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Home Winners > Winners 2019 > HOUSE WINES: Red

Winner Details

House Wines: Red

2019  GOLD: 4             SILVER: 7          BRONZE: 8        COMMENDED: 27
2018  GOLD: 8             SILVER: 15        BRONZE: 12      COMMENDED: 25

A couple of years ago, the New World put in a strong performance in this section, but in 2018 and 2019 it’s been very much the preserve of Europe. If you’re after decent, well-priced red, it seems, you probably want to be heading to France, Iberia, or Italy.

While the number of Golds (four) was the lowest we’ve had for a few years, it was more the result of a reduced entry here – fewer wines, it seems, are able to make it in under the £6 cut-off for House Wine – than a negative reflection on the overall quality of the category.

For the most part, this was a well-received range of wines, with wineries a lot more careful with their use of oak than in the past. And if one or two wines were a little over-extracted, well, what do you expect for a fiver?

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘You have to work to find good house reds. We had everything from really good to really bad.’ Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche

‘There was some quality winemaking here, and in some cases you could see where the wines were from. At £3.40 you can’t complain.’ Carlos Ferreira, team leader

‘There were good examples here of easy, fruity wines, which is what you expect. Many were especially well suited to brasseries or gastropubs.’ Andre Luis Martins, Cavalry & Guards Club

‘There’s a prevailing thought that house wine should be substantial in fruit, tannin and body, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.’ Joshua Castle, Noble Rot

‘Good value for money. They were simple, but at the same time you could either pair them with red meats or serve them by the glass. A really good, commercial selection.’ Corina Stanila, La Dame de Pic at Ten Trinity Square

‘A couple were really good, like a Joven Rioja. But otherwise there was too much extraction on the tannin. Your house red should be juicy, fruity and easy drinking.’ Guillaume Mahaut, ETM Group

Award winners

Found 46 wines

House Wine: Red - <£6 ex-VAT

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Vinha do Fava, Touriga Nacional 2017, Península De Setúbal, Portugal

Gold medal winner

This had all the makings of a Gold medal House Red, with Olivier Gasselin of Hakkasan describing it as ‘a spicy, meaty, dark currant wine with a fine texture, elegant tannins and an easy, juicy finish’. Its ‘damson, black cherry, cassis and smoky, graphite notes’ led The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones to recommend it as ‘a match for barbecued meats’, while Quentin Loisel of Restaurant Sat Bains declared it ‘generous, silky and impressive’.

£5.85 Direct Wines

Concha y Toro, CyT Merlot 2018, Central Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

‘Bramble and hedgerow in a glass,’ summarised Claire Love of Loves Consultancy as this Chilean Merlot joined the Gold list. Team Leader Nigel Lister found ‘an earthy, smoky green capsicum nose with a dense, ripe black fruit core’, while Dave Cushley of Prestonfield House noted a ‘smoky and savoury underbelly with good lilac and plum character’, before describing it as ‘a rather grown-up wine with more than a little grip and rich fruit’.

£5.50 CyT UK

Anciens Temps, Rouge 2018, Vin de France, France

Gold medal winner

Taking home a Gold medal for its ‘easy-drinking, ripe fruit style’, according to Rémi Cousin of Le Gavroche, this had ‘cherry, liquorice and plums with a bit of vanilla oak’, for team leader Carlos Ferreira, who went on to describe it as ‘quite floral on the fresh palate, with good balance and a long finish’. ‘A great all-rounder, with structure in the background to hold it all together,’ added team leader Hamish Anderson.

£5.83 Unity Wines & Spirits

Bodegas Olarra, Otoñal, Crianza 2017, Rioja, Spain

Gold medal winner

‘With its lovely dark berry character and notes of cedar, some red bush tea and leather, along with fairly high tannins, this seems too serious a wine for such a low price!’ remarked team leader Laurent Richet MS, among plenty of other generous praise for this well-deserved Gold winner. Equally impressed, Kai Mayfair’s Elisa Soggia described ‘well-managed alcohol, leather and earthy notes, with a hint of peppermint on the finish’.

