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Winner Details

House Wine: Red

In cheap red wines, like these, there isn’t anywhere to hide – with no ageing, a tough vintage is mercilessly reflected in the bottle. So it’s not surprising that the number of medals here tend to go up and down.

With seven Golds, this year was a good one. Sure, some flights were disappointing, but for the most part our judges were astonished at how good the wines were for the money. Best-performing wines were usually fresh and pure, with ripe tannins; those that were kicked out, often over-extracted or with green tannins. Oak use needed to be subtle.

Muchas felicidades to Félix Solís, by the way. Its Casa Albali range from Valdepeñas picked up Golds for house red and house white, and a Silver for house rosé. In the many years of SWA, we’ve never had a single producer pull off a feat like that.

From The Tasting Teams

‘We were looking for something quite versatile and easy-drinking that’s light to medium bodied and not too full-on.’ Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns

‘For sommeliers the house wine is very important, as it’s where you make your bucks, and you could definitely make them with these wines. Finding some of these prices in the on-trade is a miracle.’ Andre Luis Martins, team leader

‘For the ones that were good you could easily pay twice the price. If you were in a big hotel doing weddings, some of these would sell like hot cakes.’ Nelio Pinto, Candlesticks

‘Like the rosés, when they don’t try too hard they are more successful.’ Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers

‘A house wine doesn’t need a lot of complexity, but it does need balance. You want something you can put on a list anywhere.’ Carolina W Seibel, Comptoir Cafe and Wine

‘The best flight so far. It is amazing what you can get for just above £5. All of the wines were in the same mentality: juicy, approachable, fruity, easy-going and well-made.’ Savvas Symeonidis, Goodman Restaurant Mayfair

‘Freshness is the key. I want something that’s not overworked, not stewed; something with really bright fruit.’ Joshua Castle, Noble Rot

‘House red is one of the trickiest, but most interesting categories to look at. It’s the most important wine on a list.’ Tanguy Martin, Blandford Comptoir

‘I think the New World are becoming better than Old World for these. Their focus and precision of winemaking even at this level is impressive.’ Andre Luis Martins, team leader

Award winners

Found 44 wines

House Wine: Red - <£6 ex-VAT

Félix Solís, Casa Albali, Tempranillo/Shiraz 2019, Valdepeñas, Spain

Gold medal winner

'There's great intensity of aromas here, with black fruits and hints of sweet spice and bell pepper. A mid-high restaurant house wine.' Monica Bacchiocchi, Wiltons. 'An enjoyable, well-made wine, with fresh dark forest fruit notes.' Erik Simonics, Annabel’s. 'A lovely balance of ripe berry fruit and crisp acidity - great complex flavours for a house wine.' Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns.

£5.52 Matthew Clark

Cielo e Terra, I Castelli, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

'This is light and very easy-drinking, with garrigue, savoury dried basil and sour cherry notes, all leading to refreshing acidity and a bright finish.' Claire Love, Loves Consultancy. 'A delicate nose of strawberry and crunchy cranberries to start, leading to some smooth tannins and good acidity, which all make this a good match for tartare.' Arturo Scamardella, The Ritz London.

£5.85 LWC Drinks

Casa de Illana, Tres de Cinco 2014, Ribera del Júcar, Spain

Gold medal winner

'A medium-bodied wine with red fruit and a touch of vanilla, and quite silky on the palate.' Immacolata Cannavo, Hakkasan Mayfair. 'Well-balanced and easy-drinking - this really over-delivers on complexity for it’s price.' Anja Breit, abWINEconsulting. 'Some savoury touches with a bit of fruit make this a solid house wine for many bars, pubs and casual restaurants.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards.

£5.74 Chalié Richards

Accolade, Between Thorns, Shiraz 2019, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Gold medal winner

'Very aromatic! Eucalyptus and jam notes with very gentle tannins and lovely fruit. Excellent for this category.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers. 'Red fruit and a creamy velvety texture make this easy to drink, with bright freshness on the long finish.' Monica Bacchiocchi, Wiltons. 'Good complexity for a house wine, yet light.' Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns.

