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No Spain, no gain

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Spanish tasting is once again setting up residence at London's Old Billingsgate (EC3), although there will be a new format for 2006, with both the Importers Fair and Exporters Fair taking place under the same roof. Held on 8 March and running from 9.30am to 6pm, the fair will feature the wines from 50 importers and 30 bodegas seeking representation, as well as a themed tasting area - New Wave Spanish Wines: Top 106 - and a tutored tasting led by Jancis Robinson MW entitled Cutting Edge Wines from Spain.
Members of the trade or press interested in attending should call 020 7409 0494 or e-mail


Torres with new clothes

Torres will be unveiling new packaging for some of its oldest brands at the Wines of Spain Fair. Via Sol, Sangre de Toro, Via Esmeralda, Coronas and the ros De Casta have all been updated. Torres said it has risen to the challenge of modernising the packaging, while retaining brand recognition and respect for the heritage of the wines, which in the case of Via Sol and Sangre de Toro, dates back 50 years'.

Alliance goes screwy

Alliance Wine is using the tasting to launch its Rueda agency, Alvarez y Diez, under screwcap - one of the first bodegas in the region to move to screwcap, following a recent change in the DO laws regarding permitted closures.

Also showing on the Alliance table will be a trio of Rioja producers: Luis Caas, Remelluri and Finca Manzanos.

From elsewhere in Spain is Cava from Miret, wines from Finca Lasierpe in Navarra and the Priorat duo Buil & Gine and Cillar de Silos. Ros Whiteford at Alliance said: Watch out for the brilliant new wines from emerging Cariena producer Care, whose wines are as striking as the label imagery.'

A split personality Bobal from Buckingham

The successful Santerra brand, produced by Bodegas Murviedro in Utiel-Requena and imported by Buckingham Vintners, is undergoing further expansion this year with two new wines added in time for the tasting. Both utilise Bobal (a grape most widely used to make rosado), with both a red and white wine produced from the grape. The red is described by the company as young and fruity', while the white was made to ensure that Santerra doesn't become a brand dominated by reds.'

Murviedro is also presenting a new sweet wine made with Muscat: Estrella, which has an ABV of 10%. Winemaker Pablo Ossario will be presenting the wines.

Decanter adds a brandy

As well as showing its range of premium Spanish wine from across Spain - such as Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Toro, Utiel-Requena, Catalunya and Ras Baixas - Decanter Wines will be launching a new Gran Reserva brandy, Luis Felipe. Aged for an average of 60 years, the brandy has been matured in oak using the traditional solera system. Just 10,000 bottles are produced each year.

HwCg goes large

HwCg's Spanish portfolio has significantly increased over the past year, and the company will take two tables at the tasting to showcase new brands from Grupo de Bodegas Vinartis and wines from new agency partner Aranlen.

Two new brands are to be launched from Vinartis, aimed at the multiple grocers: Tonas Blanco and Tonas Tinto, both Vino de la Tierra de Castilla, with an RRP of 2.79. The white is 100% Airn, and the red is a blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo. The second new brand, Barica, is targeting a more traditional Spanish wine drinker, and the range comprises a red, white and ros, all with an RRP of 2.99.

Aranlen, will be showing a range of wines aimed at the specialist and independent sectors. The Aranlen Crianza 2003, Reserva 2002 and Solo 2003 from the Utiel-Requena DO will be available to taste, alongside premium wines from Navarra, Rioja, Toro, Ribera del Duero and Ras Baixas.

Finally, HwCg will be showing the newly extended Pata Negra range, which has been extended to include a Crianza and Reserva.

Three new from Liberty

Liberty Wines will be showing wines from across its Spanish portfolio, including three new additions: Abadia Retuerta, Nava Real and Sierra Salinas.

Abadia Retuerta is one of the top wineries from Spain, with winemaker Angel Anocibar Beloqui recently recognised as Red Winemaker of the Year at the 2005 International Wine Challenge (IWC). The 2001 Seleccin Especial also won the Spanish Red Trophy and the overall Red Wine Trophy in the IWC. Situated just to the west of the Ribera del Duero zone, Abadia Retuerta has 210 hectares (ha) of vineyard and has four wines available in the UK: 2003 Rivola, 2001 Seleccion Especial, 2001 Cuve Palomar and 2002 Pagos Negralada, made from a single vineyard.

