Spanish wines think pink
Here's your guide to who's showing what at Spain's annual tasting
Spanish winemakers will be hoping to cash in on the British taste for all things pink with a number of rosé cava launches at the 18th annual Wines of Spain Trade Fair in London's Old Billingsgate on Feb 21.
There will be
55 Spanish wine importers and 30 bodegas looking for UK representation
showcasing over 2,000 wines from all over Spain at the event.
Buyers will be looking for something characteristic but UK-targeted to put some force back into Spanish wine, which saw volumes slump 2 per cent in the year to November 2006, according to ACNielsen, while value crept up less than 1 per cent to £283 million. Tesco's Spanish wine buyer James Griswood says: "Spain should continue to develop new wines, explore new blends, recognise the potential of indigenous varietals and, above all, continue to innovate. There is so much energy in Spain currently, but this needs to be harnessed and focused on to UK-specific projects. Projects tailored specifically for the UK, rather than global brands or blends, have a greater chance in attracting new customers into this category."
He says Spain needs to work on its white wine production
and put more force behind rosé sales and developing a wide range of rosé styles. Griswood adds: "Producers should not be afraid to be a bit different. Spain
feels young and alive at the moment and this vibrancy should be communicated to the consumer.
"Producers should look to bring out fresh and exciting wines: throw a blend together that you never thought would work and see what happens; try a new bottle design; think outside the box with label design; investigate new marketing possibilities via the internet; let the customer know something is happening in Spain.
"In a flat wine market - as the UK currently is - it's those producers that do something different and stand out from the crowd that stand the best chance of success," he adds.
Group Codorníu is going to launch a rosé cava - Teresa Rosado Seco, a Monastrell/Pinot Noir blend (rrp £7.49). There will also be the chance to taste Codorníu's top cava, Jaume Codorníu (rrp £19.99), a blend of Chardonnay and Parellada targeted at independents and the on-trade, and the group will be showcasing its still portfolio - including new launch Viña del Alba Albariño 2005, sourced from Rias Baixas (rrp £8.99).
Pernod Ricard UK is also showing a pink sparkler: Gran Campo Viejo Cava Rosé NV DO Cava (rrp £6.99), made from 100 per cent Trepat from the southern Conca de Barberà region of Penedés and released in October 2006. Wines from Palacio de la Vega in Navarra will also be on taste for the first time.
Thierry's is adding a pink cava to its El Prado range - El Prado Rosé Cava. It will also
new vintages across the
Torres Wines has repackaged its Reserva range
following last year's revamp of the Traditional range . The 2004 vintage of Celeste, Torres' new wine from Ribera del Duero, will be on taste, and Coronas is celebrating 100 years as a brand with a special label on the 2004 vintage. Torres will also
the first wine from its Priorato vineyards.
Osborne will unveil a new look for its Solaz range, still featuring its trademark bull logo . The company says it is part of a year of aggressive growth and development, with new product s and marketing plans. It will
Merlot/Shiraz/Petit Verdot rosado (rrp £4.99), and
Plural brand, made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Mencía.
Boutinot has added four new agencies to its Spanish portfolio: Bodegas Borsao from Campo de Borja, Valenciso from Rioja, Ismael Arroyo, one of the oldest bodegas in Ribera del Duero, and Huerta del Albalá, a new estate from the hills near Arcos de la Frontera, north east of Cadiz.
Rioja producer Bodegas Luis Gurpegui Muga has signed up with UK agent Connoisseur Estates to launch its wines at the fair. The bodega has a portfolio of fruity, everyday-drinking varietal wines and blends, as well as its Berceo range, including 2003 Viña Berceo Crianza (£7.49), 2000 Los Dominios de Berceo
Reserva 36, a 100 per cent Tempranillo wine new to the UK, and a 100 per cent Viura fermented in new oak barrels.
Rioja is driving value growth at Waverley TBS, according to category controller for Europe Louise Steel, but this year the distributor will be unveiling its first "true" branded proposition outside Rioja - Ash Tree Estate from Freixenet. The range includes a Shiraz/Monastrell, Chardonnay/Macabeo and a Bobal/Cabernet rosé. There is also a packaging revamp for Brand Raffine from La Mancha, and the range is moving into screwcap.
Free Run Wines will be presenting a number of new launches from Félix Solís Avantis. Consignia is a
range of six single varietal vino de la tierra wines - Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Chardonnay 2005, Merlot 2005, Rosado Tempranillo 2005, Shiraz 2005 and Tempranillo 2005. Pagos del Rey, which is part of the group of companies, will be launching two
brands from its new state-of-the-art winery in Rioja: El Circulo, exclusive to the off-trade, and Arnegui, aimed at the on-trade. Félix Solís is also unveiling new packaging for its six-strong Los Molinos range, with a new label design and colourful capsule closures. The range is priced around £3.99.
