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Ailala Treixadura 2018 (1x75cl)

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.


Alter Ribeiro Blanco 2017 (1x 75cl)

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 Ribeiro Blanco 2016 - March 2018 Decanter review

Alter came highly recommended by Lalo Antón 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, planted on decomposed granite with sand and clay. The vineyards benefit from a perfect mesoclimate with good diurnal ranges particularly during the growing season ensuring the fruit is able to fully ripen while retaining fresh acidity. All harvesting is done by hand, plot by plot at the perfect moment to ensure optimum level of ripeness which elongates their harvest.

The harvest in 2017 was challenging across the whole of Spain with Ribeiro being no exception. Growers contended with spring frosts and summer hail but low rainfall meant grapes were perfectly balanced in sugar and acidity. Local grapes such as Treixadura and Loureira were less impacted than non-indigenous grapes.

Each vineyard plot and variety were fermented separately in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, the cool ferment retaining the aromatic intensity of the grapes. Following fermentation, the wine was aged on lees for three to four months to add depth before the final blend was assembled. The 2017 is made up of 80% Treixadura, 10% Godello and 10% Loureira.

This wine has a bright straw colour with elegant aromas of white flowers, green apple and grapefruit on the nose. The palate is lively with brisk acidity and flavours of white peach dominating. This is a remarkably balanced and well structured wine with a long finish.


Barbadillo Mirabras 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their March 2019 edition article: Revolutionary Road which covers sherry country's quiet revolution (see blue link below).

Barbadillo Mirabras 2016 - March 2019 Decanter review

This wine is inspired by the age-old methods of vinification of the Sherry district. The grapes come from Barbadillo’s ‘Cerro de Leyes’ vineyard in the Santa Lucía estate from Palomino vines planted in 1972.

Before being pressed, the grapes are prepared in a very traditional way known as ‘Soleo’ where the picked grape bunches are left in the sun to increase the sugar concentration. Manzanilla butts are then used for a traditional cask fermentation using the natural yeasts from the vineyard. The young wine is then transferred to stainless steel and cement tanks for 18 months, under a veil of ‘flor’ before bottling with minimal fining. The result is something unique and represents a journey back in time in termsof aromas and flavours; ones that might have been more familiar in the 19th century.

The wine has remarkable character for a Palomino white; pale golden colour, dry with good acidity, toasted maize and honeyed nose with an unctuous sensation on the palate, revealing flavours of yeast, bread crust and a hint of old oak.


Beronia Blanco Viura Rioja 2017 (1x75cl)

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.


Bodegas Castro Martin A2O Albarino 2017 (1x75cl)

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.

Bodegas Castro Martin A2O - fiche technique


Bodegas Protos Rueda Verdejo 2017 (1x75cl)

Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their March 2019 edition review of Rueda (see blue link below).

Bodegas Protos Rueda Verdejo 2017 - March 2019 Decanter review

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.


Bodegas Terras Gauda La Mar, Rias Baixas 2016 (1x75cl)

A premium boutique winery group, the Terras Gauda wineries were founded in 1989. The original Terras Gauda estates and winery are located in O Rosal, Rias Baixas,; the group also encompasses Pittacum in DO Bierzo and Quinta Sardonia in the Douro area, the most recent addition to the group founded by Peter Sisseck.   

Terras Gauda is a leader in working with the heirloom varieties of Rías Baixas, including Albariño and the rare Caiño Blanco, an indigenous grape used in the O Rosal blend and showcased in the limited bottling, Terras Gauda La Mar. Caiño Blanco almost disappeared from Rías Baixas in the 1980s, until Terras Gauda rediscovered its high quality and launched an ambitious replanting program in 1989.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note on this wine from the winemakers at Bodegas Terra Gauda.

Bodegas Terras Gauda La Mar 2016 - fiche technique

95% Caino Blanco, 5% Albarino and Loureiro.

La Mar begins with intense and evocative aromas of ripe peach-like stone fruit and suggestive hints of melon, pineapple, and persimmon, along with an insinuating scent of lychees. After this first sensation, and given Caiño’s capacity to extract the best characteristics of the terroir, attractive mineral hints appear, with earthy and fresh, salty notes. These powerful aromas rest over faint hints of aromatic and floral herbs, finishing with a backdrop of fine, creamy, enveloping lees.


Bodegas Terras Gauda O Rosal, Rias Baixas 2018 (1x75cl)

A premium boutique winery group, the Terras Gauda wineries were founded in 1989. The original Terras Gauda estates and winery are located in O Rosal, Rias Baixas,; the group also encompasses Pittacum in DO Bierzo and Quinta Sardonia in the Douro area, the most recent addition to the group founded by Peter Sisseck.   

