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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > Douro - Red

Winner Details

Portugal: Red, Douro

2017 Gold: 2 Silver: 5 Bronze: 4 Commended: 8
2016 Gold: 2 Silver: 4 Bronze: 1 Commended: 9

The Douro is in the slightly odd position of being the one region in Portugal that most somms have heard of, but being famous for something other than table wine. This perhaps explains why it rarely gets more than two Golds in the Sommelier Wine Awards – and such was the case again this year.

As always, there was plenty of swooning about the native varieties (yay!) and grumbling about the tannins (boo!), but there was less of the latter than usual. This, it seems, is a region that’s moving in the right direction – even if it is doing it at a price. Not a lot under £10, so how the guys at Cardanhos produce a vintage wine from the Cima Corgo at £7.50 a bottle, only they will know.

STAR PERFORMER

Well done to Quinta do Vallado for picking up its third consecutive Gold (with different wines) on the trot.


FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Some were trying to be perfumed ports, some were a bit lighter. The Douro has a bit more to do, but we wouldn’t want them to try to be something they’re not.’ Laurent Richet MS, team leader

‘They tend to be quite lush, but have diversity and uniqueness thanks to the indigenous grapes. You don’t find them elsewhere very often, and that’s a plus for me.’ Diana Rollan, Hakkasan Group

‘It was really hard: a lot of alcohol and unbalanced wines, all of them.’ Andrea Cotichella, Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa

‘It’s a category that consumers should be looking at now – it’s come a long way in the last few years… there were fewer cases of over-extraction compared to previous years.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘Full-bodied wines, aromatic, but easy drinking for such structured wines. They all had a similar style – finesse and elegance. A brilliant tasting.’ Jonathan Giffrin, Claude Bosi @ Bibendum

‘Matching-wise, I’d go with simple food, nothing too classic or pompous, with simple ingredients. The Douro Valley isn’t a fancy place like Bordeaux – the match needs to follow the picture of the wine but also the origin.’ Antoine Cabre, Spring Restaurant

‘I expected to find more Golds.’ Andre Luis Martins, Cavalry & Guards Club

 

Award winners

Found 19 wines

Portugal: Red, Douro Valley

Cardanhos, Espinho, Colheita, Cima Corgo, 2013, Douro , Portugal

Gold medal winner

Spring Restaurant’s Antoine Cabre enjoyed this Gold winner’s ‘lovely, attractive nose with nice freshness, a sharp attack but fresh and fruity character, and well-balanced spices’, while team leader Annette Scarfe MW also found it ‘juicy and spicy, with a warming finish but soft and structured, ripe tannins’. Cavalry & Guards Club’s Andre Luis Martins found ‘rich cherry notes with some meaty character, too’, while team leader Lionel Periner recommended this be paired with duck.

£7.56 The Portuguese Fine Wine Company

Quinta do Vallado, Touriga Nacional, 2012, Douro , Portugal

Gold medal winner

‘A spicy and rich, ripe and full-bodied wine that’s finely balanced with great fruit ripeness and sufficient structure to age well,’ began Jonathan Giffrin of Claude Bosi @ Bibendum as this Touriga Nacional took Gold. Team leader Annette Scarfe MW found it a ‘big, ambitious style, still youthful, but will integrate and soften nicely’. Jason Atherton Group’s Stefan Kobald, meanwhile, could see this pairing beautifully with a t-bone steak.

£18.37 Bibendum Wine

Quinta do Infantado, Red, 2013, Douro , Portugal

Silver medal winner

Team leader Laurent Richet MS likened this wine to ‘a dry port’, with its ‘perfumed, red and black jammy fruit, ripe plum, prune and date palate with balanced tannin structure’, with Hakkasan Group’s Diana Rollan also finding ‘toasty cherry and liquorice with sweet spices, jammy fruit and a warming finish’.

£10.08 Liberty Wines

Sogevinus, Kopke, Reserva, Red, 2013, Douro , Portugal

Silver medal winner

A ‘more ambitious style’, said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, who noted ‘generous use of new French oak, polished and sleek, with blueberry and bramble fruit’, while Jonathan Giffrin of Claude Bosi @ Bibendum was keen on its ‘ripe, spicy blackcurrant, nervy palate and elegant structure’.