The Sierra Salinas wines are made by the Castao family in DO Alicante. The 2003 Casa Salinas and 2003 Mira Salinas are made from old, ungrafted Monastrell vineyards.

On the white wine, Liberty will be showing the Nava Real wines: a 2005 Rueda Verdejo/Viura and 2005 Rueda Verdejo. The Nava Real label is owned by the Ozores family, which also owns Alvarez y Diez.

The rest of the Liberty Spanish range - Pazo Senorans, Bodega Otazu, Rozeleme, Bodega Mustiguillo, Portal de Santa Maria, Vina Izadi, Finca Villacreces, Vetus, Sequiot, Bodega Castano and Escobera - will also be shown.

Bottle Green expands Campaneo

This year, Bottle Green will focus on its Campo de Borja-based supplier, Bodegas Aragonesas. Bodegas Aragonesas offers an excellent choice of varietals, which allow wine consumers the opportunity to taste a wider selection of what Spain has to offer, with both traditional Spanish and international varietals.

The Campaneo range, developed by Bottle Green's wine director Nick Butler, is getting three new additions for 2006. 2005 Campaneo Old Vines Cabernet/Garnacha, 2002 Campaneo Crianza and 2001 Campaneo Reserva will all debut at Wines from Spain. In total, 11 wines will be shown.

Two new for GWW

Great Western Wine will be introducing two new producers at the tasting: Viaguarea, from the DO of Toro, and Bodegas Lezcano-Lacalle, from the DO of Cigales.

Founded in 1999, Viaguarea has 32ha planted to Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo).

Two wines will be available to taste: 2004 Viaguarea Joven, an unoaked red, and 2001 Viaguarea Crianza, aged in American and French oak barrels for 12 months.

Bodegas Lezcano-Lacalle has 16ha planted to Tinto Fino (Tempranillo), Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Available for tasting will be Lezcano-Lacalle Reserva 2000, a blend of Tinto Fino and Merlot, and Lezcano-Lacalle D Reserva 2000, a blend of Tinto Fino and Cabernet.

Alongside the wines from the new wineries, Great Western Wine will also be showing the latest wines from its other Spanish agencies: the Rioja wines from Vallobera and Via Tondonia; the wines from Enate-based Bodegas Otto Bestu in Somontano; and Bodegas Virgen de la Sierra in Calatayud.

Gonzlez Byass

Gonzlez Byass will be showing a wide selection of its wines, brandies and Sherries at this year's tasting. Highlights include new packaging for its Rioja brand Beronia and a new varietal tier for the Altozano range. A Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Tempranillo and Verdejo (all Vino de la Tierra) are now available, with an RRP of 4.99.

Solaz gets Bullish

Osborne is transforming the Solaz brand with a new-style liquid and range extensions' at this year's tasting. According to a spokesman, The company conducted an extensive consumer tasting of its wine brand in 2005 and, as a result of consumer feedback, has worked hard to develop the new vintage to be more approachable for the UK palate.'

The two new wines are a Merlot/Tempranillo and a Tempranillo ros, both of which sit at 4.99 (the same as the four-strong existing range).

New signing for PLB

PLB is showcasing the new addition to its portfolio at the tasting: Bodegas Irius in Somontano. Irius is currently working with PLB on a new range of wines due for release later in 2006. PLB's Alex Canneti commented, It's early days yet, but we know that the range will consist of a mixture of international varieties: Merlot, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Tempranillo, et cetera.' Two wines for the bodega that are currently available in the UK will be shown: the 2004 Absum Gewurztraminer and the 2004 Absum Young Red (Tempranillo/Merlot/Cabernet).

PLB will also be showing new labels for its Castillo de Breta range from Valencia and the Campo range from Cariena; a Reserva addition to the Precioso Rioja; and selected wines from its other Spanish ranges Fuentespina (Ribera del Duero), Don Darias (various) and Pazo Serantello (Galicia).

New from Myliko

Myliko will be showing wines from a new agency: Bodegas Otero from DO Benavente. This new agency offers Tempranillo and Prieto Picudo blends in the 4-5 category.

