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Winner Details

Port


2015: Gold 5 Silver 10 Bronze 5 Commended 6
2014: Gold 3 Silver 4 Bronze 0 Commended 1


Historically, this category has been one of the most underwhelming in the Sommelier Wine Awards – a problem that lay almost entirely with the submitters (who rarely sent much in) rather than the tasters (who liked what they were tasting and wondered why there wasn’t more of it).

So no surprise that a significantly increased entry should lead to a record haul of medals. The growth in Silvers, in particular, shows real strength in depth. As usual, the best results were in the tawny field with some staggeringly good Colheitas, in particular, and a surprise showing from whites. If we had a request for next year, it would be for a few more well-priced LBVs, described by one taster as ‘the entry level’ of the port world for restaurants.

Star Performer

Wonderful to see the distinctive members of the Sogevinus family perform so well, putting aged white port on the Gold podium along with its speciality, Colheitas

FOOTNOTE: While prices shown on these pages relate to the size of bottle on sale, for judging purposes, prices were given for the 75cl equivalent volume.

  

From the Tasting Teams


‘Things like 50ml serves could really help to reinvigorate the after-dinner category.’ Michael Harrison, consultant

‘At the lower end Colheita has more sophistication than some vintage ports.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘Port is really good value – you get a lot of wine for your money, and you can make a lot of money from selling it by the glass.’ Charles Van Wyk, FJB Hotels

‘It’s not just about cheese. LBV is great with chocolate, and a lot of restaurants miss out on that opportunity.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

‘I gave my first 20/20 of the competition in the Colheita flight.’ Angela Reddin, team leader

‘Sales of port are very slow in restaurants. If you’re selling more than a bottle a week, you’re doing well.’ Neil Bruce, Studio Alto

‘The best way to sell Colheita is as part of a tasting menu. But I also always have one on by the glass, between vintage ports and other sweet wines and we sell a fair amount of it. If offers a point of difference and the quality today here was amazing.’
Sandro Lyhs, Oxo Tower Bar

 



Award winners

Found 26 wines

Port

Sogevinus, Cálem Colheita 1961, Douro, Portugal

Gold medal winner

'Oaky bronze colour. Spicy Christmas flavours, lots of nuances, with minerals, smoke and spice coming together in brilliant balance,' said William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants. 'Nutty, with apricot sweetness, this will be popular,' said team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, suggesting a cheese plate with either a semi-soft cheese such as Morbier or the harder Comte as top choices. £55/75cl

£55.00 Size: 75cl Amathus

Sogevinus, Kopke, White Port 30 Years Old NV, Douro, Portugal

Gold medal winner

Opulence and excellent balance won our judges over. ‘Stunning, really stunning, with such intensity and length,' said team leader Richard Bampfield MW. ‘Dried figs, this is a fragrant, almost sherried style,’ said Andrea Fasan of La Petite Maison, while consultant Anne Krebielh MW commented: 'This is endlessly complex, with caramel, smoke, candied orange peel and nutty oxidation.' £26.10/37.5cl

£26.10 Size: 37.5cl Hayward Bros

Sogevinus, Barros Colheita 1996, Douro, Portugal

Gold medal winner

'Rich, nutty and spot on. Still fresh and vibrant with perfect balance. Has years ahead of it, but is perfect now,' said Sandro Lyhs of Oxo Tower Bar. 'Smashing layering of flavours and near perfect balance,' added an impressed William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants. Match with a ploughman's platter, baked apple with caramelised feta, or a cinnamon soufflé. £17.10/75cl

£17.10 Size: 75cl Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Sogrape, Sandeman 30 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal

Gold medal winner

A classic tawny, it was the depth and richness that took Sandeman to the top. Neil Bruce of Studio Alto was impressed with this 'deep amber, many-layered powder keg', noting: 'Candied peel, nutty, developed aromas, dried fruit, sweet and super-rich.' 'Lovely, nutty intensity, pure tawny,' added consultant Michael Harrison. Bring out the chocolate crème brûlée or save for the Christmas pudding. £39.90/75cl

£39.90 Size: 75cl Sogrape UK

Sogrape, Ferreira, Quinta do Porto 10 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal

Gold medal winner

Intense, punchy and likeable, it was the balance and value that set Ferreira's 10-year-old offering apart. Consultant Michael Harrison found a 'more ethereal nose' and 'simple but pleasing palate', while team leader Angela Reddin noted: 'Rich Christmas spice characters with a smooth finish.' Match with salty blue cheese or pecan pie. £13.72/75cl

£13.72 Size: 75cl Sogrape UK

Sogevinus, Kopke Colheita 1957, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

'Amazing, sweet and rich, full of dried fruit and complex nut aromas. Thick and impressive,' enthused Sandro Lyhs of Oxo Tower Bar. 'The complexity is awesome,' agreed William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants, adding: 'Espresso bitterness marries deep raisiny flavours with tea and stony minerals.' £85/75cl

£85.00 Size: 75cl Hayward Bros

Sogrape, Ferreira, Dona Antónia, Reserva Branco NV, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Dramatic, fiery orange colour, a gorgeous rich wine that’s amazing value,’ said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering. ‘Fruity and complex on the palate, with orange peel notes. Exciting,’ added team leader Richard Bampfield MW. £9.81/75cl

£9.81 Size: 75cl Sogrape UK

Sogrape, Sandeman, Late Bottled Vintage 2009, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

