Home Winners > Winners 2017 > White, including Vinho Verde

Winner Details

Portugal: White, including Vinho Verde

2017 Gold: 2 Silver: 8 Bronze: 9 Commended: 6
2016 Gold: 3 Silver: 5 Bronze: 5 Commended: 9

There are, it seems, as many opinions on Portugal’s white wines as there are grape varieties in this western edge of Iberia, ie blemming hundreds. Our tasters variously described these wines as ‘original’, ‘complicated’, ‘great value for money’, ‘commercially irrelevant’ and ‘stimulating’. And none of them was wrong.

The cheap wines (including Vinho Verde) were generally well liked for their ‘freshness but something more’. Where it got more problematical was once we took a step up in ambition.

Some loved the richer, more Alvarinho-based VVs, for instance; others felt they were ‘less typical’. Others enjoyed the expensive, oakier whites, but to their critics they were just an impossible sell and less good than Burgundy for the price.

You pays your money and takes your choice…

Either way, this is a growing and vibrant section of the competition, so it’s worth keeping an eye on.


‘The top-end whites were complex – very different to other whites you might buy. They have a really original character.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘There were some really good wines in the Vinho Verde flight. At the lower price points you’ve got the more traditional style. As the price goes up, you got wines with very high complexity and some oak influence, but keeping the fruity characteristic of Vinho Verde.’ Francisco Macedo, Bovey Castle

‘I’m not sure that the public are behind Portuguese whites. They’re still quite a hard sell.’ Richard Brooks, Caroline Catering

‘These should be drunk in Portugal sitting on a beach. I’m not quite sure where you’d fit them into a restaurant wine list.’ Neil Tabraham, Paris House

‘Portugal is difficult: in the Douro alone they can use 150 different grape varieties and most of the grapes are hard to pronounce. But Portugal is such great value for money.’ Federico Forte, Plateau

‘Vinho Verde should be bottled under screwcap for freshness. It you keep it in your cellar for a year it would lose that fizz. The screwcapped wines we saw were fresher.’ Laurent Richet MS, team leader

‘At the top end they seemed really expensive and really overpriced. They had a lot of oak thrown at them but had not much character or mid-palate weight. They felt commercially irrelevant.’ Sam Caporn MW, team leader

‘The Vinho Verdes were a well-made collection of wines for not too much money.’ James Hocking, The Vineyard Group


Award winners

Found 25 wines


Conde Villar, Alvarinho 2015, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Gold medal winner

A beautiful blend of fruit and minerality, elevating this Vinho Verde to Gold. Immacolata Cannavo of Hakkasan Dubai enjoyed its ‘open, mineral, flinty style with white pear, clean acidity and floral notes’, while Charles Pashby-Taylor of Dabbous found ‘limes and pineapples, with a nutty, almond and citrus palate’. The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira highlighted its ‘smoothness and vegetal, lemon-lime character with peachy softness’, adding that it would be ‘perfect with fatty fish’.

£9.63 Bibendum

Alberto de Oliveira Pinto, Quinta da Espinhosa, Branco 2015, Dão, Portugal

Gold medal winner

Judges were enamoured with abundant fruit and freshness here, awarding this Gold. Team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW found it a ‘generous, fleshy white with zesty acid’, while the Cavalry & Guards Club’s Andre Luis Martins found ‘pear aromas with light rose notes, sweet pear with fresh green apple character and a rich, complex finish’. Charles Carron Brown of The Forest Side Grasmere, meanwhile, found ‘jasmine tea and white flowers, as well as orange blossom and sherbet notes alongside Bramley apples, all with crisp acidity’.


Ramos Pinto, Duas Quintas, White 2015, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

Federico Forte of Plateau was impressed with this wine’s ‘mineral, stone fruit, zesty lime and pineapple, with very high acidity giving it good potential for ageing’, while Michael Moore of The London Cookhouse suspected its ‘light, great taste would be a great match with sea bass’.

£14.50 Maisons Marques et Domaines

Opção, Loureiro 2016, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘A delicate fizz, yet there’s incredible complexity here, and lovely mineral character,’ began impressed team leader Laurent Richet MS, with The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira noting: ‘Asparagus with lemon and lime juice, good acidity and balance.’

£7.40 AB Valley Wines

Sogrape, Quinta de Azevedo 2016, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Silver medal winner

This was ‘great value’ for Francisco Macedo of Bovey Castle, exhibiting ‘nice fruit, with green apple and white peach notes and a floral edge, good balance and freshness on the palate, and a mid-length finish’.

£6.95 Liberty Wines

Sogrape, Herdade do Peso, Sossego, Branco 2016, Alentejo, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Really good value,’ said an enthusiastic Giancarlo Cuccuru of The Ned Hotel, who enjoyed its ‘peachy, crisp and creamy-textured palate, lovely, like a lean Viognier’. ‘Zesty nose, rounded, ripe stone fruit,’ added team leader Martin Lam.

£7.50 Liberty Wines

Sogevinus, Kopke, Reserva, White 2014, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

Team leader Martin Lam found this ‘complex and evolved, with a creamy, Burgundian nose’, while Charles Pashby-Taylor pf Dabbous felt it was ‘a ripe, slightly oxidative style, but very interesting’, and Fred Marti of Typing Room noted its ‘rich, lively, fruity character and good balance’.