£5.96 Matthew Clark

Broadland Drinks, Proudly Vegan, Merlot 2019, Central Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

'Opening with candied dark fruit, there's some good acidity showing here, as well as blackcurrant and blackberries and an oaky note of dark chocolate.' Carolina W Seibel, Comptoir Cafe and Wine. 'A ripe and juicy wine, this is plush, with lots of plum and currant, and a bit of black cherry too. Simple but well made, and a steal at this price!' Andres Ituarte, team leader.

£3.98 Molson Coors, LWC Drinks, Suma Wholefoods

Boutinot, Mucho Mas, Merlot 2019, Central Valley, Chile

Gold medal winner

'Cassis and green bell pepper dominate the aromatics, with fresh acidity on the palate holding the tannins in check. There's great flavour intensity here, with cassis and pepper continuing to the finish.' Charlie Carter, L' Atelier Du Vin. 'Luscious berry fruit, with lovely balance between some earthy notes and sweet spice. Good concentration and finish, yet easy-drinking.' Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns.

£5.65 Boutinot

Ontañón, Tierras del Isasa, Organic 2018, Rioja, Spain

Gold medal winner

'A good hit of raspberry and red hedgerow fruit and texture, as well as some welcome freshness. This is great entry-level Rioja.' Charlie Young, team leader. 'Aromas of red fruits such as cherries and strawberries, leading to coffee and ripe berry notes. I'd definitely recommend this as a house red, particularly for a Spanish restaurant or tapas joint.' Cinthia Lozano, The Winery Honduras.

£5.57 Boutinot

Félix Solís, Casa Vista, Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Central Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

'Showing good complexity and balance for a house wine, this is well-rounded, with some dried fruit.' Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns. 'With red cherries and a herbaceous element on the nose, the palate shows some good dark fruit complexity, balanced with refreshing acidity.' Gaetano Giangaspero, C&C.

£5.71 Matthew Clark

Badet Clément, La Cour des Dames, Syrah, Pays d'Oc 2019, Languedoc, France

Silver medal winner

'Vibrant, juicy red berry fruit, with some floral notes and a touch of sage, all accompanied by some mouth-watering acidity.' Savvas Symeonidis, Goodman Restaurant Mayfair. 'A nicely coffee-oaked nose, leading to a nicely toasted black cherry palate. Sausages, please.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers.

£5.69 Molson Coors

Freixenet Copestick, Two Ridge Trail, Merlot 2018, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

'An appealing wine that's a touch medicinal, with eucalyptus and mint notes, and some well-managed tannins.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers. 'A good, easy-drinking wine with rich, ripe berry fruit, bags of vanilla and some sweet spice, leading to a pleasant, clean finish.' Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns.

£5.45 Majestic Commercial

Freixenet Copestick, Five Foot Track, Shiraz 2018, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

'Opening with some reined-in black fruit aromas, there's good concentration of fruit on the palate, a touch of chocolate and then great freshness.' Charlie Young, team leader. 'Savoury black fruit on the nose, with some balanced oaky, cola aromas, and a generous palate with nice compact fruit.' Joshua Castle, Noble Rot.

£5.45 Majestic Commercial

Vistamar, Brisa, Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Central Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

'A pure, fruit-driven Grenache style with some cooler fermentation, showing crunchy red cherry notes. Great for a summer selection in restaurants and bars.' Anja Breit, abWINEconsulting. 'Sweet, pungent fruit aromas with plenty of mint, and a pleasantly dry palate with underlying fleshy dark fruit characters. A good bistro house red.' Charlie Young, team leader.