£12.35 Hayward Bros

Muxagat, Tinto, 2012, Douro , Portugal

Silver medal winner

Team leader Laurent Richet MS found it a ‘leaner oak style, with toasty breadcrumb aromas and lovely structure’, with Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky finding it ‘quite fresh, with herbal notes on the nose, juicy and balanced on the palate, with good tannic structure, could age further’.

£13.54 Indigo Wine

Sogrape, Casa Ferreirinha, Quinta da Leda, Tinto, 2014, Douro , Portugal

Silver medal winner

Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky enjoyed its ‘full and perfumed nose with dark mulberry fruit, ripe and vibrant dark fruit palate with lots of prune notes in an elegant structure’, with Andrea Cotichella of Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa finding ‘fruity, juicy, jammy and spicy blackcurrant aromas with a warm, round and balanced palate’.

£26.50 Liberty Wines

Ramos Pinto, Duas Quintas, Reserva, Red, 2014, Douro , Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Plenty going on here,’ began Antoine Cabre of Spring Restaurant, who enjoyed its ‘complex nose of herbal notes and plenty of dark fruits and berries, with lovely balance on the palate’. ‘Well crafted and built to age, chalky tannins and restrained fruit aromas at the moment, but will explode within five years in bottle,’ added Jonathan Giffrin of Claude Bosi @ Bibendum.

£34.00 Maisons Marques et Domaines

Sogrape, Casa Ferreirinha, Papa Figos, Tinto, 2015, Douro , Portugal

Bronze medal winner

‘Dry and meaty with burnt oak notes on the nose, nice savoury dryness on the palate with juicy sour red fruit,’ said Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky, while team leader Laurent Richet MS enjoyed its ‘ripe fruit and structure, strawberry jam and ripe plum fruit with prune notes on a medium-length finish’.

£7.95 Liberty Wines

Cardanhos, Espinho, Reserva, Cima Corgo, 2011, Douro , Portugal

Bronze medal winner

A ‘lovely example’, began team leader Annette Scarfe MW, who found ‘ripe black and red fruits with soft, ripe tannins and a juicy mid-palate’, while Spring Restaurant’s Antoine Cabre highlighted ‘lovely pepper and berries, and a good, complex palate style’.

£10.30 The Portuguese Fine Wine Company

Aliança, Quinta dos Quatro Ventos, Tinto, 2013, Douro , Portugal

Bronze medal winner

‘Fruit-forward and fleshy with good solidity and power,’ began Scott Levy of Smith & Wollensky, while Hakkasan Group’s Diana Rollan highlighted its ‘cherry, plum, violets and sweet spices on the nose with dark chocolate hints, fleshy character and nice concentration on the palate’.

£11.07 Boutinot

Quinta do Crasto, Superior, Syrah, 2014, Douro , Portugal

Bronze medal winner

‘Bright fruit on the nose, cassis and French oak, then a very juicy palate with notes of spice and a lovely balancing touch of bitterness on the finish,’ said Antoine Cabre of Spring Restaurant.

£14.26 Enotria&Coe

Sogrape, Casa Ferreirinha, Esteva, Tinto, 2015, Douro , Portugal

Commended medal winner

£6.40 Liberty Wines

Quinta do Noval, Cedro do Noval, 2010, Douro , Portugal

Commended medal winner

Sogrape, Casa Ferreirinha, Vinha Grande, Tinto, 2014, Douro , Portugal

Commended medal winner

£9.25 Liberty Wines

Quinta do Vallado, Reserva, Tinto, 2014, Douro , Portugal

Commended medal winner

£21.87 Bibendum Wine

Luis Seabra, Xisto Ilimitado, Tinto, 2014, Douro , Portugal

Commended medal winner

Quinta do Crasto, Red, 2015, Douro , Portugal

Commended medal winner

£9.77 Enotria&Coe

Casa Ferreirinha, Callabriga, Tinto, 2014, Douro , Portugal

Commended medal winner

£14.00 Liberty Wines

José Mesquita Guimarães, Quinta dos Poços, MG XXI, 2014, Douro , Portugal

Commended medal winner

£22.18 Please contact winery for further information