Top tasting picks: Wines from Spain 2018

Laura Foster

Laura Foster

21 March 2018

It was a tasting with a view at this year’s Wines from Spain event, which took place high above the capital in the Sky Garden. Amongst the hundreds of delicious wines, we picked a few bodega-shaped jewels from the Spanish crown…

Abadía Retuerta

Nestled in the Douro Valley, this boutique winery boasts a spa and hotel, and as the winery’s Alvaro del Santo y Mora says, ‘In an area with muscular wines, we try to make the wines more elegant and drinkable. We’re not part of the DO, so we can be more experimental. We have plantings of Sangiovese, Riesling and Gewurztraminer, among others.’

Its Selección Especial 2014 sees the winery blend Tempranillo with Cabernet Sauvignon, resulting in a relatively savoury wine with sour cherry, blackberry leaf, pepper and wood shavings.

The Pago Negralada 2014, a straight Tempranillo, is bigger on the nose, with black bramble fruits, worn leather and pine nuts on the nose giving way to a palate of gorgeous acidity, crunchy red fruits and a whisper of paprika-like heat, some green leaf and dusty tannin.

Enotria&Coe, 020 8961 5161

Bodegas Berceo

Named after Gonzalo de Berceo, a monk who is considered to be the father of the Spanish language as we know it today, Bodegas Berceo is situated in the cellars of the castle in Haro, Rioja.

They have a clutch of single-vineyard wines that are a snapshot of history. Starting with Los Dominios de Berceo Reserva 36 2006, this is made from an 8ha vineyard that was planted in 1936, months before the Spanish Civil War started. Spending 24 months in barrel, it’s a medium-bodied wine with a cooked red fruit character of raspberry jam and red and black Fruit Gums, a waft of Parma Violets.

The Los Dominios de Berceo Graciano 2014, meanwhile, was planted just after the Civil War, and the wine has been aged in concrete 1,500l amphorae. It boasts a much deeper character of dark bramble fruit, pencil shavings and spent coffee grounds.

Rolling back the years, Los Dominios de Berceo Prefiloxerico 2015, a wine from 170-year-old vines (pre-phylloxera, as the name suggests), this is an elegant number with notes of cranberries, strawberries and redcurrants, chamois leather and a hint of toffee sweetness with medium tannins and juicy acidity.

Copestick Murray, 01672 519390

Pazo Señorans

For a masterclass in what divine wines Albarino can produce, look no further than this Galician winery. Winemaker Anna Quintela is interested in showcasing how it can be aged for years in bottle, with a focus on fruit quality through natural fermentation in stainless steel; and mouthfeel through lees ageing.

Its Albarino 2017 is beautifully perfumed and juicy, with spicy jasmine, an abundance of stone fruit, lick of salinity and a squeeze of lime all wrapped up in a slightly waxy body.

The Albarino Coleccion 2014, meanwhile, shows what some significant bottle age can do, offering a wine of real depth: the richness of a just-cooked tarte tatin drizzled with evaporated milk, and peaches and cream, is undercut with some racy lemon-and-lime acidity and a dusting of chalk.

Alliance Wine, 01505 506060

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