Giuseppe Longobardi of The Cross at Kenilworth enjoyed notes of 'blackberry liqueur, gingerbread and caramel', while team leader Tom Forrest found 'sweet red and black fruits and a spicy steeliness'. £10.36/75cl

£10.36 Size: 75cl Sogrape UK

Sogrape, Sandeman 20 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

'Rich and smooth, this is sweet, tart, tight, bright and balanced,' noted Neil Bruce of Studio Alto. 'Reddish amber colour, tea aromas, with caramel, nuts and raisins, and brilliant balance of oak flavours,' added team leader Angela Reddin. £23.41/75cl

£23.41 Size: 75cl Sogrape UK

Sogrape, Sandeman 40 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

Top marks from Neil Bruce at Studio Alto for this one: 'Browning/amber, many layers and lots of developed Christmas cake, walnut and leather. Sweet, long and lingering on the palate.' Team leader Angela Reddin also noted: 'Earl Grey, Christmas cake, complex and irresistible. Yum.' £73.15/75cl

£73.15 Size: 75cl Sogrape UK

Quinta do Noval, Silval Vintage Port 2005, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

'Rich notes of red and black fruits followed by floral notes of rose and violet,' said team leader Tom Forrest, who also noted 'red berry fruits, white pepper and fresh acidity on the finish'. Giuseppe Longobardi of The Cross at Kenilworth found plenty of fruit complexity: 'Dry plum, zesty orange, blackcurrant cassis, with a long sweet taste of cherry compote.' £27.38/75cl

£27.38 Size: 75cl González Byass, H2Vin

Sogrape, Ferreira, White Port 10 Years Old NV, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Pithy, sweet, such a good match for almonds, nuts, dried fruit. Love it,’ said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering. ‘Concentrated barley sugar, intense and nicely balanced,’ agreed team leader Richard Bampfield MW. £8.62/37.5cl

£8.62 Size: 37.5cl Sogrape UK

Sogrape, Ferreira, Duque de Bragança, 20 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

Well integrated and rich. Team leader Angela Reddin noted: 'Mahogany amber, with a rich, decadent, pecan pie nose. Gorgeous spice, crystallised dried fruits and a long finish.' £22.79/75cl

£22.79 Size: 75cl Sogrape UK

Wiese & Krohn, Lágrima White Port NV, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

'Bright gold colour, with acetate and barley sugar notes on a good nose,’ began team leader Richard Bampfield MW, continuing: ‘Superb mid-palate. Complex, moreish and fantastic value.’ ‘Gorgeous,’ agreed Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering: ‘With almonds, or as an aperitif, maybe blue cheese…’ £9.15/75cl

£9.15 Size: 75cl Boutinot

Sagrado Collections, Late Bottled Vintage 2010, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

Team leader Tom Forrest found a deep ruby colour and 'peppery red fruits' on the nose, supported by 'red and black fruits on a stewy pepper palate, with medium length and warming alcohol'. £9.98/75cl

£9.98 Size: 75cl Marta Vine

Sogevinus, Cálem, White & Dry Port NV, Douro, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

‘The herbal, spirity nose has a touch of vermouth about it,’ said team leader Richard Bampfield MW, adding: ‘Very clean and appetising, this is really rather delicious. Spirity on the finish, but pure.’ £9/75cl

£9.00 Size: 75cl Amathus

Sogevinus, Cálem 10 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'Amber crimson, dried figs and raisins, nice balance of sweet dried fruits,' said team leader Angela Reddin, continuing: 'Well-integrated alcohol. Very good.' Studio Alto's Neil Bruce added: 'Nutty, caramel, developed and long.' £11.50/75cl

£11.50 Size: 75cl Amathus

Quinta do Crasto, Late Bottled Vintage 2010, Douro, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Tom Forrest praised its 'elegant, floral' style, noting: 'Soft, squishy red and black fruits with pepper and liquorice spice and a fresh, peppery finish.' £12.63/75cl

£12.63 Size: 75cl Enotria&Coe

Sogevinus, Barros, White Port NV, Douro, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

‘So easy to like. Orange peel and herbal warmth, good fruit, nicely balanced,' said team leader Richard Bampfield MW. ‘Good on its own, or maybe find a spot with desserts and cheeses,’ added Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering. £11.80/75cl

£11.80 Size: 75cl Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Sogevinus, Barros 10 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'Mahogany bronze, brazil nuts, peel and espresso over dried fruit,' said team leader Angela Reddin, adding: 'Very nuanced, with exceptional diverse flavours.' 'Very soft, easy drinker,' added consultant Michael Harrison. £16.25/75cl

£16.25 Size: 75cl Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Wiese & Krohn, Krohn Colheita 1998, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£15.50 Size: 75cl Boutinot

Sogrape, Sandeman 10 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro , Portugal

Commended medal winner

£13.32 Size: 75cl Sogrape UK

Sogrape, Ferreira, Dona Antónia Reserve Tawny NV, Douro , Portugal

Commended medal winner

£9.81 Size: 75cl Sogrape UK

Sogrape, Ferreira, Late Bottled Vintage 2009, Douro , Portugal

Commended medal winner

£11.29 Size: 75cl Sogrape UK

Ramos Pinto, Late Bottled Vintage 2009, Douro , Portugal

Commended medal winner

£11.50 Size: 75cl Maisons Marques et Domaines

Wiese & Krohn, Krohn, Late Bottled Vintage 2009, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£10.00 Size: 75cl Boutinot

 

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