Myliko's expansive range - encompassing the classic regions and lesser-known DOs such as Somontano, Toro, Ribera del Guardiana and Terra Alta - will also be available to taste.

Thierry's is El Prado

Thierry's is concentrating on El Prado, the brand it launched last year and that has since gained numerous listings. El Prado was launched to meet a gap in the market for a modern Spanish brand in line with the current Hispanic trend for modern, relaxed entertaining. The El Prado red, white and ros will be available for taste, alongside a portfolio of DO wines, including wines from Navarra, Cariena, Bierzo and Ribera del Duero.

Free Run on Ribera and Rueda

Free Run Wines, importer for Felix Solis, will be concentrating on wines from its Solis Group wineries, the new division launched to handle its wines from Ribera del Duero and Rueda.

From Ribera comes an extension to its successful Altos de Tamaron label, with a Reserva tier launched from the 2002 vintage. The wine comes from the Pagos del Rey winery, launched in 2003, which is already established as the largest in the DO. The Reserva joins the joven, lightly oaked' and crianza wines (all from 2003) already available under the Altos de Tamaron label. The same wines are available to the on-trade under the Condado de Oriza label.

The Pagos del Rey wines from Rueda will also be making their debut. Sold under the Analivia brand name, three wines are offered: 2005 Viura Verdejo; 2005 Analivia Verdejo; and 2005 Sauvignon Blanc.

The full range of Via Albali wines will also be available for taste.

Ash Tree from Freixenet

Freixenet is using the tasting to launch an extension to its still-wine range, Ash Tree Estate. The new wine is a Bobal/Cabernet blend, which sits alongside the Shiraz/Monastrell, Merlot/Tempranillo and Chardonnay/Macabeo (all at 4.99).

In addition, Freixenet will be showing wines for its recently acquired Solar Viejo winery from Rioja. The wines will be launched in the UK this year.

Also available to taste will be the second vintage of Freixenet Cordon Negro vintage (this time from 2004, 8.99) and the wines from its Priorat (Morlanda), Montsant (Fra Guerau), Ribera del Duero (Valdubn) and Ras Baixas (Vionta).

On the agency side, the full range from CVNE and Contino will be available to taste.

Guy Anderson has a handful

Guy Anderson will be showing a number of its brands. From Rioja comes Gran Familia, a wine for the Rioja loyalist', which is adding a white and a ros to the red currently listed by Threshers. From Bodegas Borsao in Campo de Borja comes three brands: Mitico, an affordable' Garnacha; El Burro, a premium Garnacha; and Siesta, a contemporary' Garnacha. The bodega's flagship Garnacha, Tres Picos, will also be available to taste. A white Macebeo/Chardonnay has been added to Bodegas Castejon's Vega Barcelona brand, and a white Godello/Chardonnay has been added to the Mad Dogs & Englishmen brand produced by Bodegas de Murcia.

HBJ presents

HBJ will be showing the wines from its three main Spanish suppliers: Rioja bodega Montecillo; Bodegas Nekeas from Navarra; and the Sherries and brandies of Osborne. Highlights for 2006 are the release of the Montecillo Crianza from the excellent 2001 vintage (16 months in French oak); new packaging from Bodegas Nekeas; and the release of Osborne Coquerino Fino-Amontillado, a Fino en-route to becoming an Amontillado'.

Faustino and Foster

Faustino will be launching the first wine from its Bodegas Portia project in Ribera del Duero. The e13-million project includes a new winery complex designed by Foster and Partners, set to be complete for the 2007 harvest. The current vintage, a 2003 Tinta del Pais (Tempranillo) at 12.99, is made on site in temporary facilities.

Also new on the Cellar Trends/Faustino table is an addition to the Faustino range - a new, modern' style of crianza, 2001 Faustino Seleccin de Familia, set to retail for 9-10.

New wines from the group's La Mancha and Navarra properties include two ross and three varietals. New vintages from the core Rioja range will also be presented.

Ellis of Richmond's big three

Ellis of Richmond will be showing its full range of wines from three DOs on the forefront of Spain's quality revolution: Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Ras Baixas.

From Ribera comes Via Valano, including new and exclusive' blends. Director general Desdiderio Sastre Gonzalez will be on hand.

