We use cookies to operate this website and to improve its usability. Full details of what cookies are, why we use them and how you can manage them can be found by reading our Privacy & Cookies pages. Please note that by using this site you are consenting to the use of cookies.

Accept
Reject
Home Winners > Winners 2018 > Rest of Portugal, Red, including Alentejo

Winner Details

 Portugal: Red, including Alentejo

2018 Gold 4        Silver 8                 Bronze 8             Commended 12
2017 Gold 2        Silver 6                 Bronze 4             Commended 11

If you’re looking for value-for-money reds, this could be your best bet in this year’s competition: three-quarters of our medal winners here were under £10, which is about as rare as a smile from Vladimir Putin. 

With 20 medals and a dozen Commendeds, this was a record performance – and proof that Portugal’s rise, which we’ve been tracking in this competition for five or six years now, isn’t going to stop any time soon.

This section pretty much had it all, too: easy-going ‘international’ styles, with ripe fruit and a dollop of (sometimes chipped) oak; mid-priced indigenous wines with a strong local accent; and some more expensive efforts that wore their ambition like a playboy’s medallion.

If there was a criticism it would be that while our tasters loved the fruit in these wines, at times they felt that it was being smothered by oak. Dial back the barrel usage and the country really could be on to a winner. But terrific value for money in the crucial £6-£12 area.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘This made me think that I should list red Portuguese wines by the glass, especially if the winemakers played less with barrel chips. The fruit character is amazing.’ Tatiana Mann, The Vine Eno Gastro Pub

‘This made me think that I should list red Portuguese wines by the glass, especially if the winemakers played less with barrel chips. The fruit character is amazing.’ Tatiana Mann, The Vine Eno Gastro Pub

‘I often find the Alentejo to be too tannic, but there was good tannin management here. I was impressed. And the prices were very moderate, too.’ Jurijs Nemkovs, Hakkasan Mayfair

‘At the higher price points there was maybe too much ambition, and lots of alcohol, which isn’t so trendy nowadays.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘The best here were good, but they could have been from anywhere. There just wasn’t that Portuguese character. The indigenous grapes here were much more interesting.’ Manuel Ribeiro, The Bybrook at The Manor House Hotel

‘I was surprised that at just a few pounds above house red the quality was so high. There were wines here for casual dining or gastropub, right up to fine dining.’ Masahito Suzuki, The Social Company

‘Some of the least expensive were the most approachable, but then at the higher prices they became more elegant and more interesting. I could really see the applications for these.’ Sue Jones, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn

Award winners

Found 23 wines

Portugal: Rest of Portugal excluding Douro & Alentejo

Santo Isidro de Pegões, Adega de Pegões, Touriga Nacional 2015, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Gold medal winner

‘Bold oak and strong, tarry aromas’ were the hallmark of this full-bodied Gold Lister, said team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, who also found ‘firm, dark plums balanced with savoury notes, making for a thumping, black fruit impression: a winter treat’. Similarly impressed fellow team leader Jade Koch spoke highly of its ‘intense plum and cherry nose’ and a balance of ‘oak, tannin, cherries and chocolate’ on the palate.

£9.79 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

DFJ VInhos, Portada, Reserva 2014, Lisbon, Portugal

Gold medal winner

Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin was among the impressed team of judges that singled this out for Gold, finding it ‘complex, with earthy, leafy, chunky and quite smoky aromas’ and ‘peppery, ripe and juicy on the palate with chocolatey spiced plum notes’. ‘A nice interplay of juicy fruit with delicate oak,’ said team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, while fellow team leader Jade Koch saw it pairing beautifully with a rack of lamb.

£7.25 DFJ Vinhos, S.A.

DFJ VInhos, Reserva, Touriga Nacional 2015, Lisbon, Portugal

Gold medal winner

As this was elevated to Gold, team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW described it as showing ‘black fruit and tarry aromas, with a palate that is surprisingly delicate’, adding that it was ‘fresh and well balanced, with good layers of fruit and bitter chocolate notes – long and memorable’. Diana Rollan of More than Wines Academy was similarly taken by it, finding ‘nice concentration and aromatics’, and pronouncing it ‘perfect for pulled pork’.

£11.52 DFJ Vinhos, S.A.

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Quinta da Mimosa 2015, Palmela, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Rich and rounded, woody with forest fruits, but soft and pleasing for the price, a real crowd-pleaser that would make a great house red,’ said The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones.