£12.35 Hayward Bros

Quinta do Crasto, Superior, Branco 2015, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Fresh herbal and light coriander aromas,’ began Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club, who found ‘rich citrus, Cox apples and pear on the palate, which has a charming finish’. ‘Ripe, rounded and refreshing, with tangy acidity and a mineral end,’ added team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW.

£12.70 Enotria&Coe

Azamor, Selected White 2015, Alentejo, Portugal

Silver medal winner

Fleshy fruit and floral notes impressed tasters, with Portland Restaurant’s James Fryer describing ‘raw rhubarb, honeydew melon and peach skin, as well as raw almonds and river stones’. Charles Carron Brown of The Forest Side Grasmere found ‘tropical fruit, camomile tea and jasmine, not to mention some grapefruit pith’.

£10.44 Liberty Wines

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Sauvignon Blanc/Verdelho 2015, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Aromatic and peachy on the nose, with characterful apricot and lemon curd on the palate,’ began team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, with Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering noting its ‘restrained but attractive fruit, an easy wine by the glass or to drink with chicken dishes and salads’.

£9.75 Atlantico UK

Broadbent, Vinho Verde NV, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Laurent Richet MS found a ‘delicate fizz, perlant on the tongue, with strong saline minerals and seaweed character, but delicious fruit notes of peach and apricot, too’.

£7.59 Top Selection Ltd

Casa da Passarella, Villa Oliveira, Encruzado 2014, Dåo, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

A well-balanced wine, said team leader Laura Rhys MS, highlighting its ‘ripe citrus, pear and apple with floral notes on the nose, followed by some good mineral character on a palate of pleasant weight and texture’.

£29.46 Enotria&Coe

Conde Villar, Branco 2015, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

‘Very fresh, with good acidity and fruit profile of citrus, apple and lemon zest,’ began The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira, adding: ‘Lively and very well balanced, with a nice spritz and a good finish.’

£6.74 Bibendum

Esporão, Alandra, Branco 2015, Alentejo, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

Charles Pashby-Taylor of Dabbous was keen on this wine’s ‘grassy, floral style and nice leesy note’, while Fred Marti of Typing Room found it ‘big, with passion fruit character and richness on the finish’. ‘Floral, wet stone nose, intense and aromatic, though finishing dry,’ added team leader Martin Lam.

£7.10 Matthew Clark

Aliança, Reserva, White 2016, Bairrada, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

‘Perfumed, with pear drop notes and a little sharpness, but very pleasant overall,’ began Michael Moore of The London Cookhouse, with Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering adding: ‘Significant sweetness, but in a most attractive way. An amiable glass on its own, but also great with apple pie or strudel, and fruit-based desserts.’

£5.48 Boutinot

Sogrape, Duque de Viseu, Branco 2015, Dão, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

Andre Luis Martins of the Cavalry & Guards Club found this ‘good value for your pound’, enjoying its ‘rich, herbal, light lemon flower aromas and pink grapefruit on the palate with elegant green asparagus notes and a fresh finish’. ‘Interesting, flowery, scented character, balanced and easy,’ added Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering.

£6.95 Liberty Wines

Sogrape, Quinta dos Carvalhais, Reserva, Branco 2012, Dão, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

‘A good balance of oak and fruit, staying light-bodied on the palate with an intensity of fruits balanced by medium-high acidity,’ said Jacopo Armenio of Vinarius, with team leader Martin Lam adding: ‘Quite broad, creamy, oak-tinged style with a citrus-focused palate.’

£15.95 Liberty Wines

Sogrape, Casa Ferreirinha, Planalto 2015, Douro, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

Jacopo Armenio of Vinarius enjoyed its ‘ripe peach, apricot and nectarine fruit style, bright creamy texture and intensity’, while team leader Martin Lam summed it up as ‘elegant, floral and a good food wine’.

£6.35 Liberty Wines

Quinta do Piloto, Piloto Collection, Roxo 2016, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

Fred Marti of Typing Room found this ‘rich and flamboyant, showing plenty of ripe fruit with a salty mineral tang and leafy freshness to balance’, while team leader Martin Lam highlighted its ‘floral, Malvasia-esque orange flower notes’.

£13.50 Raymond Reynolds

Santo Isidro de Pegões, Adega de Pegões, Colheita Seleccionada, Branco 2015, Palmela, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Aliança, Quinta da Garrida, White 2016, Dão, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£6.17 Boutinot

Sogevinus, Kopke, White 2015, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£8.05 Hayward Bros

Sogrape, Quinta dos Carvalhais, Encruzado 2015, Dão, Portugal

Commended medal winner

'A Chablis-like style, with its chalky minerality,' ventured senior judge Charles Pashby-Taylor, with team leader Martin Lam pointing out: 'A little closed on the nose, but on the palate it's highly aromatic and well textured.'

£14.95 Liberty Wines

Sogrape, Morgadio da Torre, Alvarinho 2015, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£11.50 Liberty Wines

Opção, Superior 2016, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Commended medal winner


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