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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > Rest of Portugal, Red, including Alentejo

Winner Details

 Portugal: Red, including Alentejo

2017 Gold: 2 Silver: 6 Bronze: 4 Commended: 11
2016 Gold: 4 Silver: 8 Bronze: 4 Commended: 12

A few commentators have been trumpeting the charms of Portugal as the ‘next big thing’. But on this evidence we need to be wary of promoting the country before it’s ready. There’s still a lot of wine out there that’s not much better than average, and if we want to get consumers on board, it’ll take much more consistency and excitement than we’re seeing at the moment.

Take the Alentejo. After an encouraging 2016, with eight medals and seven Commendeds, it managed just two and four respectively. Hardly earth-shattering.

On the plus side, Casa Ermelinda Freitas looks well worth exploring. Two Golds last year, and another this year, plus three more medals was impressive. Here’s hoping others follow its lead – it’s definitely doing something right!

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘You see a bit more rusticity and interest in Alentejo, there’s less copycatting of France and the like. It’s real, it has authenticity.’ James Fryer, Portland Restaurant

‘A little bit disappointing. You always expect a good punch of fruit and nice ripe tannins, but [in this Alentejo flight] the fruit was lacking.’ Timothy Connor, Bread Street Kitchen

‘This was one of my favourite flights of the day. It was consistent, with a good price-to-quality ratio. We could pick out the varieties and the regions.’ Andre Luis Martins, Cavalry & Guards Club

‘There’s a danger that if the wines have no Douro identity and they’re not from Alentejo, they’re in a no-man’s land. Portuguese reds are really a hand sell.’ Simon Woods, team leader

‘There were interesting wines at very different prices, right up to the top level.’ Martin Lam, team leader


Award winners

Found 17 wines

Portugal: Rest of Portugal excluding Douro & Alentejo

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Vinha do Rosário, Touriga Nacional 2015, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Gold medal winner

Team leader Martin Lam found a Gold-worthy wine here, with its ‘floral, perfumed aroma notes, and deep red-fruited, savoury-sweet palate’, commenting on its good value for money. Meanwhile, Michael Fiducia of Coworth Park Ascot noted ‘dark berries and eucalyptus notes with subtle depth of flavour’. ‘Blackcurrant, black cherry and chocolate, with some herbal notes, too, leading to cinnamon and plum on the palate, with some fresh acidity – great with lamb curry,’ thought Markus Dilger of MAD F&B Consulting.

£9.37 Casa Ermelinda Freitas - Vinhos, Lda

Resigon, Bairros 2012, Peninsula de Setúbal, Portugal

Silver medal winner

Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club liked its ‘leathery, dark cassis aromas, hot spice notes, crunchy fruit and rich, powerful body’, while Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia picked up on its ‘dark fruit with sandalwood nose and perfumed palate’.

£8.92 Resigon SA

Boneca de Canudo 2015, Madeira, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Raspberry and violet, fragrant nose with hints of smoke, light body with fresh cassis fruit and light tobacco leaf notes,’ said Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club, with team leader Martin Lam finding it ‘fresh, medium weight and very drinkable’.

£13.40 Juvenal Franco

Aliança, Baga 2011, Bairrada, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Nice spiced plum, black cherry and raspberry jam notes on nose and palate, with juicy fruit character and good oak integration,’ said Kelvin McCabe of Yauatcha. ‘Big, rich, juicy and well balanced,’ thought Julien Sahut of Sexy Fish.

£13.37 Boutinot

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Reserva, Syrah 2014, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘An enticing nose of creamy cherry fruit with a smooth, rounded palate,’ began Michael Fiducia of Coworth Park Ascot, with team leader Martin Lam highlighting its ‘developed, quite rounded, creamy oak notes, ripe fruit and dry finish’.

£9.75 Atlantico UK

Casa da Passarella, Villa Oliveira, Touriga Nacional 2011, Dão, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Big, dark and savoury style, with heaps of tannin, makes Barolo look wimpish!’ began team leader Simon Woods, with Yauatcha’s Kelvin McCabe finding ‘plum and dark cherry fruit, coffee notes, great acidity and depth on the finish’.

£29.46 Enotria&Coe

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

Bronze medal winner

‘Exotic and vibrant style, solid and dense with plummy fruit on the mid-palate and good tannin balance,’ began team leader Simon Woods, while Julien Sahut of Sexy Fish noted ‘full-bodied and rounded style, spicy and oaky palate with red and black fruit’.

£9.75 Atlantico UK

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Terras do Pó, Castas, Syrah/Petit Verdot 2013, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

Kelvin McCabe of Yauatcha found ‘a nose of plum and juicy black fruits with hints of leather, more of the same on the palate’, with Julien Sahut of Sexy Fish noting a ‘spicy character, lots of black fruit and a long, dry finish’.

£8.70 Atlantico UK

Companhia das Lezírias, 1836, Grande Reserva 2014, Tejo, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

‘Sweet liquorice spice, opulent dark fruits and a deep, well-structured palate,’ came to the fore for Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia, while Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club found ‘cherry liqueur notes and fresh tobacco on the nose, rich powerful tannins, fresh cherry and cigar aromas on the palate’.

£27.00 Character Wines

Casa da Passarella, Abanico, Reserva Tinto 2013, Dão, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

Portland Restaurant’s James Fryer appreciated ‘red and black fruits, with sweet spice and black pepper, and loads of fruit tannin’, while Markus Dilger of MAD F&B Consulting described ‘cocoa notes, with fresh acidity – this is young, with good length’.

£11.55 Enotria&Coe

Quinta do Piloto, Reserva, Tinto 2014, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Sogrape, Duque de Viseu, Tinto 2014, Dão, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£6.95 Liberty Wines

Sogrape, Quinta dos Carvalhais, Reserva, Tinto 2010, Dão, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£19.95 Liberty Wines

Aliança, Quinta da Garrida, Reserva,Tinto 2013, Dão, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£7.33 Boutinot

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Vinha do Rosário, Syrah 2015, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Vinha do Fava, Touriga Nacional 2015, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Santo Isidro de Pegões, Adega de Pegões, Colheita Seleccionada, Tinto 2014, Palmela, Portugal

Commended medal winner

 

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