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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > Other Fortified

Winner Details

Other Fortified

2017 Gold: 7 Silver: 8 Bronze: 5 Commended: 7
2016 Gold: 3 Silver: 7 Bronze: 5 Commended: 9 

Taking in everything from Madeira to vermouth, via Vin Santo, Moscatel and Rutherglen Muscat, for our tasters this category is a bit like delving around in a children’s toy box: a few oddities, the occasional item that should have been thrown out years ago and a few real gems that had been unjustly forgotten about.

Medal counts can vary wildly here, but this was indisputably a very good year for these wines. Madeira is often the star performer here – rather like sherry and tawny port, the amount of class and elegance you can get in the category for the money is extraordinary.

But this year there was just one Gold for the island, with a truly wide-ranging set of top medals. A fascinating, stimulating (and occasionally plain weird) part of the Sommelier Wine Awards.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Madeira was a beautiful tasting. It’s lovely to taste 20-year-old wines that still taste so fresh.’ Giuseppe Longobardi, The 3A Pub Company

‘Sweet reds are a very, very hard sell.’ Tanya Mann, Linden House Stansted

‘You would only list a couple of Madeiras on your menu, so you might as well make sure that it’s something amazing – no one will buy on price anyway.’ Mike Best, WSET

‘Stonking! Madeiras always deliver so much for the money.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

‘I do have sweeter wines on my list, but I sell very few. People love to have cocktails before dinner and wine with dinner, so then they don’t want more heavy wine after dinner.’ Julien Sahut, Sexy Fish

 

‘There’s not much market in a restaurant for vermouth. It’s more for bartenders.’ Harry Crowther, M Wine Store

Award winners

Found 27 wines

Other Fortified Wine

Sivipa, Moscatel Roxo 2011, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Gold medal winner

Taking Gold for its rich, intense character and vibrant fruit, this Moscatel Roxo was described by Stamatis Iseris of The Strathearn at The Gleneagles Hotel as having ‘pronounced raisin, sultana, orange and kumquat marmalade notes, with good acidity and a fine and rich texture’. Team leader Angela Reddin was impressed by ‘nutty richness, espresso and citrus peel, leading to a warm, long finish’. £22/50cl

£22.00 Size: 50cl Raymond Reynolds

Resigon, Quinta Brejinho da Costa, Moscatel Roxo 2010, Peninsula de Setúbal, Portugal

Gold medal winner

Chalking up Gold for Portugal in this category, Resigon was praised for this ‘elegant and herbal wine, with a spicy nose, and good orange marmalade notes. Very sweet, with good acidity’, according to Stamatis Iseris of The Strathearn at The Gleneagles Hotel. Team leader Angela Reddin praised its ‘burnt sugar nose, with dense Christmas pudding fruit and spice. Quite sapid and elegant. A hand sell, but worth it.’ £25.12/50cl

£25.12 Size: 50cl Resigon SA

Cazes, Rivesaltes Ambré 2002, Roussillon, France

Gold medal winner

This Gold Lister was ‘complex and beautifully elegant, with a balletic finish’, began team leader Olivier Marie, who found ‘rancio, nutty chocolate and mocha notes with a balsamic character on the finish, and coffee notes, too’. ‘Super-nutty, with a long, oxidised finish,’ added Portland Restaurant’s James Fryer. Team leader Angela Reddin praised a ‘salty, herbal nose leading to a rich caramel palate with salted lemon, and a maple syrup finish’. £10.03/37.5cl

£10.03 Size: 37.5cl Liberty Wines

Casa Mariol, Vermut Blanc NV, Terra Alta, Spain

Gold medal winner

This Gold Lister was ‘beautifully balanced, with precise aromatics and herbal notes, and a sweet residual sugar level, but it’s in balance’, said team leader Olivier Marie, while fellow team leader Annette Scarfe MW enjoyed its ‘lovely ginger spice aromas, delicate texture and Bramley apple on the palate’. Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club noted ‘herbal, kümmel notes, leading to an elegant floral, camomile finish’. £8.85/75cl

