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Winner Details

Portugal: White, including Vinho Verde

2019 GOLD: 4      SILVER: 3      BRONZE: 3      COMMENDED: 10
2018 GOLD: 3      SILVER: 7      BRONZE: 3      COMMENDED: 14

A game of two halves here, Brian. While this might have looked like a 2-2 draw when it came to the way the Golds were shared out, the Vinho Verde team will feel hard done by, while the ‘rest of Portuguese whites’ will be happy to escape with a metaphorical point.

If one thing has become clear over the past few years, it’s been the revival of the ‘green wine’ region at the country’s north-western edges. Vinho Verde is on a roll. Rather like Txakoli, it probably helps that its bread and butter is ‘fresh and crisp’ rather than ‘rich and buttery’. But in fact, there are rounder, more textural versions starting to appear as well – and our tasters loved them, too.

Outside of VV it’s a question of wines being more than just ‘fresh and green’ and having actual, you know, character to go with the acidity – and not enough of them managed that. But on this evidence, it’s a white region to watch, particularly for the Verdes.


‘The quality of Vinho Verde is going up and up every year. The first prices were refreshing and citrusy, the more expensive ones go very well with food. In the next five years Vinho Verde should build in a classic and a reserva range.’ Lionel Periner, team leader

‘A great representative sample across the board, that shows the new diversity. [The Adega Ponte da Barca] at £28 has complexity and elegance. People would remember it forever.’ Emanuel Pesqueira, consultant

‘There’s increasing demand for Portuguese wines.’ Charlie Carter, Ten Green Bottles

‘Barrel fermentation brings out so much complexity. Very good wines.’ Daniel Jonberger, Rockliffe Hall

‘The wines near the coast, the winemakers need to be careful. Looking for more freshness is a big mistake. You get cabbage and asparagus character in the wines – this destroyed the flight.’ Carlos Ferreira, team leader

‘Five years ago Vinho Verde was more of a tourist wine. Now around £7 you really get an amazing wine.’ Francesca Turra, Mondrian London
‘Portugal has great potential with its indigenous grape varieties. But most of our white flight were lacking concentration, typicity and excitement. They could have been from anywhere in the world.’ Diana Rollan, D&D

Award winners

Found 20 wines


Casa de Vila Nova, Vila Nova, Alvariñho 2018, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Gold medal winner

Undoubtedly worthy of Gold, this Alvariñho was ‘aromatic and powerful, with creamy, delicate white fruit’, according to Francesca Turra of Mondrian London, while The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones described it as ‘exotic, tropical and stony’. Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin found it ‘ripe, bright and zesty, with lovely ripeness and a confected-lemon note, as well as some salty minerality’. Consultant Emanuel Pesqueira, meanwhile, added praise for its ‘great value for money’.

£7.95 Boutinot

Quinta dos Carvalhais, Branco Especial NV, Dão, Portugal

Gold medal winner

This white blend was elevated to Gold for its ‘beautiful, very complex nose, with smooth pear, red apple and oak notes, leading to a smooth palate that’s very fresh, with mint, eucalyptus and pine, and a brilliant, very long finish’, according to team leader Carlos Ferreira. D&D’s Diane Rollan found it to be ‘mineral and citrussy, with an intense nose of grapefruit, and some nice salty minerality on the palate – a vibrant, well-balanced wine’ that would ‘work well with sushi’.

£29.20 Liberty Wines

Quinta das Arcas, Conde Villar, Alvarinho 2017, Minho, Portugal

Gold medal winner

This Gold Lister was ‘floral and zesty, with white flower blossom notes’, began Francesca Turra of Mondrian London in its praise, while consultant Emanuel Pesqueira thought it ‘dry, balanced and fruit driven’. Team leader Carlos Ferreira found it ‘both mineral and buttery on the nose, with notes of stone fruit and white asparagus, as well as a grassiness’, while fellow team leader Lionel Periner concluded that all of this complexity added up to ‘great food-pairing potential’.

£10.58 Bibendum

Poças, Branco da Ribeira 2017, Douro, Portugal

Gold medal winner

‘Very impressive,’ began team leader Charlie Young as Poças added a Gold to its pair of port medals, finding it to be ‘mineral on the nose, with spicy oak, and palate that is deep and full, leading to a finish that is long and persistent, with grapefruit-like acidity and a buttery spiced core’. ‘Structure, power and poise’, summarised Grape Times UK’s Harry Crowther, who praised its ‘good focus and finesse’.

£33.00 House of Townend

Quinta do Pinto, Vinhas do Lasso, Colheita Seleccionada, Branco 2016, Lisbon, Portugal

Silver medal winner

Team leader Charlie Young liked this wine’s ‘ripe peach and citrus aromas’, and said: ‘With a nice balance of minerality and white fruit on the palate, this is soft and textured yet finishes with decent freshness.’

£8.50 Boutinot

Ponte da Barca, 500 Loureiro, Alvariñho, Reserva 2017, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Great balance and weight,’ said The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones, adding: ‘There’s exotic fruit notes like lychee and guava and very good length. It would make a lovely match with sea bass.’

£27.48 Adega Ponte da Barca

5 Bagos, Palato do Côa, Reserva Branco 2017, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

‘Deeply aromatic notes of spicy pear lead to a richly textured palate that is savoury and complex,’ said team leader Charlie Young, with Rockliffe Hall’s Daniel Jonberger adding: ‘Builds to a nice finish of spiced, caramelised orange.’


Herdade de Coelheiros, Coelheiros, Branco 2017, Alentejo, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

Charlie Carter of Ten Green Bottles found a nose of ‘lemon peel and garrigue herbs’ and described the palate as ‘softly textured with citrussy flavours and a lovely herbal finish’.

£9.64 Borough Wines

Herdade Tinto e Branco, Quinta do Paral, Branco 2017, Alentejo, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

‘The palate is very complex and full with aromas: it’s floral and spicy with notes of salted asparagus,’ said team leader Carlos Ferreira, adding: ‘It would be very good with seafood.’

£11.12 Herdade Tinto e Branco, Unipessoal, Lda

DFJ Vinhos, Jag Alvarinho 2017, Lisbon, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

‘Mineral and lemon aromas lead to a rich, herbaceous flavour profile, with juicy citrus fruits and good phenolic texture,’ said Charlie Carter of Ten Green Bottles.

£7.28 DFJ Vinhos, S.A.

Casa de Vila Nova, Vila Nova, Loureiro 2018, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£7.00 Boutinot

Casa de Vila Nova, Vila Nova 2018, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£6.50 Boutinot

Casa Ferreirinha, Papa Figos 2017, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£8.32 Liberty Wines

Esporão Reserva, Branco 2017, Alentejo, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Terras do Pó Castas, Chardonnay/Viognier 2017, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£9.66 Atlantico UK

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Vinha da Valentina, Premium 2017, Palmela, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Herdade Tinto e Branco, Quinta do Paral, Colheita Selecionada, Branco 2017, Alentejo, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Churchill's Estates, Douro White 2017, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Dos Lusíadas, Eleivera 2017, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Reguengo de Melgaço, Alvarinho 2018, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Commended medal winner