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Northern Spain

Primarily known for the fine red wines of Rioja and Ribera del Duero, these two attention-hogging stars are merely a part of the abundant riches that Northern Spain has to offer.  Tempranillo is the grape that forms the backbone of both, but this region has a wealth of indigenous grapes and has successfully imported international varieties.  Galicia, Navarra, Aragón and Catalonia stretch from the west to the east of the region, from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean via the foothills of the Pyrenees, and the wines they produce are as varied as their climate, topography and local cuisines.

Primarily known for the fine red wines of Rioja and Ribera del Duero, these two attention-hogging stars are merely a part of the abundant riches that Northern Spain has to offer.  Tempranillo is the grape that forms the backbone of both, but this region has a wealth of indigenous grapes and has successfully imported... read more.

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Styles of Wine

Rioja and Ribera del Duero produce some of the world's finest red wines and are strictly regulated.  The terms joven, crianza, reserva and gran reserva refer to how long the wine has been aged before release - in oak barrels and the bottle - and each has a markedly different style.  Cava is produced in various pockets throughout Spain but the bulk comes out of Catalonia in the north.  The Cava wineries are very modern but use the same traditional techniques as Champagne.  Navarra is well known for its rosés and Galicia is the home of excellent whites that go perfectly with the seafood of the district.

Key Varieties

International vines such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and even Gewürztraminer have all been successfully grown in Northern Spain, but it is the traditional grape varieties that hold the greatest interest.  Tempranillo is the star, but Garnacha, Cariñena (known as Grenache and Carignan in France) and Graciano are other marvellous reds and Albariño, Godello and Viura are whites that are capable of greatness.

Climate and Topography

The region is wide and diverse, hence the variety of wines. Weather coming in off the Atlantic is the influence on Galicia, whilst the warmer Mediterranean holds sway over Catalonia. In-between these two districts there's more variety still, especially in height and temperature, and conditions will vary vastly from one year to another.  The wines of Ribera del Duero, for example, will be predominantly Tempranillo in drier years but Cabernet Sauvignon when it is wet.  Other than to say that they allow for excellent wines, it is impossible to generalize about the climate and conditions of Northern Spain.

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  1. Castell d'Olerdola Brut Reserva Cava

    Castell d'Olerdola Brut Reserva Cava, Spain 75cl

    Discreetly scented, with a good fruit structure and firm finish.

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    £9.77
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    £11.10
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    £8.14
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    £9.25
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  2. Castell d'Olerdola Brut Rosado Cava

    Castell d'Olerdola Brut Rosado Cava, Spain 75cl

    Deep pink, almost red in colour, with delicate floral notes and lots of strawberry aroma. Light on palate this a very easy drinking sparkling rosé.

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    £9.77
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    £11.10
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    £8.14
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    £9.25
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  3. Albariño Bernon Bodegas Aquitania, Rias Baixas

    Albariño Bernon Bodegas Aquitania, Rias Baixas, 2016 75cl

    Pale yellow in colour, this citrus fresh wine has delicious green apple flavours and white flower aromas. Soft and rounded on the palate with a light lemon zest notes.

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    £10.86
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    £12.00
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    £9.05
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    £10.00
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  4. Via Arxentea, Treixadura Godello, Monterrei

    Via Arxentea, Treixadura Godello, Monterrei, 2015 75cl

    Pale yellow in colour with green highlights. Intense aromas of white fruits and apple, peach and mango. Citrus notes and quince on the palate are accompanied by bay leaves and mild spice. This is a refreshing wine with good acidity and a long and fruity aftertaste.

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    £14.34
    £11.95
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  5. Basa Blanco Telmo Rodríguez, Rueda

    Basa Blanco Telmo Rodríguez, Rueda, 2016 75cl

    Made by relentlessly innovative Spanish winemaker Telmo Rodriguez, who fights the corner for local varieties Viura and Verdejo, with just a little Sauvignon for grassy freshness. The succulent result is packed with crisp, clean flavours of yellow plums and white peaches.

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    £9.18
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    £10.50
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    £7.65
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    £8.75
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  6. Borsao Macebeo, Campo de Borja

    Borsao Macebeo, Campo de Borja, 2013 75cl

    Made from Marcebeo, on of Spain's many indigenous grape varieties, this wine is light and dry but has a wonderfully zingy apply finish.

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    £6.24
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    £6.85
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    £5.20
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    £5.71
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  7. Cellar Cal Pla Blanco, Porrera

    Cellar Cal Pla Blanco, Porrera, 2011 75cl

    We have been big fans of this wine for severval years and it is a truly stunning white from this little wine producing corner of Spain. Soft and rounded yet it has a wonderful complex flowery, tropical fruit character. This is what Spanish whites are all about!

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    £14.46
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    £16.60
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    £12.05
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    £13.83
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  8. El Transistor Blanco, Ruedo

    El Transistor Blanco, Ruedo, 2012 75cl

    This is a 100% Verdejo which is picked entirely old vines. The grapes are hand picked and aged in a number of casks of different types and sizes. The result is a wonderfully complex and interesting wine.

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    £15.66
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    £17.00
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    £13.05
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    £14.17
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  9. Green Fish Airen Verdejo, Rueda

    Green Fish Airen Verdejo, Rueda, 2015 75cl

    Bags of zesty fresh fruit on the nose and palate define this lovely refreshing white. Dry, with subtle floral overtones, white peach and lemon are the most detectable, the finish is cleansing.

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    £7.26
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    £8.00
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    £6.05
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    £6.67
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  10. Pleno Blanco, Navarra

    Pleno Blanco, Navarra, 2016 75cl

    Bright straw yellow in colour and fruity aroma this wine has a smooth, fresh, dry and well-balanced finish.

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    £6.06
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    £6.50
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    £5.05
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    £5.42
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  11. Xastra Godello, Bierzo

    Xastra Godello, Bierzo, 2014 75cl

    A beautiful fresh, dry, and ever so slightly floral wine with superb clarity of apple and pear fruit flavours. 

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    £9.54
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    £10.90
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    £7.95
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    £9.08
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  12. Bagordi Blanco, Rioja

    Bagordi Blanco, Rioja, 2016 75cl

    Tropical aromas with hints of citrus and some pineapple notes carry through to a clean palate with a creamy finish.

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    £8.34
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    £9.74
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    £6.95
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    £8.12
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