Tastings of Guía Peñín 2021 kick off

Tastings for 2021 Guia Peñin started off in Jerez and Manzanilla de Sanlúcar this week, where Peñín's team evaluated more than 210 references.  

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Guia Peñin tasting team initiated its journey through the main production areas of Spain, a journey that will last more than six months and will lead them to review the wines of the latest vintages which will be available on the market from 2021. These tastings will be the basis for the new edition of "Guía Peñín de los Vinos de España 2021", the most complete Spanish wine guide worlwide.  

In line with tradition, the tasting season began in the 
Marco de Jerez, where the team assessed over 210 wines. The tasters highlight the average good quality of these wines, which exceeds 92 points, and outline that, historically, this is the highest average score of all producing regions reflected in the guide.  

White varieties - mainly palomino, but also pedro ximénez and moscatel - and the traditional biological and oxidative ageing are an inexhaustible source of their diversity of typologies, styles and degrees of sweetness. The 
criaderas and soleras system is still the rule - although there are some examples of unique additions -, while the trend to market unfiltered wines - in ramifications - seems to be consolidating.  

Among the finos and Manzanillas de Sanlúcar (50 references), both dry and biologically aged, the tasting team notes three distinct styles, determined by a lesser or greater incidence of aging: Wines with a younger and fruity character, with a subtle presence of biological ageing; more classic wines, where the velo de flor (veil) has a greater prominence, with notes of yeast, green apple and spices; and, finally, wines whose age has attenuated the intensity of the veil, with toasted and dried fruit notes that increase its complexity, in its oxidative path towards amontillado. These last two styles obtained the highest scores of their typologies.  

Among the wines combining biological and oxidative ageing, 34 amontillados and 27 palo cortados were tasted. The older they are, the further they move away from the velo of flor character of their youth towards the nuances of nuts, cocoa and varnish, typical of the oloroso - a purely oxidative category - which brought 38 wines of intense and penetrating flavour to our table. Despite their differences, the diversity of amontillados, palo cortados and olorosos seems to be marked by their age and their tendency towards a more subtle, delicate and drinkable style; or towards another more intense, concentrated and powerful one, which sometimes tests the palate with its striking acidity, salinity and bitterness. In some of these elaborations, sometimes a greater sweetness is perceived by the addition of pedro ximénez.  

Finally, the sweetest wines of Jerez were represented by muscatels and pedro ximénez. Dark, intense and old, they still leave shades of flowers, citrus and raisins. In these cases, the wines that manage to balance sweet and bitter flavours with greater acidity have obtained the best scores.  

Next stop: Cava and Penedès

The tasting team will continue its tour of Spanish's main production areas in the coming weeks. The second stop will be Cava and Penedès, producing regions that Peñín tasters will visit from 27th to 30th January.  

As was done last year, Peñín will be publishing the scores of recent tastings in the Peñín Online Guide, which will allow subscribers to see the ratings for the first time. The online version, which can be viewed here, will be available in three languages: Spanish, English and German. In October, the printed edition of the guide will be published, and will include the ratings of almost 12,000 wines tasted this year. It will be officially released at the XXI Top Wines from Spain tasting showroom, to be held on 26th and 27th October at IFEMA (Madrid).


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