Terras Gauda is a leader in working with the heirloom varieties of Rías Baixas, including Albariño and the rare Caiño Blanco, an indigenous grape used in the O Rosal blend and showcased in the limited bottling, Terras Gauda La Mar. Caiño Blanco almost disappeared from Rías Baixas in the 1980s, until Terras Gauda rediscovered its high quality and launched an ambitious replanting program in 1989.

The flagship wine of the winery, Terras Gauda O Rosal is a beautiful representation of a blend of native grapes traditional to the Rías Baixas DO. The estate vineyards are grown in the O Rosal Valley, located on the Galician riverbanks of the Miño River. This wine’s personality comes from a blend of the legendary Albariño, Loureira and Caiño Blanco.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note on this wine from the winemakers at Bodegas Terra Gauda.

Bodegas Terras Gauda O Rosal 2018 - fiche technique

70% Albariño, 22% Caíño and 8% Loureiro.

The result of the combination of the grape varieties is striking. This is a wine of great complexity where clear citrus aromas of mandarín and orange peel, peach and aniseed mingle with pleasant undertones of earth, jasmine blosson and hay leaf. Its powerful structure and character are impressive, filling the palate with fleshiness and velvety sensations. At the same time it is fresh, cheerful and very lively thanks to its excellent acidity, treating us to a pleasant, intense and very long finish. Both its aromas on the palate as well as its taste sensations reflect the good ripening conditions of the 2018 vintage.


Cota 45 Ube Miraflores 2017 (1x 75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their March 2019 edition article: Revolutionary Road which covers sherry country's quiet revolution (see blue link below).

Cota 45 Ube Miraflores 2015 - March 2019 Decanter review

Quite a local legend in Sanlúcar, Ramiro Ibáñez Espinar, is a restless and talented winemaker who, with experience in Bordeaux and Australia as well as his native Sanlúcar, runs a winemakeing consultancy under the name GL Cero used by various bodegas in the Marco de Jerez. He is s hugely enthusiastic about the potential of albariza soil and the recovery of traditional local grape varieties, many of which are all but lost, and which are no longer permitted in the Consejo regulations. He makes all sorts of interesting wines to demonstrate the terroir and personality of each vineyard and grape variety without letting too much flor obscure it.

Ramiro was a founder member of Manifiesto 119, a group of like-minded local wine producers who want to experiment with the old varieties and winemaking techniques, make unfortified sherry and give more importance to the grapes and the vineyard, not to mention restoring casas de viña. They chose this name after the 119 grape varieties (40 of them in Cádiz) catalogued in Andalucía in 1807 by the first Spanish ampelographer, Simón de Rojas Clemente. Like Ramiro the group makes table wines as well as Sherry, and while few of them carry the DO they are still sought after and hard to obtain due to the small quantities made. One of these projects is Ube and focuses on old vine Palomino from different clones fermented in an old Manzanilla butt without flor. After fermenting in sherry butts, it is then aged for 8 months in selected butts (under flor during the final 2 months).

UBE Miraflores uses old clones of Palomino and is mix of three different albarizas (chalky soil with high fossil content): lentejuelas (grainy); tosca cerrada (lower chalk content, harder) and lustrillo (chalky with iron) The grapes derive from five different vineyards of the Pago Miraflores area in Sanlúcar – the largest and most heterogeneous vineyard area of Sanlúcar. This blend of different albariza soils and vineyard gives the equivalent of a “village” Sanlúcar wine. 

This wine is tasty and easy to drink. The flowery aromas stand out, with notes of very ripe white fruit and fresh yeast. In the mouth it is clean and balanced, with a salty character that one always expects from this area. 


Cuatro Rayas Verdejo 2017 (1x 75cl)

Vinified entirely from Verdejo vines that have an average age of 35 years. This wine is made from grapes sourced in "Pago de las Cuatro Rayas" in which  four of the DO Rueda muncipalties are found: La Seca, Rueda, Rodilana and Medina del Campo. This are is well known due to the high level of quality of its vines.

The grapes are picked at night for this wine to preserve their light fruity flavours. Fermentation occurs at a controlled temperature of 6°C in stainless steel tanks.

It has a pale yellow colour with aromas of white fruits and citrus. The flavours are fresh, balanced round and fruity. The finish has a pleasant hint of aniseed. 


El Coto Rioja Blanco 2018 (1x75cl)

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 highaltitude vineyards in Rioja Baja, vineyards are situated over 840 metres above sea level. The Viura grapes were mainly sourced from Rioja Alta, from limestone and clay soils.