£5.16 Atlantico UK

Companhia das Lezírias, Tyto Alba, Merlot 2013, Tejo, Portugal

Silver medal winner

Street XO’s Raphael Thierry found the nose ‘meaty, with chocolate and blueberry fruit’, then a ‘complex and structured palate, giving a vibrant combination with a fresh finish’, while team leader Jade Koch felt it was ‘mid-weight and spicy, a good example of Portugal’.

£11.00 Character Wines

Sivipa, Serra Mãe, Reserva 2015, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Silver medal winner

The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones enjoyed this wine’s ‘good fruit structure with some greenness’, and also thought it was ‘spicy and gamey, developing nicely and a great price for a rich, approachable red’. Royal Automobile Club’s Davide Dall’Amico picked up on its ‘deep black fruit core, hints of leather, tobacco and cedar wood, chubby palate and smooth tannins’.

£9.57 Sivipa - Sociedade Vinícola de Palmela, S.A.

Opta, Tinto 2015, Dão, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘A good introduction to the style,’ began team leader Jade Koch, noting its ‘warm, heady baked tomato aromas, soft tannins and warmth on the finish’, and finding it ‘rounded and mid-weight’.

£5.50 Fuller's

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

Bronze medal winner

Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia found a ‘pleasantly concentrated, crunchy fruit palate’ on this ‘opulent fruit-bomb of mainly plum and Morello cherry, along with wood spice’, while team leader Angela Reddin described it as ‘deep, dark and youthful’.

£21.62 QUINTA DA ESPINHOSA

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Vinha do Rosário, Touriga Nacional 2016, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

A ‘simple, fruity style’, said Royal Automobile Club’s Davide Dall’Amico, with ‘ripe raspberries and blackberries, a touch of graphite, quite long flavour with nicely balanced tannic structure’, while team leader Martin Lam found it ‘perfumed on the nose with red fruit, soft, rounded, generous, with warm clove spices’.

£6.53 Casa Ermelinda Freitas - Vinhos, Lda

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Rocksand, Syrah 2016, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

‘A northern Rhône lookalike,’ began team leader Martin Lam, noting its ‘toasty oak, smoked bacon and sweet fruit, with good concentration’, with The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones highlighting ‘fruity blackberries and loganberries, good length and richness’.

£7.25 Casa Ermelinda Freitas - Vinhos, Lda

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Vinha da Valentina, Premium, Tinto 2016, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Martin Lam highlighted ‘meaty aromas, overlaid with red berry fruit and spice, then very good ripe fruit on the palate with clove spice and very well-managed tannins’, while The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones found it ‘velvety soft and luscious’.

£9.93 Atlantico UK

Sivipa, Serra Mãe, Castelão 2015, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Martin Lam found this a ‘very savoury’ style, with a ‘non-fruit nose and no oak visible – a serious wine with a lovely textured palate’. ‘Great length, sophisticated, with layers and complexity, and ageing potential,’ added The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones.

£12.90 Raymond Reynolds

Quinta do Pinto, Vinhas do Lasso, Colheita Seleccionada, Tinto 2013, Lisbon, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

‘A wine that shows good complexity for the price,’ said Street XO’s Raphael Thierry, who found ‘meaty, fruity, flowery characters and a smoky finish, with good vivacity’.

£7.80 Boutinot

DFJ VInhos, Bigode, Quirky 2016, Lisbon, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Jade Koch found ‘bloody red fruit on a very neat nose, sweet plum and cherry fruit, acidity but almost no tannin grip and plenty of sugar on the finish’.

£6.98 DFJ Vinhos, S.A.

Prunus, Tinto 2015, Dão, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Vinha do Rosário, Syrah 2016, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Vinha do Torrão, Reserva 2016, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£8.78 Atlantico UK

Casa da Passarella, A Descoberta, Colheita, Tinto 2014, Dão, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£8.00 Enotria&Coe

Companhia das Lezírias, Tyto Alba, Touriga Nacional 2012, Tejo, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£12.00 Character Wines

DFJ VInhos, Escada, Touriga Nacional 2016, Lisbon, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Sogrape, Quinta Dos Carvalhais, Colheita, Tinto 2015, Dão, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£9.65 Liberty Wines

Sogrape, Quinta Dos Carvalhais, Touriga Nacional 2015, Dão, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£15.04 Liberty Wines

Sogrape, Quinta Dos Carvalhais, Alfrocheiro 2015, Dão, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£15.04 Liberty Wines

 

Subscribe to the SWA newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest Sommelier Wine Awards news.