throughout the growth cycle, yielding a production of the highest quality. This also gives them in-depth information about all the grapes to be used before they reach the winery.
Harvesting for this wine is done at night, is 100% manual and the production was gathered in 20-kilo boxes; the grapes are then spread over sorting tables. This allows them to guarantee that only completely healthy, whole grapes reach the fermentation tanks. After fermentation this wine spends a further 3 months resting on its fine lees (indeed, this new 2017 vintage is now labelled, as per the photo, as a sobre lias).
This wine has a greenish straw colour and is bright and clean. The Protos Verdejo is powerful yet fruity with green apple, citrus and tropical fruit aromas as well as white blossoms, fragant herbs and fennel hints. The flavours are very fresh, with good acidity, fruity, well balanced flavours. It is a complex wine, with a long finish.
Intense and clean fruit aromas in this vintage, topped by citrics and white fruits such as banana and sweet pear, accompanied by light aniseed tones. Aromas enhanced by the cold maceration. This 2014 vintage shines by its strength and intensity on the palate. This crisp white wine maintains a balance of acidity and fruit density. Broad and citrus after nose with a long finish.
El Coto was founded in 1970 in Rioja Alavesa and has grown from modest beginnings into one of the best known Rioja producers. Today El Coto has over 700 hectares of vineyard in production across the three Rioja DOCa sub-zones of Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. They also source grapes from all three areas, but mostly from Rioja Alavesa. Head winemaker César Fernandez oversees production, starting with hand-picking into 350 kg crates to ensure the grapes arrive at the winery in pristine condition. Modern and intelligently designed, the emphasis in the winery is on temperature control and gentle handling of the grapes.
The Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc grapes were sourced from the high-altitude vineyards in Rioja Baja, vineyards are over 750 metres above sea level. The Viura grapes were mainly sourced from Rioja Alta, from limestone and clay soils.
Spring and summer were very warm, and as a result, harvest started 15 days earlier than the previous year and finished before the end of September. Weather in September was exceptionally cold and dry, with temperatures more than 2ºC lower than the past 10 years. This allowed the grapes to mature slowly and in perfect health until harvest.
The Rioja Blanco is fermented at 14-18ºC in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, to preserve aromas and retain freshness. No malolactic fermentation is allowed to take place and the wine is bottled without ageing to maximise freshness and crisp acidity.
Pale yellow in colour, the wine is dry and fresh on the palate with aromas of peaches, apples, citrus and tropical fruits. The finish is fresh and fruity with hints of melon. This is a zingy, lively wine.
The 2016 vintage was Awarded 87 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Galician Whites; (see blue link below).
One of the most modern wineries in the region, Finca OS Cobatos respects tradition but has a free spirit and vision for the future. The winery balances traditional methods with modern production processes to give fresh and characterful wines typical of the region. Monterrei, situated in the southeast corner of Galicia, near the northern Portuguese border, is a recognised DO producing quality wines from indigenous grapes.
Planted in the early 1980's, the vineyard is one of the oldest in Monterrei, encompassing ten hectares planted to the white grape Godello and the red grape Mencia. The vineyard soils are made up of sand with quartz which reflect and magnify the sun's rays, resulting in ripe, concentrated fruit. With good drainage, the high sand content means it is resitant to phylloxera. The vineyard benefits from a high average of sunny days and is the driest appellation in Galicia. Situated at an altitude of 400 to 500 metres above sea level, the warm growing period is tempered by cold Autumns due the cooling influence of the Atlantic.
The grapes underwent an eight hour cold maceration prior to a temperature controlled fermentation in 100% stainless steel tanks. The wine was fermented with natural yeast strains and held on its fine lees for four months, adding a little extra weight and texture to the final wine. It was then cold stabilised to preserve freshness, prior to being filtered and bottled.
A highly aromatic wine showing zesty citrus aromas combined with ripe stone fruits, a mineral sensation and hint of white pepper. Dry with a refreshingling crisp palate of pineapple, tropical fruits and a delicious, dry, citrus finish.
Makes a wonderful apéritif, or serve to accompany seafood, summer salads or goats' cheese.
Abadia Retuerta's first white is a “terroir” wine which is perfect for laying down, and is the result of more than 20 years of research. Made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes planted 20 years ago, it is enriched with a hint of Verdejo and other white wine varieties. Despite the area being traditionally devoted to reds, these varieties have adapted wonderfully to our climate and “terroir” and have soaked up the ancestral spirit of the land.
The sunny, sandy and pebbly plot it hails from, ensures the almost perfect ripening of each crop, resulting in an original and surprising wine, bright and strawcoloured with golden hues. Its’ nose is complex, intense and fruity; reminiscent of other grape varieties, with hints of pineapple and grapefruit, toast, butter and bakery.
After 5 to 6 months of ageing in French Oak barrels, a fresh, citric, smoky, and slightly spiced flavour is achieved. It is a wine with body, just the right notes of wood, unctuous, with a long, fresh and delicate finish. It is a faithful reflection of our personality and has huge potential for laying down. It will develop its full potential over the next 10 years
The sun drenched soils of Abadía Retuerta’s vineyards in Sardon de Duero are perfect for ripening the Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo grapes for this complex, age-worthy wine. On the nose there is an intense bouquet of honey, preserved peaches, ginger and white flowers, alongside subtle notes of mint and embers. The palate opens softly, with exotic citrus, grapefruit and apple, merging with hints of freshly cut hay and aniseed. The structure has a perfectly alignment of crisp acidity, warming spicy fruit and a long, lingering finish.
The previous vintage (already all sold out at the UK importer...) was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2018 edition review of Spanish Value Wines (under £20); (see blue link below).
The personality and character of Josep Mitjans is transmitted in his ecologic and biodynamic wines. His connection with the earth and the relationship with the territory characterises these dynamic wines which have both personality and character, breathing the countryside and bringing out the character of Penedès. Loxarel wines are ecological and biodynamic; they breathe the countryside and enfold the essence of everything that surrounds the vineyards. In the cellars at Vilobídel Penedès you will find these wines with character resting peacefully.
This wine is made using Xarello grapes (which are more commonly used for making Cava) and Muscat. This makes for an enchanting and fresh style of wine with a well balanced character which feels fuller on the palate than you expect. This is a great wine to enjoy with friends as an aperitif or with light meals and seafood.