£5.50 C&D Wines

Broadland Wineries, El Tesoro, Malbec 2018, Mendoza, Argentina

Silver medal winner

Team leader Nigel Lister noted ‘soft red fruit berries with a touch of pencil lead’ and ‘easy blackcurrant and raspberry coulis with a hint of liquorice; very quaffable’. Woodhead 17’s James Fryer picked out ‘an aniseed and herbal note with a juicy black fruit mid-palate’.

£4.90 Broadland Wineries

Due Palme, Sea Change, Negroamaro 2017, Puglia, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Easy drinking style but well done, great body with pleasant tannin. A great value everyday drinker,’ said Janusz Sasiadek of Bottles & Battles, while team leader Andres Ituarte found a ‘super floral nose with a candied palate’, adding: ‘A touch of residual sugar but a good, easy-drinking house red.’

£5.75 Inverarity Morton

Badet Clément, La Cour des Dames, Malbec, Pays d'Oc 2017, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

Christopher Delalonde MS of The Dorchester found ‘dark fruit and plum with notes of olives, smoke and spice’. He went on to describe a ‘juicy, lifted mid-palate with fruity berry flavours, good texture of ripe fruit and a balanced, spicy finish’.

£5.70 Molson Coors

Michel Servin, Rouge 2016, Vin De France, France

Silver medal winner

Team leader Lionel Periner picked up ‘red fruit with a hint of cacao’. He commented that the ‘dry, balanced palate suggests raspberries and a touch of rhubarb, while the well-integrated tannins lead to a decent finish with attractive freshness’, and described it as ‘versatile’.

£5.03 Majestic Commercial

Journey's End, This Merlot Needs You 2018, Western Cape, South Africa

Silver medal winner

Joshua Castle of Noble Rot found this to have ‘a nose of ripe blue fruits and violets and a lush texture’, and noted that its ‘nuanced, elegant tannins provide a persistent finish’. Team leader Lionel Periner, meanwhile, remarked on the ‘crunchy berries, fairly high acidity and meaty, fleshy, body’.

£5.75 Bibendum

Boutinot, Les Oliviers, Merlot Mourvèdre, Pays d'Oc 2017, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

‘Lovely texture’, commented Valentin Radosav of Gymkhana Restaurant, adding that it had ‘ripe red and black fruit, finely grained tannin and a juicy finish’. The Royal Automobile Club’s Michael Fiducia, meanwhile, noted ‘lifted pretty aromas of cherry and cranberries with a structured, smooth palate’.

£5.90 Boutinot

DFJ Vinhos, Coreto Tinto 2018, Lisbon, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Good quality and nice complexity; the red fruit flavours also have a nice farmyard character,’ said Corina Stanila of La Dame de Pic at Ten Trinity Square, with Michael Fiducia of The Royal Automobile Club noting ‘ripe cherry aromas with herbaceous notes and an elegantly soft palate’.

£5.95 Ellis of Richmond

Félix Solís, La Prensa, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Central Spain, Spain

Bronze medal winner

Rémi Cousin of Le Gavroche enjoyed a ‘slightly gamey, vegetal nose with a simple juicy, fruity palate, good balance and a nicely bitter finish’.

£5.66 Matthew Clark

Broadland Wineries, Pais de Poetas, Merlot 2018, Central Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

Tobias Gorn of Boisdale Restaurants remarked on ‘an easy-drinking, juicy, red fruit style at an excellent price’.

£3.60 Broadland Wineries

Concha y Toro, CyT, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Central Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Carlos Ferreira found a ‘very smoky nose with lots of rosemary, pine nuts and pepper’ and ‘a fresh, floral palate of soft stewed fruit’.

£5.50 CyT UK

Finca Constancia, Altozano, Tempranillo Syrah 2017, Toledo, Spain

Bronze medal winner

Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club described this as having ‘ripe cassis and sweet spices, black pepper over jammy notes and a long finish’.

