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Off Licence News New Wave Spanish Wine Awards

Those huge wine award issues of the wine magazines – who reads them apart from the top trophy winners anyway? Page follows page of tasting notes and yet more tasting notes. (Thinking Decanter World Wine Awards and the International Wine Challenge here). As John over at UKWinesOnline stated – winning a top award gives the importer/distributor a great feeling of accomplishment. The fact that John’s award winning wine failed to gain any recognition the following year is another indictment of such awards. Do wines really change that much year on year?

Having said that, I am rather a fan of Top 100 Vins De Pays competition and the New Wave Spanish Wine Awards, if only for the fact that they manage to highlight many wines I wouldn’t otherwise have discovered from two areas I have a particular fondness for. Interestingly these two competitions are run by a trade paper, Off Licence News.

Off Licence News has released a PDF of the Spanish awards; hardly worth downloading though as it little more than a boring list – without tasting notes – rather than the full coloured, background rich supplement to the weekly magazine. So for those who do like tasting notes with some added links to retailers…

  • Best Wine Under £10: Maior de Mendoza Fulget 2007, Rías Baixes “Brilliant crisp, fresh, floral and honeyed fruit with ripe, peachy flavours and a fine, citrusy concentration. Elegant and well poised. Simply delicious when chilled! £8.20
  • Best White over £10 and Best White Wine of Show: Celler de Joan Sangenís, Mas d’en Compte 2006, Priorat “Full, rich concentrated and creamy with a succulent tropical nose. Harmonious, powerful, fresh, complex palate overlaid with well-tailored oak and a racy elegance on the finish. £18.50 (2005 vintage Jeroboams)
  • Best Value Red under £6: Agribergidum, Spanish Steps, 2007, Bierzo “Fresh, tight, floral and kirsch aromas with vivid fruit. Lovely length and balance, Impeccable, modern but expressive wine.” £5.99
  • Best Value Red under £10: Ochoa Graciano/Garnacha, 2005, Navarra “Good, deep crimson colour with austere but complex fruit notes and a spicy, rich, voluptuous underlying fresh palate that belies its age and gives it length. Typically Spanish! £8.99 (Christopher Piper Wines)
  • Joint Best Red over £10: Bodegas Jose Jimenez Landi Pielago, 2006, Mentrida “Arresting, floral aromas, then bold lilac, blueberry and savoury characters, Firm, grippy tannins and fresh acidity. Finishes with a savoury and mineral flavour.. Distinctive and appealing.” £19.99 (Handford Wines)
  • Joint Best Red over £10: Bodegas Ysios Reserva, 2004, Rioja “Fragrant, savoury, spicy nose with a touch of milk chocolate richness. Savoury, spicy, cedary palate with cherry-raspberry fruit and a silky texture. Medium-full, layered and long with fine-grained tannins. Elegant with potential to age.” £14.99 (EveryWine)
  • Joint Best Premium Red over £20: Cillar de Silos Torresilo, 2005, Ribera del Duero “Youthful, deeply-coloured, complex palate, perfumed with raspberry and cherry fruit. Lovely pure and elegant red fruit characters with grainy tannins and seamless fruit marked by vivid acidity” £29.99 (TodoVino)
  • Joint Best Premium Red over £20: Bodegas Pinord +7, 2005, Priorat “Complex nose of prune and raisin, ripe red sun-drenched fruit with classic Priotat acidity underlying a firm structure built on subtle judicious oak handling” £23.99
  • Joint Best Premium Red over £20 and Best Red Wine of Show: Bodegas Luis Cañas Rioja Reserva Especial Amaren, 2002, Rioja “With great intensity and colour, this is a modern, youthful, concentrated Tempranillo with rich cherry fruit and superb tannin finesse and style” £24.99
  • Joint Best Sherry Winner: Harveys Fino “Intense, deliciously fragrant fino with light tangy and floral notes. Bone-dry, showing iodine intensity and great length” £8.18
  • Joint Best Dry Sherry: Harveys Fine Amontillado “Seems to be from a very old solera, Has great intensity and length. Bone-dry, with smooth flavours of toffee and roasted nuts and a salty tang” £19.95
  • Joint Best Sweet Sherry: Sanderman Royal Corregidor Rich Oloroso “Seductive walnut, confit orange and chocolate nose, but mouth-watering acidity cuts through the toffee richness on the palate, adding zest and life. Long and thrilling. £10.99
  • Joint Best Sweet Sherry: González Byass Noé “fantastically complex nose with fig, caramel and salty liquorice. Palate has a melting, rich texture, but lovely acidity extends the rich, chocolatey finish” £13.99
  • Best Own Label Sherry: Waitrose Solera Jerezana Fino del Puerto “A full-bodied fino with enticing tangy, yeasty flavours. Appealingly fresh and long-lasting.” £7.49 (Waitrose)
  • Joint Best Sweet Wine: Ordoñez No 1 Selección Especial 2006 “Incredibly vibrant, pure and fresh with delicate mandarin fruit flavours supported by a slight minerally backdrop and well-balanced acidity. Refreshing, long, very elegant and finishes perfectly. Impeccably made.” £12.99. (Noel Young Wines)
  • Joint Best Sweet Wine: Toro Albala Don PX Gran Reserva 1979 “Intensely sweet, but in no way cloying. Marvellous symphony of aged, nutty, liquorice flavours and treacle-toffee sweetness. £12.99 (Ballantynes)


  1. Dylan says:

    Did you create these award categories and tasting notes, or were these pre-existing winners which you tasted yourself and added the tasting notes to?
    In either case, thanks for the list. Next stop: Bodegas Ysios Reserva, 2004, Rioja

  2. Andrew says:

    Sorry, I havent explained this very well. All the notes and categories are from the awards – I havent tasted any of the wines (hence no scores) but I have added the retailer links. For me the white from Priorat is the one I must try.
    The next post should be the Vin De Pays awards. The tasting notes will be mine!

  3. Dylan says:

    Thanks for the clarification, Andrew.

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