2018 was a complex year with a generally cold, wet spring delaying budbreak and the damp weather during flowering leading to higher than usual incidences of mildew in the vineyard. Early summer was initially rainy, but a hot August allowed the vines to catch up and ripening occurred gradually through the cooler than usual September which helped the grapes achieve great balance and flavour. Generally, the 2018 vintage was a generous harvest producing fresh wines with lower alcohols than recent years

The grapes were instantly chilled upon arrival at the winery and then pressed using a pneumatic press. The grapes were then fermented at 14 -18ºC in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for 12-20 days, to preserve aromas and retain freshness. No malolactic fermentation was allowed to take place and the wine was bottled without ageing to maximise freshness and crisp acidity.

91% Viura, 5% Verdejo, 4% Sauvignon Blanc.

This wine is pale lemon in colour with aromas of peaches, apples, citrus and tropical fruits. On the palate, it has lively acidity leading to a dry, fruity finish.


Finca Os Cobatos Godello Blanco 2018 (1x75cl)

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).

Finca Os Cobatos Godello 2016 - March 2018 Decanter review

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.


Hidalgo Las 30 del Cuadrado 2016 (1x75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their March 2019 edition article: Revolutionary Road (which covers sherry country's quiet revolution) (see blue link below).

Hidalgo Las 30 del Cuadrado 2015 - March 2019 Decanter review

Established in 1792, Bodegas Hidalgo is one of the oldest Sherry producers in existence. It is widely regarded as the definitive Manzanilla house. Passing down from generation to generation, continuity and quality have always been the most important themes for the company, which today uses only grapes from their own vineyards in Jérez Superior.

The Las 30 del Cuadrado (a still, unfortified white wine, please note, despite this being from Hidalgo) pays homage to a unique 30-acre plot of old vine Palomino that are found inside the sought after district of Balbaina Alta.

To see information and tasting notes for this wine from the UK importer, please click on the blue link below.

Hidalgo Las 30 del Cuadrado 2016 - fiche technique


Honorio Rubio Lias Finas Edicion Limitada 2014 (1x75cl)

Bodegas Honrio Rubio is a small, dynamic and naturally-oriented family winery set in Cordovín, a high alititude town in the Rioja Alta sub-zone of Rioja. Honorio Rubio, the man, runs the winery with a maverick and visionary spirit, building upon the foundation of his family’s more than 100 year winemaking tradition, subterranean cellars and winery in Cordovín.

Honorio Rubio’s long lees aged white “Lias Finas” is one of his five limited production series wines. It combines the richness of a long lees contact, barrel-aged white common in Premier and Grand Cru white Burgundy with a selection of his best high altitude Viura grapes. It’s a fresh, modern and elegantly rich style of white Rioja.

It all began with Honorio’s efforts to explore traditional methods of stabilizing wine and the idea of creating world class whites with his best grapes. For “Lias Finas” Honorio took cues from the hundreds of year old traditions of long lees contact common to the top white wine appellations in France and the natural wine movement’s valorization of lost techniques. The result is a refined and well-structured white showing a kinship to white Burgundy, that at the same time retains its Rioja identity.

This wine is made from the Viura variety. The wine rests on its fine lees for 16 months, which gives it smoothness and finesse. The wine spends 6 months in French oak barrels (20% new and 80% 2nd & 3rd use) and 10 months in tank.

The Honorio Rubio “Lias Finas” Crianza White is a bright, lucid straw color. The nose is fragrant with racy scents of lemon with touches of vanilla, minerals and leesy undertones. The attack is bright and lively with a core of lemon flavors accented by notes of lime pith, fresh apple and creamy lemon curd. The mid-palate is harmonious with lees-driven density and subtle richness, undergirded with chalk and stone minerality. The finish is long, smooth and elegant with lingering notes of fresh cut lemon zest. A striking re-styling of white Rioja.


Lagar De Cervera Albarino 2017 (La Rioja Alta) (1x75cl)

This Albariño estate in Rías Baixas was acquired by La Rioja Alta S.A. in 1988, when the company, formed by five Rioja winemaking families in 1895, took the bold decision to cease white Rioja production and find somewhere to produce a better Spanish white wine. The Galician winery was rebuilt - twice - and the vineyards expanded from five to 65 hectares. The project has been run throughout by Ángel Suárez, who found a microclimate and planted and vinified in such a way to produce Albariño of remarkable balance - citrus acidity, stone-fruit aromatics and great structure.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Lagar de Cervera/La Rioja Alta.

Lagar de Cervera Albarino 2017 - fiche technique

Yellow with green hues; clean and bright. Outstandingly intense aromas, with hints of stone fruit (peaches), white fruit (pears and ripe apples) and quince, in addition to a remarkable lemon leaf citrus background. A flavoursome mouth is accompanied by an enjoyable breadth and freshness, together with a very well-integrated acidity. Very persistent, fruit-forward finish. Perfect to enjoy with any appetiser. It is the ideal companion to seafood and fish, as well as salads, rice dishes, fowl, and fresh cheese. Ideal in combination with Asian dishes, for example, with sushi or sashimi.

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