£8.85 Size: 75cl Top Selection Ltd

Alvear, Solera 1927, Pedro Ximénez NV, Montilla-Moriles, Spain

Gold medal winner

Alvear struck Gold with this indulgent, rich wine, which was considered by our judges to be beautifully balanced, too. ‘Full of raisins and prunes on the nose, richness, complexity and a true terroir feel on the palate,’ began Yauatcha’s Kelvin McCabe, with Xabier Alvarez of Trangallán adding: ‘Such great length and complexity, with lovely coffee notes on the aftertaste.’ Stamatis Iseris of The Strathearn at The Gleneagles Hotel wanted to see this served alongside almond cake or tiramisu. £11.35/37.5cl

£11.35 Size: 37.5cl Bibendum

Chambers Rosewood, Rutherglen, Old Vine Muscat NV, Victoria, Australia

Gold medal winner

‘Just delicious,’ was team leader Angela Reddin’s summation of this Gold medal winner, going on to describe ‘concentrated and intense raisined fruit, candied nuts, caramel and spice that goes on and on’. ‘Deep and dense, with good grip on the palate and treacle toffee notes on the finish,’ added team leader Simon Woods. ‘Orange marmalade and walnut notes – this is sweet, but nicely balanced,’ concluded Stamatis Iseris of The Strathearn at The Gleneagles Hotel. £16.33/37.5cl

£16.39 Size: 37.5cl Liberty Wines

Justino's, Colheita 1996, Madeira, Portugal

Gold medal winner

Our panel members were unanimous on this Gold winner, with Giuseppe Longobardi of The 3A Pub Company highlighting its ‘toasted fig, caramelised orange, toffee and nice fresh balance’, and WSET’s Mike Best finding it a ‘truly delicious wine, with wonderful complexity, balsamic notes, freshness and great length’. Equally good with foie gras or sticky toffee pudding, according to Geoffray Bénat of Cépages Wine Bistro. £26.45/75cl

£26.61 Size: 75cl Liberty Wines

Knightor, White Vermouth NV, Cornwall, England

Silver medal winner

‘A zesty, floral aroma, with coffee-bean notes, too,’ began Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club, going on to praise this English vermouth’s complex finish. Stefan Kobald of the Jason Atherton Group described ‘camomile, spice, green tea and citrus notes’. £18.75/75cl

£18.75 Size: 75cl Sommelier's Choice

Sivipa, Moscatel Roxo, Superior, 10 Anos NV, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Silver medal winner

A wine of ‘incredible balance’, according to Portland Restaurant’s James Fryer, with its ‘caramel, orange, eucalyptus and coconut aromas, then more of the same leading on the palate, with added dimensions of raisin fruit and chocolate’. Harry Crowther of M Restaurants noted ‘complex marzipan notes, with rich butterscotch on the palate’. £29.70/50cl

£29.70 Size: 50cl Raymond Reynolds

Penfolds, Father, Grand Tawny NV, South Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

Team leader Tom Forrest found ‘light toffee and dried fruit aromas, candied peel with dark spices on the palate and a very peppery finish’, while fellow team leader Olivier Marie highlighted ‘nice rancio character and sweet pistachio notes’. £14.29/37.5cl

£14.29 Size: 37.5cl Majestic Commercial

Justino's, Verdelho, Colheita 1997, Madeira, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Very elegant, with plenty of life,’ began The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira, who found it ‘spicy with dried fruits, honey and orange on the palate and caramel notes on a really good finish’. ‘Tremendous balanced acidity and great concentration, could be matched with sweet or savoury foods,’ added Mike Best of the WSET. £26.50/75cl

£26.61 Size: 75cl Liberty Wines

Justino's, Sercial, 10 Years Old NV, Madeira, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Spicy style, with vibrant fruit, marmalade and stone fruit,’ said team leader Laura Rhys MS, with WSET’s Mike Best noting: ‘Nutty and fresh, mid-length and approachable, would be perfect with dark chocolate or praline dessert.’ £23.95/75cl

£24.11 Size: 75cl Liberty Wines

Justino's, Malvasia, 10 Years Old NV, Madeira, Portugal

Silver medal winner

Team leader Laura Rhys MS enjoyed the ‘prune and raisin, dried stone fruits and dried peel’ and found this to be ‘rich with good balance of acidity and sweetness, and a beautiful finish’, while The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira found ‘coffee, spice, crispy orange skin with peppery sweetness’. £23.95/75cl

