Blog, Cata de Vinos, General

Tim Atkin Master of Wine Tasting

Tim Atkin is one of the best-known journalists and commentators in the world of wine. (Master of Wine, Writer, and Photographer).

Every year he spends a few weeks in La Rioja rediscovering the best wines and discover the latest wines and styles emerging from around the Region.

In this trip, he met with many of Rioja’s top winemakers and experts for private tastings in several wineries and vineyards.

(95 Points) 2017 Bodegas Urbina Valle del Ángel Viñas Viejas. Vino de Municipio (13.5%). The Urbinas only make 1,000 bottles of this Tempranillo from vineyards planted in 1978. Aged in older, mostly American oak, it’s more youthful and structured than the majority of their reds with darker berry fruit good focus and the minerality and freshness that are the hallmarks of the bodega’s style. Up a point from last year. 2024-32.

(94 Points) 2007 Bodegas Urbina Gran Reserva Especial. Gran Reserva (14%). Fans of traditional barrel and bottle-aged Riojas should flock to buy this poised, beautifully mature Gran Reserva from Cuzcurrita and Uruñuela. Still full of life, it has aromas and flavours that are almost Pinot Noir-like in their purity and delicacy. Sweet and red-fruited with top notes of oregano and vanilla spice. 2024-29.

(93 Points) 2013 Bodegas Urbina Viura Gran Reserva (12.5%). This was the Reserva bottling, but an extra year of ageing has seen it shifted to Gran Reserva status. Made with Viura from a 1978 planting in the Valle del Ángel, this is a well-judged traditional style that marries aromas of beeswax and honeysuckle, with sweet vanilla oak, subtle oxidation and a zesty finish. 2023-27.

(92 Points) 2015 Bodegas Urbina Crianza (14%) Unashamedly classic in style, this predominantly American oak-aged Tempranillo marries grapes from Uruñuela and Cuzcurrita. Very much a cool climate style, it’s savoury and refreshing, with pomegranate, tobacco leaf and coconut flavours. Ageing gracefully. 2023-29.

(92 Points) 2014 Bodegas Urbina Viura Reserva (12.5%). The Urbina family only use grapes from their home village of Cuzcurrita to make this varietal Viura, ageing it for six months in equal parts French and American oak. Youthful for a nine-year-old wine, it has pear, quince and subtle vanilla flavours and just a drizzle of honey. 2023-27.

(91 Points) 2019 Bodegas Urbina Valle del Ángel Brut Nature. Vino de Municipio (12.5%). The cool area around Cuzcurrita is very promising for sparkling wines, and this pure Viura fizz from the Urbina family is improving with every release. Citrus and beeswax flavours combine appealingly with zesty acidity and 12 grams of dosage. 2023-27.

Tim Atkin´s curriculum vitae resume, is truly impressive. He is Master of Wine, a qualification received by true experts on the world wine trade, awarded by the prestigious Insitute of Masters of Wine, whose principal sit is located in the United Kingdom.

Tim Adkin also has won over thirty prizes for his wine journalism and photography and has written for all the top specialist magazines (Decanter, The World of Fine Wine, Gourmet Traveller Wine, Imbibe, etc.) .

As well as popular publications like Jamie Magazine and is also the co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge, one of the top wine competitions in the world.

In view of the lack of standarized criteria to determine the true global wine experts and owing to the complexity of the world wine trade, the Institute of Masters of Wine was established in the United Kingdom in the 1950´s, and institution that grants a qualification with a worldwide recognition.

The wine experts, are an ample and heterogenous group, which is subject of discussion at multiple gatherings focused on wine.

There are many would-bes, as well as those categorized as such by the specialist press or by organizations in the trade.

They are experts on areas, wine types, wine commerce, viticulture, tasting or oenology, who may be engineers, producers, winemakers, journalists (wine critics), sommeliers, wine lovers, merchants, etc.

Masters of  Wine was born in the mid 1950´s from an initiative of industry professional, its principal aim is the examination and certification of the capacities and knowledge (in practically all fields) of those aspiring to become wine experts.

Exams in English language are very exigent and whoever passes them is granted the title of Master of Wine MW, initials which members proudly place after their names.

The number of candidates is terribly high, while that of MWs is very low.

Wine Critics, is the name by which the group of journalists and writers specialising in wine is known.

They are usually freelance, though many work for the specialist press.

Normally they draft tasting notes, write books, articles and blogs, establish classifications through valuation, publishing guides, etc.

Tim Atkin Master of Wine Tasting
Tim Atkin Rioja Report 2023

As a curiosity, a few many on top make their own wines and manage wineries of their own.

They exert a strong influence both o the end consumer and on wine commerce, and sometimes, even on the wine trade as a whole.

If the marks are good, they may translate into a increase in sales.

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