The Gold standard: representative Spanish reds from north to south

‘A great wine is like a great love,’ says Decanter World Wine Awards joint Regional Chair for Spain, Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW, of the feeling he gets when discovering a Gold-medal worthy wine at the competition.

Ballesteros Torres explains the DWWA judges are looking for typical wine quality markers such as balance, concentration and finish, but there’s a heightened reaction to the standout wines in a blind-tasted flight: surprise, joy and curiosity.

Scroll down to see our selection of Gold-winning Spanish reds from DWWA 2022

Spain saw a record number of wines evaluated at the 2022 competition, with an unprecedented number of Gold medals awarded. And it wasn’t just well-known regions such as Rioja, Priorat or Ribera del Duero receiving these top scores. From Txakoli de Bizkaia to Lanzarote, 26 wine-growing regions are represented in Spain’s Gold medal chart, with top-quality red wines at the forefront.

‘For me as a professional in this sector, what excites me about judging at DWWA is that it’s a wonderful opportunity to taste a wide array of wines from my country, at all levels of quality, without being influenced by the label,’ adds Ballesteros Torres. ‘Looking at what is there, it helps me a lot to make up my mind on the present state of the fine wine industry in Spain.’

International in scope with regionality at its core, DWWA results are a trusted source for objective wine recommendations, with Gold medal winners representing a top quality standard.

Below discover a selection of Spain’s exemplary reds to try, from north to south, with more to discover at

The Gold standard: representative Spanish reds from north to south

Ribeira Sacra

Don Bernardino, Melanio 2017

95 Gold
US$90 Edgewater, WineWorks
100% Mencía
A nose of resplendent red plum and raspberry aromatics. Blue floral notes round out both nose and palate, a lively vibrancy to the texture. The finish carries a touch of iron and earth, balancing the savoury fruit weight. Long, refined finish. Alcohol 14.5%


Teresa López Fidalgo, O Cabalín 2019

95 Gold
80% Mencía with 20% Garnacha Tintorera.
Beautifully expressive and complex peppery red fruit, a spicy-earthy nose, some floral, caramel and toffee notes in the background. Marvellous texture, with silky and round tannins. Fresh, concentrated and gastronomic. Alc 13%


Cantariña, 2 Viña de los Pinos 2018

96 Gold
£19.30 Vinissimus†
90% Mencía, 10% Doña Blanca, Palomino, Garnacha Tintorera.
Astonishing aromas of anise, menthol, cut herbs and rubbed sage. Juicy layers with fine tannins, mouthwatering acidity, notes of black tea, juniper berry, cassis and an earthy, stony edge. A benchmark for natural wine lovers. Alc 14%


Numanthia, Termanthia 2015

96 Gold
£225 (2014) Clos19, Jeroboams
100% Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo)
Beautiful nose with some character coming from the wood but also ripe fruit and jam. Full-bodied, great structure and complexity, with silky soft tannins, intense sweet plum fruit and lively acidity. Poised, intense and very long. Alc 15%


César Príncipe 2018

95 Gold
£29.50 Christopher Keiller
100% Tempranillo
Sage, marjoram and dark red fruit nose, spikes of ripe plum and blackcurrant. Dense, powerfully ripe and tannic with cooked blackberry and mulberry. Integrated alcohol, moreish and well-made, auguring well for a long future. Alc 14.5%

Ribera del Duero

Bodegas Peñafiel, Miros de Ribera Reserva 2017

96 Gold
£36.50 Decántalo†
100% Tinto Fino (Tempranillo)
Powerful but poised aromas of vanilla spice, ripe black cherries and coconut, touches of baking spices and violets. Lots going on, with nuance and complexity at every turn. Round and inviting, with a good structure, brisk acidity and well-integrated tannins.  Lovely potential. Alc 15%


Marqués de Riscal, XR Reserva 2017

96 Gold
£33.99 Harrogate Wines
95% Tempranillo and 5% Graciano
Beautiful nose, with strawberries and black…

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The Gold standard: representative Spanish reds from north to south  
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