New Parker Points on wines from the Mediterranean, Central Spain and the Canary Islands

It seems like we’re in for a treat since Luis Gutiérrez, the man at the helm of Parker for Spanish wines, has released 3 publications at the same time. We now have new points for Mediterranean wines, wines from the central zone and wines from the Canary Islands. Clearly the best scores have been awarded to those wines which have preserved the character of the grape, with little extraction and little presence of the wood.



This vast area in the south east of Spain which is home to a notably severe climate in terms of its heat and droughts. According to Luis Gutiérrez, the last year has been hard on the region given the notably hot weather it has experienced. A result of this is that some producers have not been able to produce all of the cuvee that they normally had.

In Valencia, the wines by Rafael Cambra have had a fantastic year. Made with the native Forcayat variety, his wine La Forcallá de Antonia 2014 was awarded 93 Parker points. His other cuvées have also had a good year, thanks to a lighter vinification process. For example, his wine Rafael Cambra Uno was awarded 91 points.

Also in Valencia, the wines by Celler del Roure are defined the use of Mediterranean grape varieties and production in amphorae. As an example we have Cullerot 2015, aged for 6 months in amphorae and awarded 90 Parker Points.

Then in Jumilla, Casa Castillo continues to successfully interpret the vintage and the terroir. Its Syrah wine Las Gravas 2013 was awarded 94 points, while their Garnacha Tinta El Molar was given 93 points, and their Casa Castillo Monastrell 2014, 91. A new winemaker to follow is Julieta, with their “pitarra” vineyard as they refer to it. The winery was awarded 91 points with their wine La del Terreno Monastrell 2014.

From Manchuela, Ponce remains a key player with their productions using the Bobales and Albillos varieties. Their wine El Reto 2015 was awarded 93+ Parker points, one of their best vintages.

In Alicante, Bernabé Navarro remains one of the best exponents in the region, producing in two different zones. One of these is the Mata Natural Park, where they produce very personal white winse, with macerations carried out with the skins and no addition of sulphur. An example of this is El Carro, which was awarded 91 points. Then in the interior Villena zone, the winery used red grape varieties to produce the rosé wines such as Musikanto, which was awarded 90 points, and the red wine Beryna, which was awarded 92+.

In Albacete we have Envínate, currently very fashionable on the Spanish wine scene with their Garnacha Tintorera Envínate Albahra, which was awarded 92 points.

Central Spain.

According to Luis, there has not been much to comment on from this region. The area lies between the southern zone of Jerez y Montilla Moriles and La Mancha, it is a great producer of bulk wine and wine alcohol.

Notably, the highest score in the area was given to a sweet wine from Málaga produced by Jorge Ordoñez, the wine Viñas Viejas Nº3 with 93 points.

Marqués de Griñon has also taken steps, who have refined the lines and left the wood to really mark their wines, and Vallegarcia, who each vintage continues to produce better wines, planting with native Mediterranean varieties.

Canary Islands.

The work of various winemakers has helped place the Canary Islands among the top level of Spanish wines. In Tenerife there is Envínate, Suertes del Marqués, Ignios y Matias and Torres en la Palma. You

Since 2010 the islands have been transformed and have found their identity in the use of native varieties, volcanic soils and an Atlantic character provided by the presence of the sea. Although it is possible to find slightly more structured wines made with foreign varieties, the results have not been overly satisfactory according to Luis Gutiérrez.

The Suertes del Marqués winery together with Roberto Santana in the D.O Valle de la Orotava began interpreting the grapes with a lightly fresher character with less extractive macerations. Year after year the results to prove to be a success, with 95 points awarded to their wine Suertes del Marqués El Ciruelo 2014 and 93 points to Suertes del Marqués El Lance 2014.

Then there is Envínate, a project by Roberto Santana and his three partners, Lala, Alfonso and Jose, who produce their wines in the Anaga region. The winery works with local farmers and wine growers who own and cultivate very old vines of native varieties. This wines are always awarded highly by Parker, but limited production and the high demand means they are quick to sell out. In September we will have the new vintages of their wines in this area.

Ycoden-Daute-Isora is the area where Borja Pérez works, a young vintner and the fourth generation of winemakers who has also opted for the use of native varieties and productions. Given that their wines Ignios Vijariego Negro and Ignios Baboso Negro were awarded 94 and 93 points respectively, we can see that this was the right path to take.

In Palma, Matías and Torres are perhaps the best exponents. Victoria is the architect of these wines, who felt the call of her native island, and returned to produce wines as they did before. As a result, we have Criollo Albillo and Negramoll, produced with native varieties and awarded 93 and 91 points respectively.


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