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.
Golden yellow in colour with greenish hints. Clean, powerful and fresh on the nose, the palate is full of fruity, herbal flavours with a touch of fennel coming through on the finish. Full flavoured and powerful but well balanced with a silky texture and wonderful length.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Awarded a Gold Medal and 95 points at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).
Mar de Frades embodies the deeply-rooted traditions of Val do Salnés, the birthplace of Albariño. Recognised as one of Spain’s leading female winemakers, native Gallaecian Paula Fandino crafts wines using 100% Albariño, which express distinct saline nuances, resulting from the vines’ location overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The fresh and aromatic wine is instantly recognisable by the distinctive and slender blue glass bottle, while the eye-catching label has a thermos-sensitive logo, so that when the bottle is chilled to the appropriate serving temperature, a blue ship magically appears riding the waves on the bottle’s label.
For full details and a tasting note for this wine please click the blue link below.
Alma Atlántica means 'Atlantic Soul' in English and is inspired by wines made in proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The aim of Alma Atlántica is to create fresh and lively whites with lots of personality and boldness of flavour. The Mara Martin Godello comes from DO Monterrei (meaning king's mountain) and is further inland in comparison to DO Rías Baixas. It is warmer here, but still sees some Atlantic influence, with the average rainfall at 683mm per year.
The vines are grown on the sides of the valleys around the river Tamega, at 400-450 metres above sea level. The climate here is Mediterranean, influenced by the Altantic ocean. Soils are a mixture of granite, slate, clay and sand.
Extreme weather was seen across the wine world in 2017 and Spain was no exception. For the vines in Galicia, drought was the major issue, with above average temperatures in April and no rain fall. A cooler July ensured the acidity in the grapes was retained. Harvest began at the beginning of September which was a month earlier than the previous vintage.
The grapes were hand picked into 20 kilogram crates, destemmed, crushed and pressed. The must was settled for 24-36 hours. Alcoholic fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at 16-18ºC for 15 days. The wine was aged for two months on its lees before bottling, to give it a full and complex mouthfeel.
Clean and vivid straw-yellow in colour, this wine has typical aromas of hay, apple and pear with intense notes of wild flowers and subtle nuances of lime citrus, which continue through to the palate. The wine has good definition, depth and structure that are derived from lees contact. The finish is long and lingering.
Martín Códax was founded in 1986 by a group of winemakers led by 9th generation winemaker Luciano Amodeo. Today it comprises around 2,400 tiny vineyard parcels managed by 550 families in Rías Baixas. It has become the largest producer in Galicia with 450 hectares of vineyard planted with Albariño, representing 13% of the total Rías Baixas DO – which the cooperative was instrumental in creating (in fact the statutes were signed at the winery) and are estate-grown Albariño specialists, conducting ongoing research into the variety. They named the cooperative after the medieval Galician poet and musician Martín Códax, and the winery has strong links to local art and music.
The Albariño Organistrum is made with grapes that come from a selected plot that faces the south west and is located at 110 metres above sea level. The grapes from this vineyard usually ripen sooner than the rest of their plots. The grapes are chosen in order to make a wine that will improve after ageing in barriques.
The 2015 vintage was marked by an unexpectedly dry summer, with no significant rain for almost three months. Yields were lower than those in 2014 with an average of 8,500 kilograms per hectare in the DO. Harvest began 10 days early, and even though it rained in the middle of harvesting, the rain only lasted three days and did not affect the health of the grapes.
The grapes were picked by hand into 20 kilogram plastic crates. On arrival at the winery, they were destemmed and pressed. Alcoholic fermentation took place at 16-18ºC in stainless steel vats. The fermentation was completed in French oak barrels (300-500 litres), and was followed by malolactic fermentation. The wine was kept in oak for six months with occasional bâtonnage, it was then racked and rested for a further 12 months before botting.
Vanilla notes dominate on the nose, along with floral notes, and smokey wood hints from the ageing in barriques. Lemon, grapefruit and white stone fruits come through on the powerful, full-bodied palate, which has well-balanced acidity and a long finish.