£6.00 Kingsland

Félix Solís, La Prensa, Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Central Spain, Spain

Silver medal winner

'A fruity wine with good ripeness and firm red fruit flavours holding on into the aftertaste.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel. 'Dry cherry and cassis notes, with good balance.' Claire Love, Loves Consultancy. 'With its dark, jammy fruits and minty herbs, this is a pretty tasty by-the-glass option.' Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting.

£5.48 Matthew Clark

Cielo e Terra, I Castelli, Merlot 2018, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

'A lovely nose! There's good raspberry fruit here, along with some rose petal notes. Elegantly done.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers. 'Black fruits prevail on the nose, giving space to ripe red cherries on the palate, with a rounded, creamy texture, delicate tannins and a touch of sweet spices.' Monica Bacchiocchi, Wiltons.

£5.35 LWC Drinks

Accolade, Short Mile Bay, Shiraz 2019, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Silver medal winner

'Vibrant forest fruit aromas, with that vibrancy continuing to the palate, with lovely purity and good acidity balancing the soft tannic structure. The fresh forest fruit notes continue nicely into the finish too.' Charlie Carter, L' Atelier Du Vin. 'Black pepper and perfumed notes of violet lead to lots of cherries and raspberries on the silky palate. A fantastic wine for any time of the day.' Immacolata Cannavo, Hakkasan Mayfair.

£5.99 Matthew Clark

Casas del Toqui, Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Central Valley, Chile

Silver medal winner

'A versatile house red with wild blackberry aromas, leading to a full-bodied palate with spice and power, but not jammy, with good texture, and blackberries and dark plum flavours dominating.' Charlie Young, team leader. 'With its red fruit aromas and flavours, and some oakiness with hints of spices, this is easy to drink and pair with food, and is great value for money.' Cinthia Lozano, The Winery Honduras.

£5.60 Frederic Robinson

Origin Wine, Bantry Bay, Pinotage 2019, Western Cape, South Africa

Silver medal winner

'This is quite pungent on the nose, with green bell pepper and a herbaceous note, as well as dark fruit flavours, and some structured tannins.' Immacolata Cannavo, Hakkasan Mayfair. 'A pleasantly leafy nose, with well-defined fresh red fruit, some soft, fine tannins and plenty of juicy fruit.' Joshua Castle, Noble Rot.

£5.67 Majestic Commercial

Casa del Valle, Acantus, Tinto 2018, Castilla, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'A rich and ripe wine with a silky-smooth texture and some earthy chocolate notes on the finish.' Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns. 'Grippy and dry, with some tart cherry fruit - this will work with a variety of red meats.' Jade Koch, team leader. 'A lively, fresh style, with crunchy, sweet black cherries.' Vivienne Franks, Aspects of Wine.

£5.00 C&D Wines

Mancura, Etnia, Merlot 2019, Central Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

'There's a nicely herbal twist to the capsicum notes here, with a bright cranberry lift too.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers. 'A hearty nose of dark cherry and white pepper, with a palate that's complex and balanced. Great value for money, and would be suitable for a gastropub list.' Gaetano Giangaspero, C&C.

£6.00 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Félix Solís, Castillo De Mureva, Organic Tempranillo 2018, Central Spain, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'A juicy, crunchy, smashable sort of wine, with bright and lifted fruit on the nose and palate.' Joshua Castle, Noble Rot. 'Plump and full on, this delivers plenty of bang for buck. A rustic, juicy youngster.' Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader. 'Plush, with a bit of oak, lots of butter and some light spice.' Andres Ituarte, team leader.

£5.41 Matthew Clark

Félix Solís, Ayrum, Tempranillo/Garnacha 2019, Central Spain, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'This is very good, with lots of plum and redcurrant aromas, and a fruit-driven palate with some worn barrel flavours. It's a touch meaty and leathery too, with bright acids.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'This is fresh and floral on the nose, leading to a delicate palate, with a light body.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant.

