When the selection of Spain‘s top wines, Best of Spain: Top 100 @ ProWein was presented at the world‘s largest wine fair in Düsseldorf for the first time last year, the ICEX open tasting zone in Hall 10 was practically overrun. The number of visitors who were interested in the selection of excellent varieties from a wide range of growing regions was so large that there was a constant and dense crowd from the very beginning of the exhibition. It was not only visitors to the fair who were so engaged; exhibitors, who saw the enormous public interest as a benefit to their own stands, appeared enthusiastic about the success of this new platform. This was enough for ICEX and the wine department of Oficina Comercial in Düsseldorf, who were responsible for the event, to repeat the promotion in collaboration with Meininger Verlag at this year‘s edition of ProWein.
EXPANSION IN 2016
The open tasting zone will be expanded considerably this year to accommodate the enormous interest expected from professional visitors to the fair. This means that the extremely interesting 2016 selection of the Best of Spain Top 100 can this year be enjoyed in greater comfort over a larger area – and above all with a more open feel at stand A201 in Hall 10. Spanish specialist and wine adviser Peer Holm will once again be looking after the open ICEX tasting zone at this year‘s Pro-Wein 2016.
CHOOSING THE TOP 100
In the run-up to the exhibition, Peer Holm and journalist and expert David Schwarzwälder joined the expert editorial staff of Meininger Verlag, Germany’s largest dedicated publisher of publications devoted to wine and other beverages, for an extensive blind tasting of wines from across Spain. Almost 300 samples had been submitted and were carefully tasted and examined overa period of two days by an experienced jury, at the tasting rooms of Meininger Verlag in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse in Germany. The tasting was completely blind, with wines grouped into five price categories, in order to identify the top one hundred wines.
The 2016 result was, in the opinion of the jury, even more convincing than in the previous year, because alongside the final Top 100 selection there was a remarkably large number of wines which only just missed out on the final selection. According to some of the tasters, if the selected group had not been strictly limited to one hundred then significantly more wines could have been exhibited, particularly in terms of value for money.
Once again, the wines that were awarded the coveted Bulls reflect recent trends in Spanish wines. What is also striking is the high number of white wines that made the Top 100, with varieties from Galicia ahead of the rest. And the table wines from Rías Baixas achieved results even better than expected, while the representatives of the new generation of Ribeiro appellation white wines also showed strongly. When it comes to red wines, a group of premium varieties from Bierzo confirmed that this DOP is becoming ever more of a contender in the high-quality category. Wines from the east of the country, from the growing regions of Valencia and Jumilla, also achieved a prominence in the tasting that was similar to wines originating from the renowned Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. Alongside these, tasters found a small yet refined selection of sparkling table wines very convincing. The result in the fortified varieties from the south of Spain was spectacular but, essentially, not surprising. The renaissance in the quality of the great Spanish classics was borne out by the very high marks awarded.
COME AND TASTE FOR YOURSELF
The 2016 Tasting Area at Stand Number A171 is, once again, adjacent to the open tasting zone. As well, over the three days of the fair there will be a total of seven, highly expert tastings on offer. There is also the neighbouring ICEX exhibition area, where 200 Spanish producers will be presenting a larger selection of wines than ever before.
FIND OUT MORE
The tasting programme, exhibitor lists and all information concerning the selection of ICEX wines from Spain can be viewed at www.wein-aus-spanien.org.
Download PDF: Best of Spain 2016