Guy Anderson Wines, which hired winemaker Norrel Robertson MW in autumn to work with its suppliers across Spain, is launching a number of new brands and brand extensions. Rojo Mojo Shiraz is a new brand from La Mancha. "Possibly the reddest wine in Spain," according to the agency, it is an entry-level brand aimed at younger drinkers, which has done well in the USA.
Other highlights include Pico Madama, from Jumilla, which blends Petit Verdot and Monastrell; Tres Barcos from Toro, which has a distinctive label featuring one of the three boats Christopher Columbus sailed to the New World in 1492, and TorroNero - a Sauvignon Blanc from Rueda and a Garnacha/Shiraz/Monastrell blend from Catalyud. Guy Anderson will also be showing a white and rosé from the Rioja brand Gran Familia, which are to be listed in Tesco from spring, and Vega Barcelona Cava.
makes its first appearance at the fair with Mentzendorff. Its Roda II 2001 and Roda 2002 will be on taste alongside Cirsion 2000 and 2004.
Bibendum is introducing three Spanish agencies: Dominio de Valdepusa, the first estate in Spain to have its own DO, Bodegas Farina in Toro, and Gran Clos in Priorat. It will also be showing off the rebadged
wines from Agricola Falset Marca, a new livery on Jean Leon's Terrasola range and new wines from Casa de la Ermita.
Myliko will be showing its new Valleoscuro wines, a red and a rosé made from Prieto Picudo grown around Léon in north west Spain, as well as unveiling new packaging for its Garci Grande wines.
Ex-United Wineries and Unwins marketing director Bill Rolfe's new venture, 10 International, will be making its first trade presentation at the fair, showing seven new wine ranges from seven bodegas, including
the Irius project in Somontano.
Cellar Trends will launch two Grupo Faustino wines - super-premium Portia Prima from Ribera del Duero, and Condesa de Leganza Sauvignon Blanc from Faustino's winery in La Mancha.
Alliance Wine will be introducing a number of producers, including Bodegas Laus from Somontano and Albariño specialist Castel de Bouza. There will also be range extensions from winemaker and distributor Jesus Soto.
Ten new wineries have joined Indigo Wine, including two - Bodegas Alto Moncayo in Campo de Borja and Bodegas El Nido in Jumilla - where production is overseen by Australian winemaker Chris Ringland. Another new joiner is Ordonez
in Malaga, where Austrian winemaker Alois Kracher, acclaimed for his sweet wines, is helping to make Moscatels
designed to put the domain back on the map. Other additions are Bodegas Naia in Rueda, Celler Can Blau in Montsant and Vina Nora in Rias Baixas. All the agencies are making wines from newly-established cellars set up with involvement from US wine importer Jorge Ordonez and Spanish wine journalist Victor Rodriguez. The ranges are targeted at specialist independents and the on-trade.
New Wave winners on taste
One of the highlights of this year's tasting will be the winners of OLN and Wines from Spain's New Wave Spanish Wine Awards, on taste at an informal, self-pouring table.
Many of the judges for this year's competition have already been confirmed, and they include OLN's wine editor at large Tim Atkin MW, Tesco's James Griswood, Sam Harrop MW, John Radford, Thresher's Jonathan Butt and Charles Metcalfe.
Atkin said: "The New Wave Spanish Wine Awards have grown in importance every year since their inception, and in 2007 an experienced line-up of judges is looking forward to tasting a more exciting range of wines than ever."
Wines from Spain
Where: Old Billingsgate, London EC3
When: 10.30am-6pm, Feb 21
Tickets: Spear Communications,
0207 409 0494 or visit
Laymont & Shaw will be showcasing wines from Bodegas Áster, a member of the Rioja Alta group
Ehrmanns will show its Calatrava range from La Mancha, which marketing director Keith Lay hopes will challenge Rioja's dominance in the market thanks to its classic Spanish packaging clues, typical wine styles and average price of £4
Stevens Garnier will launch Roc Tinto Crianza from Castillo Perelada
HBJ Wines & Spirits will exhibit new vintages from Rioja producer Bodegas Montecillo and Navarra's Nekeas, as well as a range from sherry producer Osborne, including Pedro Ximénez 1927 and Brandy de Jerez
Wines from Verde Marte, including new Mancico Monastrell Shiraz from Bullas, will be on taste at Raisin Social's stand
H&H Bancroft will show Rioja producer Bodegas Lan's just-released 100 per cent Tempranillo Lan Crianza 2003
Wines from small, ultra-premium winery Celler Vall Llach will be on taste at McKinley Vintners' stand
HwCg's independent-focused arm HwCg Specialist will be showcasing releases from agencies Aranleón and Groupo de Bodeges Vinartis
Family-run importer Nuevos Vinos de España will be showcasing 30 wines and cavas from northern Spain
Oakhouse Wine Company is representing the Diego Zamora Group, which has bodegas in Rioja, Rias Baixas and Ribera del Duero, as well as a new project in La Mancha. Valencia-based Anecoop, a fruit exporter with a number of bodegas where it uses New World consultants to produce New Wave wines, will also be on its stand.