£5.08 Matthew Clark

Bodegas San Valero, El Muro, Tinto 2018, Aragon, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'This opens with juicy red fruit, some fresh herbs and a balsamic hint on the nose, leading to good acidity on the palate. A very easy-drinking wine with a refreshing finish.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant. 'Dark fruits, as well as some herbal, meaty and spice notes.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader.

£5.85 Bibendum

Botter, Fontana d'Italia, Sangiovese 2019, Rubicone, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Vibrant juicy cherry on the nose, with some perfume too - a red cherry-dominated wine, with a light finish.' Claire Love, Loves Consultancy. 'A fruit-driven nose and a fresh, crisp palate. This would be great by-the-glass gastropub or trattoria option.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant.

£4.60 Molson Coors

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Vinha do Fava, Touriga Nacional 2018, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'Opening with ripe black fruits, some cumin spice and soft tannins, this wine's fruit concentration and firm finish really stand out.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel. 'Big flavours of jammy blackberries, brandied cherries and liquorice. A bold wine that has a market for sure.' Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting.

£6.00 Direct Wines

VyF, La Tierra Rocosa, Merlot 2019, Central Valley, Chile

Bronze medal winner

'Aromatic, with floral and cassis notes, and a light herbaceousness, this is a structured wine with a minty finish.' Carolina W Seibel, Comptoir Cafe and Wine. 'This is a smooth red wine that's pungent on the nose and quite supple on the palate.' Immacolata Cannavo, Hakkasan Mayfair. 'The quite pronounced tannins will go well with food.' Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche.

£5.23 Majestic Commercial

Bodegas Murviedro, El Ninot de Paper, Tinto 2018, Valencia, Spain

Bronze medal winner

'This is a touch rustic, with a good concentration of fruit and grippy tannins, with notes of dried leaves and violets.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'Sweet cherry, plum and cranberry, with some sweet spice and earthy notes.' Markus Dilger, Dilger Sommelier Selection. 'A full body, with cherry and plum notes. Good value for money.' Immacolata Cannavo, Hakkasan Mayfair.

£5.50 Boutinot

Vistamar, Via Alta, Merlot Reserva 2018, Central Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£5.99 LWC Drinks

Domaine du Grand Mayne, Merlot/Cabernet 2017, Côtes de Duras, France

Commended medal winner

£5.95 Grand Mayne

Félix Solís, Panuelo, Vino Tinto NV, Central Spain, Spain

Commended medal winner

£4.89 Matthew Clark

Félix Solís, Oratoire St Pierre, Vin Rouge NV, Central Spain, Spain

Commended medal winner

£5.15 Matthew Clark

Imbuko, Umbala, Pinotage 2018, Western Cape, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£5.19 LWC Drinks

Imbuko, Umbala, Shiraz 2019, Western Cape, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£5.19 LWC Drinks

Fray Leon, Matinal, Merlot 2018, Central Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£4.00 Kingsland

Botter, Sea Change, Merlot 2019, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£5.00 Heineken

Accolade, Between Thorns, Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, South Eastern Australia, Australia

Commended medal winner

£5.96 Matthew Clark

Félix Solís, Viña San Juan, Tinto 2019, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

Commended medal winner

£5.00 Adnams

Healy & Gray, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Central Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£5.23 LWC Drinks

Boutinot, Sierra Grande Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Central Valley, Chile

Commended medal winner

£5.65 Boutinot

Casa Girelli, Terriero, Merlot 2015, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

Boutinot, El Tesoro, Monastrell/Shiraz 2018, Jumilla, Spain

Commended medal winner

£5.40 Boutinot

Boutinot, Gran Tesoro, Garnacha 2018, Campo de Borja, Spain

Commended medal winner

£5.15 Boutinot

Healy & Gray, Shiraz 2018, Western Cape, South Africa

Commended medal winner

£5.23 LWC Drinks

Les Grands Chais de France, Michel Servin, Rouge 2018, Vin de France, France

Commended medal winner

WX Brands, El Molturo, Tempranillo/Garnacha 2019, Multi-Regional, Spain

Commended medal winner

 

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