£5.35 LWC Drinks Ltd (Merchant and Shippers)

Domaine du Grand Mayne, Merlot Cabernet 2016, South West France, France

Bronze medal winner

This had ‘an attractive nose of spice and bramble’ with ‘a touch of green pepper’ for team leader Hamish Anderson.

£5.85 Grand Mayne

Blass, Shiraz 2017, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Bronze medal winner

Bianca Potenza of Bluespoon Andaz Hotel - Amsterdam noted a ‘smoky, liquorice nose with a lick of oaky vanilla and a perhaps slightly under ripe, herbaceous note’.

£4.50 Molson Coors, Treasury Wine Estates

Wolf Blass, Blass Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Coonawarra, Australia

Bronze medal winner

‘Good black, jammy fruits with a plum-driven mid-palate warmed by the alcohol on the finish,’ said Aster Restaurant’s Marco Marcuzzo, describing it as ‘good with food’.

£6.00 Molson Coors, Treasury Wine Estates

Pegões, Fonte Do Nico, Tinto 2017, Península De Setúbal, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

‘Fruity and juicy wine with notes of plum, cherry and a touch of leather. Very good balance between tannins and acidity,’ commented Elisa Soggia of Kai Mayfair.

£4.85 Majestic Commercial

Félix Solís, Viña San Juan, Tinto 2018, La Mancha, Spain

Commended medal winner

£4.95 Adnams

Cintila, Red 2017, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Félix Solís, Casa Albali, Tempranillo Shiraz 2018, Valdepeñas, Spain

Commended medal winner

£5.93 Matthew Clark

Broadland Wineries, Proudly Vegan, Merlot 2018, Central Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

Cramele Recas, Pinot Noir 2017, Banat, Romania

Commended medal winner

Finca Constancia, Altozano, Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Toledo, Spain

Commended medal winner

Jarrah Wood, Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

LGI-Wines, Baron De Baussac, Vieilles Vignes, Carignan 2017, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

Paul Sapin, Laughing Giraffe, Shiraz 2017, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£5.97 R D Wines

WX Brands, Marques de Calado, Tempranillo 2018, Castilla, Spain

Commended medal winner

Broadland Wineries, Cawston Crossing, Shiraz 2018, Western Cape, South Africa

Commended medal winner

Sivipa, Terras Do Sado, Tinto 2018, Península De Setúbal, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Badet Clément, Le Bosq Rouge 2018, Vin de France, France

Commended medal winner

£6.00 Matthew Clark

Cielo e Terra, Farfalla, Sangiovese 2017, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

Robert Brunel, La Colombe, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, South West France, France

Commended medal winner

Robert Brunel, Jardin, Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, South West France, France

Commended medal winner

WX Brands, El Molturo, Tempranillo Garnacha 2018, Spain, Spain

Commended medal winner

Peninsula Viticultores, Dominio de la Fuente, Tempranillo 2018, Castilla, Spain

Commended medal winner

The Wine Group, Roller Girl, Merlot 2017, California, USA

Commended medal winner

Bird Island, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Western Cape, South Africa

Commended medal winner

Blends, Big Earl, Malbec 2018, Mendoza, Argentina

Commended medal winner

£5.95 Bibendum

San Valero, Big Earl, Tempranillo 2014, Aragón, Spain

Commended medal winner

£5.55 Bibendum

Bodegas Olarra, Añares, Crianza 2016, Rioja, Spain

Commended medal winner

£6.38 C&D Wines

De Bortoli, Under The Sycamore, Shiraz 2017, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

Boutinot, Mucho Mas, Merlot 2018, Central Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£5.65 Boutinot

Bellefontaine, Merlot, Pays d'Oc 2017, Languedoc, France

Commended medal winner

£5.90 Boutinot

DFJ Vinhos, Portada, Winemaker's Selection, Tinto 2018, Lisbon, Portugal

Commended medal winner

 

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