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Home Winners > Winners 2019 > Douro - Red

Winner Details

Portugal: Red, Douro

2019 GOLD: 3      SILVER: 4      BRONZE: 1      COMMENDED: 9
2018 GOLD: 2      SILVER: 9      BRONZE: 3      COMMENDED: 9

The Douro is a complex region, and its myriad layers and styles were reflected here. We had everything from cheap and cheerful to top-end pricey, fresh to super-ripe, and rustically traditional to sleek and modern. Unsurprisingly, there was little consensus among our tasters as to which styles they preferred, though there was a general wariness of both oak and tannin.

The days when the Douro was viewed as a cheap wine producing region, it seems, are now firmly in the rear-view mirror. Few tasters mentioned price as a factor, and there were no complaints about paying £15-£20 for something with ambition, provided the quality stacked up.

This makes sense. After all, the Douro is an incredibly difficult (and expensive) place to grow grapes and make wine. But it’s a good story to sell to the public who are, in most cases, warm to the story being presented to them.

Most interesting medal this year? The Quinta do Crasto Syrah – a non-DO Syrah. Wonder what Dona Antonia Ferreira would have made of that…

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘This was a very good flight, with different styles and price points. We were finding medal-worthy wines at both ends of the spectrum, at £7 and at £30. Changes in winemaking and the quality of winemaking are making a difference in the Douro.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

‘This flight started with fruit-driven, and then went into more modern style, with new oak, but it didn’t overpower the fruit. This style of wine sells well.’ Oliver Nagy, Hakkasan Hanway Place

‘It was really great that you could smell the origin of the wines. The winemakers are adapting what they do well, and modernising it. You get a lot of wine for the money. If you have some on the list people are easily blown away.’ Carolina W Seibel, Moio Restaurant

‘I was a little disappointed with the flight as a whole. The area has progressed, but there seem to be a few producers that haven’t raised their game to what we expect these days. The more concentrated wines would show better if they were decanted.’ Nelio Pinto, Candlesticks

‘It would be better to see more at the bottom end, as the Douro is an up-and-coming region and still represents excellent value for money.’ Charlie Carter, Ten Green Bottles

 

Award winners

Found 17 wines

Portugal: Red, Douro Valley

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

Gold medal winner

For team leader Tom Forrest this clear Gold medal winner began with ‘big vanilla and coconut aromas’, leading on to ‘dark berries, coffee and coconut’ as well as ‘jammy vanilla cream’. Overall he found it ‘well balanced and with good length’. Carolina W Seibel of Moio Restaurant, meanwhile, described ‘pure, vibrant dark fruit, high acidity, roasted nuts and floral, grippy tannins’. Dave Cushley of Prestonfield House was both impressed and succinct: ‘It’s smooth and elegant, round and mature.’

£15.28 Enotria&Coe

Alves de Sousa, Quinta da Gaivosa 2015, Douro, Portugal

Gold medal winner

Team leader Tom Forrest picked up ‘cedar and cinnamon spice’ and thought this Gold medal winner was ‘extremely elegant’ with ‘fresh fruits and spice, some tobacco, and a balanced finish’. For Carolina W Seibel of Moio Restaurant it had ‘lovely notes of baked pastries and caramel’ as well as ‘dark black cherries’, that were ‘grippy and herbaceous’, while Oliver Nagy of Hakkasan Hanway Place thought the wine showed ‘sweet plum, dark cherry, coconut, milk chocolate and vanilla’. Dave Cushley of Prestonfield House also found elegance, describing ‘teasing hints of smooth supple fruit and soft little tannins’, leading to a wine that overall was ‘pretty; enticing.’

£29.81 Atlantico UK, Top Selection

DFJ Vinhos, Vega 2017, Douro, Portugal

Gold medal winner

‘Deep purple, perfumed with violets and smoky aromatic oak,’ began team leader Tom Forrest of this Gold Lister, going on to describe a ‘ripe, peppery, black fruit palate’ and a ‘spicy finish’, and declaring it ‘very good value’. Oliver Nagy of Hakkasan Hanway Place picked up ‘plum and blackberry’ and thought it was an ‘intense, earthy, dark fruit-driven wine’, while for Dave Cushley of Prestonfield House it was ‘rich, dark and chocolatey with raspberry fruit and velvety tannins’. ‘A seductive wine,’ he concluded.

£6.95 Ellis of Richmond

Quinta do Crasto, Touriga Nacional 2016, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

Guillaume Mahaut of the ETM Group thought this wine has flavours of ‘blackberries and overripe forest fruits, yet has firm tannins and is distinctly herbal on the finish’.

£34.45 Enotria&Coe

Quinta Nova, Unoaked 2017, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Kipper box smoke!’ was team leader Tom Forrest’s unusual tasting note for this Silver medal-winning wine, although he further described ‘soft red and black fruits with a length that is juicy and ripe’.

£9.00 Oakley Wine Agencies

Esporão, Quinta dos Murcas, Reserva 2012, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Dark chocolate and plums on the nose, rich and fleshy on the palate,’ thought team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, while Nelio Pinto of Candlesticks found ‘notes of cedar and black tea, violets and sour cherry’, and added that ‘its firm tannins will develop well’.

£22.31 Matthew Clark

Casa Ferreirinha, Vinha Grande 2016, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘This one has some nice dusty herbaceous notes showing, complementing its dark fruit backdrop,’ said Carolina W Seibel of Moio Restaurant, adding: ‘This is well made, meticulous even, slowly revealing its layers; there’s notes of orange blossom… very good acidity and quite grippy but smooth tannins.’

£9.82 Liberty Wines

5 Bagos, Palato do Côa, Reserva Tinto 2014, Douro, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

‘Very ripe, with deep black fruits and a firm structure,’ said Guillaume Mahaut of the ETM Group, adding that it was ‘inky with fresh acidity with coffee notes’.

£13.00 5 BAGOS SOCIEDADE AGRICOLA, LDA

Dos Lusíadas, Eleivera 2015, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Esporão, Quinta dos Murcas Assobio, Tinto 2016, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£9.71 Matthew Clark

5 Bagos, Palato do Côa, Tinto 2015, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Poças, Reserva Tinto 2015, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Alves de Sousa, Caldas 2015, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Restrito, Reserva Tinto 2015, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Casa Ferreirinha, Papa Figos 2017, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£8.32 Liberty Wines

Casa Ferreirinha, Callabriga 2016, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£13.82 Liberty Wines

Quinta do Crasto, Red 2017, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£10.51 Enotria&Coe

 

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