Since becoming a Master of Wine in 2015, Victoria Burt has passed on her vinous knowledge to countless students of the subject. The MW is currently product development manager for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), which means she is responsible for the development of study materials for students around the world. But her passion lies in Spanish wine. As such, she was invited to help judge the wines of Spain at the IWSC’s 2021 Northern Hemisphere tasting.
While all wines were tasted blind, the IWSC 2021 results have now been published and we can reveal Victoria Burt’s top Spanish selections for 2021. Burt was tasked with sampling from a full spectrum of what Spain has to offer, with wines submitted from across the country – from the classic Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions, to lesser-known areas on the wine map, including Ribeira Sacra, Toro and Almansa.
‘I was particularly impressed with the quality of the oaked white Riojas we tasted,’ said Burt. Two white wines from the region were among her star picks: Morrisons, The Best Marques de Los Rios, Reserva 2017 and The Baron de Ley, Tres Viñas Reserva 2018. ‘They are both displaying well-integrated oak, concentrated citrus fruit and fresh acidity – and offering excellent value,’ Burt commented.
When it comes to the bold reds that Spain is perhaps best known for, bottles from the Ribera del Duero and Rioja scored most highly for Burt. Bodegas Beronia’s Gran Reserva 2012 showed notes of rich damson, bramble, meaty complexity and sweetly sour umami, while the Finca Rodma Selección 2019 from the Ribera stood out for its nose of raspberry and creamy crème brûlée.
Meanwhile, the delicate Heroico Vinum Mencia 2020 was a particular surprise for Burt: ‘It made for an energising start to a day of judging with its crunchy red berry fruit, a floral lift and long refreshing finish – it would be great slightly chilled.’ Read on to see Victoria Burt MW’s top eight Spanish wines from the IWSC 2021.