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Home Winners > Winners 2018 > Other Fortified

Winner Details

Other Fortified Wine

2018  GOLD: 4             SILVER: 5         BRONZE: 3       COMMENDED: 6
2017  GOLD: 7             SILVER: 8         BRONZE: 5       COMMENDED: 7

We’re never quite sure what we’re going to get in this section. Literally. We could be swamped with uber-classy Madeiras or drowning under a herby raft of vermouths. We did get a couple of the latter this year, but they didn’t make the cut. Perhaps one for merchants to consider for 2019 – it’s a hot category in the bar world and somms quite like it.

This year we had a wide spread of styles coming in. Yes, there was a fair chunk of Madeira, and yes, unsurprisingly, it did very well. But there were also some lighter styles and a few classic syrupy liqueur muscats from Oz that gave our tasters a monumental (though classy) sugar rush.

With value generally very good here, and the wines able to survive for a long time once open, our tasters saw this as a great place to go hunting for really interesting by-the-glass options with serious margin potential.


‘These lighter fortifieds were all pretty interesting wines, and all interesting from a food perspective, from the younger to the very old ones.’ Manuel Ribeiro, The Bybrook at The Manor House Hotel

‘These Rutherglens are classic by-the-glass wines that you don’t need Coravin for. If you’ve still got some left after a month, no problem! You don’t necessarily get more sweetness in the higher-priced bottles, just more concentration.’ Simon Woods, team leader

‘Montilla is what sommeliers should be looking out for. Most would be cheaper [than sherry] too.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘I love Madeira. If you spend £50 retail, you can keep it open for three weeks. It’s good value for money when you compare it to red wine. It’s good with cheese, with chocolate. And it’s a good alternative for someone that wants a digestif but something not as alcoholic as Cognac.’ Lionel Periner, team leader

‘Even Madeira that’s not of the highest quality is delicious. They go with so many types of food, not just dessert. They’re such unique interesting wines and we need to talk about them more.’ Andrés Ituarte, Coq d’Argent

‘All sweet, delicious. We don’t see a lot of Madeira, we sell more Tokaji, Sauternes, Rieslings… but I’m a fan of it for price/quality ratio, and for something slightly different.’ Edgaras Kazokaitis, Roka Aldwych

Award winners

Found 18 wines

Other Fortified Wine

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

Gold medal winner

This was a clear Gold winner made in a ‘rich and full-bodied style, really delicious’, said Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte, who was impressed by its ‘coffee, caramel and spice characters’, with Edgaras Kazokaitis of Roka Aldwych also highlighting ‘bruised caramelised apple and coffee notes’. Petri Pentikainen of Three Chimneys Restaurant added appreciation for ‘raisin, prune and walnut notes, with high acidity making the palate very fresh, with more dried fruit on the long finish’.

£24.11 Size: 75cl Liberty Wines

Justino's, Colheita 1996, Madeira, Portugal

Gold medal winner

‘A true gem,’ praised team leader Angela Reddin as this Madeira picked up its Gold medal, describing ‘walnuts, figs, prunes and raisins, and a palate with amazing balance and length’. ‘A fuller style, rich and spicy with big character – good, and very yummy,’ said Andrés Ituarte of Coq d’Argent, while team leader Lionel Periner picked up ‘light toffee and an elegant palate finishing with dates, figs and a note of spice’.

£26.61 Size: 75cl Liberty Wines

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

Gold medal winner

‘Rose perfumed with fresh vanilla aromas, complex toffee and caramel roast notes on the palate,’ began Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club on encountering this deserving Gold winner, with Beaverbrook’s Euan McColm adding his praise for ‘caramel coffee and fudge, tempered by a suggestion of orangey character’. Team leader Angela Reddin further described generous notes of ‘millionaire’s cake and toffee-raisin chocolate bar, with a creamy, sweet palate that’s lasting and lovely, with nuttiness and balance’.

£24.59 Size: 50cl Liberty Wines

Morris of Rutherglen, Old Premium, Rare Liqueur, Muscat NV, Victoria, Australia

Gold medal winner

Euan McColm of Beaverbrook was taken with this Gold-winning Muscat’s ‘molasses and burnt orange notes, with bonfire ember aromas, raisins and prunes, dates and lingering coffee flavours on the palate’. ‘Deep, balanced, with a lovely savoury side, treacle and balsamic – glass-stainingly good!’ added an appreciative team leader Simon Woods. ‘An amazing, rich nose with plenty of aged characters and some Sichuan pepper, and treacly in the mouth, with good acidity,’ thought team leader Angela Reddin, adding: ‘This is a wine for beside the fire on a cold evening.’