Rioja is represented by Bodegas Aldeanueva, with new vintages on offer for tasting. Condes de Albariei from Ras Baixas will be introducing a new Albario, Enexbre.

Oakhouse concentrates

Anecoop from Valencia and Bodegas Ramon Balboa from Rioja are the focus for Oakhouse this year. Anecoop (Spain's leading fresh-fruit exporter) will be showing a number of new wines alongside its traditional strength, Moscatel (such as the widely listed Orange Grove). Chief among the new arrivals are Icono, a range of varietal wines, and Vinamas, a Tempranillo/Cabernet Sauvignon blend. Anecoop is also launching Via Nava, a range of wines from Navarra.

Bodegas Ramon Bilbao will show the usual Rioja styles plus two new alto expresion' wines, Mirto and Edicin Limitada, as well as a new Garnacha/Tempranillo blend from a 40-year-old single vineyard.

Interesting wines from Vinexcel

Vinexcel will be showing a number of interesting wines from around Spain, including Trapo, a Monastrell made from 60-year-old ungrafted vines in Yecla; Afinus, a Garnacha/Tempanillo/Syrah/Cariena from Winemakers SARL in Montsant; and Duan, a new Tinto Fino/Merlot from Bodegas Ricardo Benito, DO Vinos de Madrid.

Ehrmanns launches La Miranda

Ehrmanns will be showing a new wine from its Somontano agency Vias del Vero. La Miranda de Secastilla is being dubbed the little brother of the existing Secastilla line (both are Garnacha-based wines made in the modern style from the Secastilla Valley) but at a more affordable price (6.99 as opposed to 14.99). The Vias del Vero varietal range will be shown, too.

Ehrmanns will also be extending its La Mancha brand Castillo de Calatrava. The existing 1998 Reserva will be joined by a 2005 ros, a Viura Chardonnay and a 1995 Gran Reserva. Other brands from Ehrmanns' portfolio will also be on show.

First show for Raisin Social

Raisin Social will be showing a collection of wines from Spain's lesser-known DOs from Verde Marte. Five brands are available from the collection: (enye), a three-strong range (two red, one ros) from various DOs; Mancico, a five-strong range (all red) from various DOs; Artius, a two-strong range (both red) from Valencia; Ayeles, a three-strong range (all red) from Cariena; and Bodegas Enguera, a two-strong range from Valencia. The wines sit at popular price points and concentrate on Tempranillo, the Bordeaux varieties and Garnacha.

Just Stokes

Stokes Fine Wine will be showing the wines of Baron de Ley and Maximo in Rioja and Vega del Castillo in Navarra.

From Baron de Ley comes the new 2001 Reserva and the 2003 Finca Monastario, along with the first release of the 2004 varietal Graciano.

Maximo will be showing its full range of varietal wines.

Vega del Castillo will launch its entry-level Tempranillo/Merlot/Garnacha blend.


The wines from the following bodegas will be shown in a side room. They are either seeking UK distribution or are imported by companies not showing at the fair.


Sherries from one of Spain's leading producers.

Baronia de Turis

A Valencian co-op controlling almost 15,000ha. It will show young whites and reds, plus a smattering of crianzas.

Bodegas y Viedos Lleiroso

This Ribera del Duero producer was founded in 2001.

Bodegas Bordej

Bordej will show Cavas from Zaragoza.

Bodegas Utielanas

This is a modern winery in Utiel-Requena and Valencia.


This family-owned bodega is based in Zaragoza.

Garcia Burgos

Showing premium wines from Navarra.

Hijos de Antonio Barcelo

This large group owns five bodegas spread around Castilla y Len. Its range includes DO and VdlT wines.


The wines of this premium La Mancha producer include a Viognier and a Gewurztraminer.

Pagos del Infante

Producing Ribera del Duero wines.


Super-premium wines from Bierzo.

Pen Selection

Spain's most famous wine journalist launches his own wines (although only outside Spain). Four wines from Rioja, Rueda, Toro and Ribera del Duero will be shown.

Bodegas Valdesil

Premium wines from the Godello grape produced in Galicia.

Bodegas Valdivia

Showing Sherries and brandies.

Via Olabarri

Showing Rioja wines.