Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes

90

2016 Rezabal Txakoli, Getariako Txakolina

£12.99, 10.5%, Winetraders UK

Frothy, zesty and refreshing, this is everything you'd expect from a white from so-called green Spain, with notes of lime and citrus peel, bracing acidity and a salty, mineral-edged finish. A wine that you just have to dirnk by the bottle. 

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93

2014 La Loba, Ribera del Duero

€16.20, 14.5%, Desoutter & James

Serious, youthful, good value Ribera that's at the lower end of the scale in terms of oaking. Sourced from century old vines in Matanza de Soria, this is part of a new wave of balanced, elegant Tempranillos with lovely freshness and poise. Scented, floral and complex with notes of bramble and balackberry and a refreshing finish. 

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94

2014 Gramona Xarel-lo Ovum, Penedès

13.50 euros, 12%, Decantalo

One of a trio of still Xarelo-los from Cava producer, Gramona, this was fermented in concrete eggs (hence the name) and is a thrilling wine that puts the variety on a pedestal where it belongs. Bone dry, rich and complex, with spice, texture and focused minerality, even at a comparatively modest 12%, it's an unbelievable bargain. You can order it from Spain, but (to my knowledge) it's not available in the UK. It should be. 

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92

2015 Granbazán Albariño, Etiqueta Ambar, Rías Baixas

N/A, 12.5%, N/A

Gron on granitic soils close to Cambados - the self-styled capital of the Albariño grape - this is a remarkable old vine cuvée from one of the best producers of the grape in Rías Baixas. Scented, pure and beautifully balanced, with undertones of lime and apple, it unfurls impressive richness on the palate with pear and stone fruit flavours and a fine, linering finish. 

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91

2011 Juvé y Camps Reserva de la Familia Gran Reserva, Cava

£19.50, 12%, Exel Wines; Fortnum & Mason; Philglas & Swiggot

A prime example of why it's worth paying just a little but more (and still less than most Champagne and English fizz) to drink top end Cava rather than the basic supermarket stuff. Rich, honeyed, yet bone dry, this is a traditional style with toasty maturity and the slight bitterness that's often a feature of Xarel-lo based wines. 

 

 
 

90

NV Torres Florales Moscatel Oro, Penedès

£10, 15%, Waitrose, Fareham Wine Cellar; www.winedirect.co.uk

A rich, even heady expression of the Moscatel (Muscat) grape, this is luscious and palate-coating, with flavours of orange peel, dried fruits and beeswax and spirity note that complements rather than overwhelms the wine. Sweet and complex, it's really good with full-flavoured desserts. 

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93

2014 Maquina & Tabla Blanco, Rueda

£15.95, 13.5%, Lea & Sandeman

One of an excellent line-up of regional delights from an exciting new Spanish venture, this tastes as good as it looks. Made from biodynamically farmed, old vine Verdejo, it's a savoury, textured white with subtle oak, tangy acidity and just a hint of oak framing the pear and citrus fruit flavours. Almost Burgundian in terms of weight, concentration and complexity, this is a remarkable Verdejo.

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94

2008 Contino Reserva, Rioja

£19.99, 14%, Tesco; Berry Bros & Rudd; Moreno Wines; Oxford Wine; Cheers; Harrods

Contino is one of the properties that launched the single estate movement in Rioja, a superb wine that develops beautifully in bottle. 2008 was a late, cool vintage in Rioja, giving this blend of mostly Tempranillo with Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano a refreshing, low key elegance. Sublte and refined, with red fruits, subtle oak, some plummy tannins and deftly integrated oak. 

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92

2013 Attis, Albariño, Rías Baixas

£14.49, 12.5%, www.ralphswinecafe.com

Made in a pithy style, this tasty Albariño comes from the Val do Salnés sub-region. Pear, quince and white pepper notes are deftly combined on the palate, supporting good texture and concentration. Tangy and refreshing on the finish, with notes of lemon peel and oyster shell. 

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93

2013 Pazo Barrantes, Albariño, Rías Baixas

£18.49, 13%, Prtland Wine & co; Berry Bros & Rudd; Whole Foods Market; Philglas & Swiggot; Raeburn Fine Wine; The Vineyard; Soho Wine Supply; Fortnum & Mason

Owned by the same family that makes Marqués de Murrieta in Rioja (they were originally from Galicia). It's a white pepper scented, bone dry style with plenty of texture and weight on the tongue, showing notes of stone fruit and pear and a crunchy, stony finish. 

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