• La Nieta 2016 was the only Rioja wine, and one of the six in Spain, to be awarded 99, the highest score, in the 2020 Peñín Guide
• James Suckling gave Sierra Cantabria Mágico 2016 100 points, and Sierra Cantabria CVC Second Edición, 99 points
In recent weeks the scores from the Peñín Guide, and those published this year by the American critic James Suckling, two prestigious authorities in the area of wine criticism at the international level, were made public. In total, up to 30 different Viñedos y Bodegas Sierra Cantabria labels received scores of 90 or more on one or both lists.
In the case of the 2020 Peñín Guide to Spanish wines (with more than 11,800 rated this year), 23 Sierra Cantabria wines were placed in the highest-quality range, between 90 and 100 points. La Nieta 2016, from Viñedos de Páganos, had a 99 score, the highest awarded by this guide, thus becoming the only D.O.C.a. Rioja wine to be so honoured, with only five other Spanish wines being recognised in this way. Also topping the rankings were Viñedos Sierra Cantabria Finca El Bosque 2016, Sierra Cantabria Mágico 2016 and Sierra Cantabria CVC Segunda Edición (Second Edition) (2006-2008-2011), in addition to Teso La Monja 2015 (97 points), Alabaster 2016 (97 points) and Victorino 2016 (96 points), all of them from Teso La Monja, followed by San Vicente 2015, by Señorío de San Vicente, with 96 points.
With 95 points were El Puntido 2016, from Viñedos de Páganos; and Amancio 2015, by Viñedos Sierra Cantabria. At 94 was Sierra Cantabria Gran Reserva 2009, and Cuvée 2015, by Viñedos Sierra Cantabria. Meanwhile, the Colección Privada 2017 and Organza 2017, both from Viñedos Sierra Cantabria, and Almirez 2017, by Teso La Monja, received 93 points. Rounding out the list were Sierra Cantabria Crianza 2016 (92 points), Sierra Cantabria Reserva 2013 (92 points), Sierra Cantabria Garnacha (Grenache) 2016 (92 points), Calados del Puntido 2015, by Viñedos de Páganos, (91 points) and, with 90 points, Sierra Cantabria Blanco (White) 2018, Sierra Cantabria Rosado (Rosé) 2018, Sierra Cantabria Murmurón 2018, and Románico 2017, by Teso La Monja.
As for the list published by James Suckling featuring the best Spanish wines, there are also 23 Viñedos y Bodegas de Sierra Cantabria labels with 90 points or more, a classification that the American critic reserves for “exceptional” wines and ones that, in some cases, coincide with the wines cited in the Peñín guide. At the top is Sierra Cantabria Mágico 2016, with 100 points, which Suckling defined as “a wine of incredible soul and purity, reflecting its land and history”, comparable to holding “an ancient and special book” in one’s hands. It is followed by Sierra Cantabria CVC Segunda Edición (2006-2008-2011), with 99 points, a fusion of three vintages “with incredible depth and intensity”, in the expert’s own words.
With 95 points are Sierra Cantabria Garnacha (Grenache) 2016 and Sierra Cantabria Gran Reserva 2009, Sierra Cantabria Colección Privada 2016 and Finca El Bosque, by Viñedos Sierra Cantabria, and El Puntido 2015, by Viñedos de Páganos. With 94 points we have Amancio 2015 and Reserva Única 2015, by Viñedos Sierra Cantabria; and Alabaster 2016 and Victorino 2016, from Teso La Monja. Then, with 93 points, Almirez 2017 by Teso La Monja; and San Vicente 2015, by Señorío de San Vicente. Completing this series of outstanding wines was Sierra Cantabria Crianza 2016, Sierra Cantabria Reserva 2013, Sierra Cantabria Rosado (Rosé) 2018, Organza 2017 (by Viñedos Sierra Cantabria), Calados del Puntido 2015 (Viñedos de Páganos), Románico 2017 (Teso La Monja) and Protocolo ECO Rosado 2018 (Dominio de Eguren), all with 92 points; as well as Protocolo Rosado 2018 (91 points), Códice 2017 (91 points) and Protocolo 2017 (90 points), by Dominio de Eguren.
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