Home Winners > Winners 2016 > Rest of Portugal, excluding Douro & Alentejo

Winner Details

 Portugal: Red, excluding Douro & Alentejo

2016 Gold: 3 Silver: 2 Bronze: 3 Commended: 5
2015 Gold: 0 Silver: 4 Bronze: 2 Commended: 2

There is, as any fule kno, a revolution taking place in Portugal at the moment. But it hasn’t reached everywhere. Some producers are clearly operating with their fingers in their ears and doing what they’ve always done… which is making appalling, rustic dross, sticking it in oak for several generations, then charging a small fortune for it.

Others, meanwhile, are making modern, clean, bright wines with a distinctive Portuguese accent, that win over all who taste them.

The trouble is that, to quote the great sage Forrest Gump, you never know what you’re going to get, and these Portuguese reds ran pretty much the full gamut of ‘great’ to ‘awful’, which explains the massive spread of (apparently contradictory) opinions, from our tasters.

Choose carefully (ie from the medal winners) and you can get some great – and different – wine. That’s right. At the Sommelier Wine Awards, we taste the dross so that you don’t have to…


‘A nice amount of opulent fruit throughout the flight.’ Michael Fiducia, Drake’s Restaurant

‘Very hit and miss, with too many old-school winemaking techniques.’ Jonathan Kleeman, Social Eating House

“A great finish to the day. Overall very nice quality throughout, even at the low end of the price range.” Erik Simonics, The Savoy

‘There was lots of bad use of oak, just chucking a load in there for no reason.’ Charles Van Wyk, FJB Collection

‘A lot of people use Portuguese wine to fill the lower end of their wine list.’ Andrés Ituarte, Avenue Restaurant

Award winners

Found 13 wines

Portugal: Rest of Portugal excluding Douro & Alentejo

Ermelinda Freitas, Dona Ermelinda, Reserva 2013, Palmela, Portugal

Gold medal winner

The first of two Golds for Ermelinda Freitas, this is both generous and well structured. 'Intense dark berry aromas with notes of cigar, cedar and sweet vanilla from time in oak,' began Charles Van Wyk of FJB Collection, adding: 'Complex palate with hints of tertiary character. This is balanced, with good potential to age.' 'Oaky with sweet blackcurrant, cassis notes, this is jammy and spicy,' noted The Clove Club's Sam Heathcote.

£8.00 Atlantico UK

Ermelinda Freitas, Reserva, Syrah 2013, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Gold medal winner

'Velvety style that lingers on the palate,' said FJB Collection's Charles Van Wyk, illustrating how Ermelinda Freitas scored its second Gold. 'Clean, with sweet paprika and cinnamon spice, red fruit on an elegant palate and fine tannins,' said Aurélien Constant of Galvin La Chapelle, while Jonathan Kleeman of Social Eating House also enjoyed its ‘fresh red fruits with notes of pepper and star anise’.

£11.55 Casa Ermelinda Freitas - Vinhos, Lda

Casa da Passarella, Villa Oliveira, Touriga Nacional 2009, Dão, Portugal

Gold medal winner

While Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant felt that this wine’s ‘angular tannins demand ageing’, he also found it ‘very elegant and plush, with big, bright acids, purity of fruit and lots of stoniness with cigar box spice’. Team leader Martin Lam found it a ‘very serious wine’, though he also admired its ‘delicious, rich, ripe, cassis-laden fruit’, while Stefano Marro of Etrusca Restaurants noted its ‘dark fruits, chocolate and eucalyptus notes’.

£29.46 Enotria&Coe

Quinta de Chocapalha, Chocapalha, Vinha Mãe 2012, Lisbon, Portugal

Silver medal winner

A structured wine with crunchy fruit and a good balance of fruit and tannins. Team leader Angela Reddin said: 'Sirop and cordial, rich, dark fruity density on the nose. Velvet smooth and wonderful concentration, but coupled with elegant strength.'

£21.50 Corney & Barrow

Adega Mãe, Dory, Reserva, Tinto 2012, Lisbon, Portugal

Silver medal winner

'High intensity, with a complex nose, good balance and soft tannins on the palate and good length,' said Ivan Vegas of Fox Fine Wines & Spirits, with team leader Angela Reddin noting its 'luscious, ripe, earthy, black cherry and plum palate with a spear of spice'.

£10.22 Marta Vine

Ermelinda Freitas, Quinta da Mimosa 2013, Palmela, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'Deep, perfumed, dark fruits with hints of marzipan leading to a Christmas cake palate,' began Michael Fiducia of Drake's Restaurant, with team leader Angela Reddin noting 'clean Ribena and kirsch nose, concentration with a green note'.

£4.48 Atlantico UK

Ermelinda Freitas, Reserva, Touriga Nacional 2013, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'Inky, deep colour, prune and dried black fruit aromas with a beguiling note of camphor,' began team leader Angela Reddin, adding: 'Meaty palate with great concentration and density, big chewy tannins and a long, clean finish.'

£11.55 Casa Ermelinda Freitas - Vinhos, Lda

Quinta da Bica, Vinhas Velhas 2007, Dão, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'Intense black fruit with a touch of aromatics and firm tannins on the palate, making it a wine for food,' said Ivan Vegas of Fox Fine Wines & Spirits.

£12.22 Quinta da Bica

Santo Isidro de Pegões , Stella, Rosso 2013, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Santo Isidro de Pegões , Fontánrio de Pegões, Tinto 2013, Palmela, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Santo Isidro de Pegões, Adega de Pegões, Touriga Nacional 2013, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Quinta de Chocapalha, Tinto 2011, Estremadura, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£12.50 Corney & Barrow

Quinta da Bica, Colheita 2010, Dão, Portugal

Commended medal winner


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