£96.75 Size: 50cl Liberty Wines

Capezzana, Vin Santo di Carmignano 2010, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Wow, delicious!’ began Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte, very taken with its ‘fig and prune blended with apricot and melted brown sugar’ style, while team leader Lionel Periner highlighted characters of ‘marmalade and jammy fruit on a complex palate with hints of nuts’.

£59.00 Size: 37.5cl Liberty Wines

Cazes, Ambré de Cazes 2003, Roussillon, France

Silver medal winner

A lot to like here for Manuel Ribeiro of The Bybrook at The Manor House Hotel: ‘Roasted fruit, some bright fig and date with toasted almond nuttiness, great complexity and balance of flavours, finishing with more notes of toast, smoke and dried fruit.’ ‘Deliciously mouthwatering, with orange and ginger notes, round and warm and very fiery,’ added team leader Jade Koch.

£22.70 Size: 37.5cl Liberty Wines

Justino's, Colheita 1999, Madeira, Portugal

Silver medal winner

A ‘fresh and delicious’ style, began Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte, showing ‘baking spices, balanced acids and rich caramel’, while Edgaras Kazokaitis of Roka Aldwych also found ‘walnut, caramel and toffee notes with prominent acidity’.

£22.75 Size: 75cl Liberty Wines

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

Silver medal winner

This found favour with Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club, who highlighted its ‘perfumed roast coffee and cocoa beans with charming velvet character and toffee ice cream finish’, while Beaverbrook’s Euan McColm also found it ‘mouthwatering and opulent, with a long demerara finish’.

£24.22 Size: 37.5cl Bibendum

Chambers Rosewood, Morris of Rutherglen, Classic Liqueur Muscat NV, Victoria, Australia

Silver medal winner

‘Almost a savoury edge, to keep the bonfire and toffee elements in balance, and it’s deep and vibrant,’ began team leader Simon Woods, with Beaverbrook’s Euan McColm finding it ‘concentrated, almost painfully so, with deep burned toffee moving into salted caramel on the finish’.

£27.90 Size: 50cl Liberty Wines

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

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Jade Koch found aromas of ‘ginger and candied fruit, a simple, sweet, grapey palate with crème caramel giving broad appeal’, and Manuel Ribeiro of The Bybrook at The Manor House Hotel enjoyed its ‘notes of baked apple, pear, quince and toffee with a hint of honey, then orange marmalade on a toasty, balanced palate’.

£7.31 Size: 75cl Atlantico UK

Silvio Carta, Riserva, Vernaccia di Oristano 2003, Sardinia, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Laurent Richet MS was struck by its ‘amazing caramel, oloroso-style nose with a luscious sweet complexity yet dry on the palate, in between a sherry and a Madeira’, while Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants equally enjoyed its ‘intense, nutty, charred caramel, oxidative notes, lovely dry Marsala/tawny-like style and yeasty feel with great length’.

£29.50 Size: 75cl Eurowines

Justino's, Colombo Madeira, Verdelho, 10 Years Old NV, Madeira, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Lionel Periner highlighted its ‘nice dry style, grilled almonds and marzipan’, while for Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte it had ‘zippy acids, a good amount of caramel and cocoa making a great wine with good length’.

£26.53 Size: 75cl Justino's, Madeira Wines, S.A.

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Moscatel Roxo de Setúbal 2010, Setúbal, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£25.38 Size: 50cl Atlantico UK

Famille Helfrich, Domaine Les Roumanis, Muscat de St-Jean de Minervois 2012, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£7.43 Size: 50cl The Oxford Wine Company

Justino's, Colheita 1998, Madeira, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£26.10 Size: 75cl Liberty Wines

Ruffino, Serelle, Vin Santo del Chianti 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£27.92 Size: 37.5cl Matthew Clark

Morris of Rutherglen, Classic Liqueur, Topaque NV, Victoria, Australia

Commended medal winner

£27.90 Size: 50cl Liberty Wines

Justino's, Colombo Madeira, Colheita 1998, Madeira, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£23.98 Size: 75cl Justino's, Madeira Wines, S.A.


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