£24.11 Size: 75cl Liberty Wines

Quady, Essensia, Orange Muscat 2015, California, USA

Silver medal winner

Portland Restaurant’s James Fryer enjoyed its ‘bright, orange and mandarin spicy nose, tropical fruit and orange peel menthol on the palate’, while Timothy Connor of Bread Street Kitchen also found ‘candied orange and apple with cinnamon spice, good acidity and balance’. £10.66/37.5cl

£10.66 Size: 37.5cl Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Quady, Vya, Sweet Vermouth NV, California, USA

Silver medal winner

‘Mace, wormwood and earth’ were to the fore for team leader Angela Reddin, with ‘deep, dark and bitter elements coupled with just enough sweetness and great style’, while fellow team leader Olivier Marie was intrigued: ‘Amazing bitter cinchona character, like a Barolo Chinato, then liquorice with an almost Génépi, alpine liqueur finish.’ £18.95/75cl

£18.95 Size: 75cl Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Badia di Morrona, Vin Santo del Chianti 2011, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Giuseppe Longobardi of The 3A Pub Company was very taken with the ‘chestnut, black fig and marzipan richness, and more dried figs on the finish’, while Mike Best of the WSET found it ‘fresh, vibrant and still grapes, with beautiful balance and delicious caramel notes’. £18.15/50cl

£18.15 Size: 50cl Eurowines

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Moscatel de Setúbal NV, Setúbal, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Olivier Marie was impressed with this ‘beautiful wine, starting to show some pleasant rancio character, with complex dried nuts and pistachio flavours, rich volatile acids lifting up the fruit with an almost balsamic finish’. £8/75cl

£8.00 Size: 75cl Atlantico UK

Castellare, San Niccolo, Vin Santo 2010, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Mike Best of the WSET was very taken with the ‘fantastic array of flavours’, finding it ‘aromatic and attractive on the nose, but showing wonderful freshness for a wine this sweet, and amazing depth of flavour on the palate’. £17.05/37.5cl

£17.05 Size: 37.5cl Bibendum

Skillogalee, Liqueur Muscat NV, South Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

Xabier Alvarez of Trangallán found this ‘very interesting, with a spirity profile and Mediterranean herbs on the palate’, while Kelvin McCabe of Yauatcha enjoyed its ‘fig, dried prunes, baked berry fruits and leathery character’. £24.87/75cl

£24.87 Size: 75cl Enotria&Coe

Quady, Elysium, Black Muscat 2015, California, USA

Bronze medal winner

‘Cassis and Morello cherries and chocolate notes,’ began team leader Angela Reddin, going on to describe ‘intense sweetness with a good level of acidity’. ‘Lusciously sweet,’ added Stamatis Iseris of The Strathearn at The Gleneagles Hotel. £10.66/37.5cl

£10.66 Size: 37.5cl Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Knightor, Rosé Vermouth NV, Cornwall, England

Commended medal winner

£18.50 Size: 75cl Sommelier's Choice

Cooperativa Agrícola do Funchal, Madeira Vintners, Sweet NV, Madeira, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£9.40 Size: 75cl Cooperativa Agrícola do Funchal, CRL

Cooperativa Agrícola do Funchal, Madeira Vintners, Dry NV, Madeira, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£9.40 Size: 75cl Cooperativa Agrícola do Funchal, CRL

GCF Exclusif, Domaine Les Roumanis, Muscat de St-Jean de Minervois 2014, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£5.25 Size: 50cl TJ Wines Ltd

Cazes, Muscat de Rivesaltes 2013, Roussillon, France

Commended medal winner

£9.20 Size: 37.5cl Liberty Wines

Chambers Rosewood, Rutherglen, Muscat NV, Victoria, Australia

Commended medal winner

£9.01 Size: 37.5cl Liberty Wines

Justino's, Fine Rich, 5 Years Old NV, Madeira, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£14.51 Size: 75cl Liberty Wines

 

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