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Winner Details

Port

This was probably port’s best Sommelier Wine Awards ever. The success, however, wasn’t just about the high Gold count, but rather the range of wines we found for our Gold List.

It’s not unusual for tawny styles to do well in this competition, and they made up half of the Golds again this year. But they were also backed up with an aged white, a vintage and a couple of LBVs. The Poças ruby was unlucky not to make it on too.

Strength in depth, in other words, just as you’d hope for from a classic category like this. Not too many of our Golds were what you’d call cheap, necessarily – but the quality on offer was exceptional.

From The Tasting Teams

‘Tawny prices are amazing for the quality of the wine, making them perfect for restaurants. They’re a lot more flexible than vintage port.’ Tanguy Martin, Blandford Comptoir

‘There’s a lot of confusion as to how these wines should be served and stored.’ Joshua Castle, Noble Rot

‘Port is generally unfashionable, and white is next-level unfashionable. These white ports were actually so good, and you don’t see them anywhere!’ Andres Ituarte, Tamarind Collection

‘Tawnies were the highlight of the day. There was lovely balance, and they work really well as a digestif, served with the right cheeses, or with the right dessert.’ Charlie Carter, L’Atelier Du Vin

‘Putting on a port has a lot to do with your menu. For us, port is really important because we do a lot of cheese platters.’ Savvas Symeonidis, Goodman Restaurant Mayfair

‘If you serve tawny straight out the fridge you have a journey in flavour as it warms up.’ Andre Luis Martins, team leader

‘Bloody good! I’m going to find these white ports and put them on my list. That’s one of the fun parts of judging here!’ Savvas Symeonidis, Goodman Restaurant Mayfair

‘My favourite ruby here had all kinds of aromatics on the nose. If people would just serve ruby port like this one, I would drink it.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

Award winners

Found 29 wines

Port

Poças, LBV 2013, Douro, Portugal

Gold medal winner

'A precisely made LBV with finesse, showing some nice grippy tannins and plump black fruit.' Joshua Castle, Noble Rot. 'This wine has great personality, with some rich savoury and sweet notes, and candid fruits joining chocolate, orange and mint on the palate.' Marco Marcuzzo, Zuma Rome. 'Balanced and intense, full-bodied but fresh.' Anja Breit, abWINEconsulting.

£11.99 Size: 75cl House of Townend

Quinta do Vallado, 20 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal

Gold medal winner

'Peppery spice, dried herbs and sticky dates all come through on the nose, followed by toffee, currants, dates and straw on the palate. Good acidity washes back the sweetness nicely, allowing the herbs and spices to come through on the finish.' Charlie Carter, L' Atelier Du Vin. 'A zesty wine, with caramel notes following some very ripe, dry cherries.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel.

£26.47 Size: 50cl Bibendum

Kopke , 10 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal

Gold medal winner

'A lovely, light introduction to tawny port, with lots of dried fruit and a pleasant finish.' Giancarlo Cuccuru, The Ned. 'Nutty orange peel and coffee bean notes are joined by some vanilla and sweet medicinal spices.' Tom Forrest, team leader. 'Sticky dates and figs, as well as some sweet spice and bitter orange, leading to vibrant, sticky fruit on the palate, and a complex finish.' Charlie Carter, L' Atelier Du Vin.

£16.55 Size: 75cl Hayward Bros

Kopke , Colheita White Port 2003, Douro, Portugal

Gold medal winner

'So good... This is soft and elegant, with nuts and crème brûlée, and an amazing finish that lasts minutes.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'I love the dried tropical fruits, with cardamom and white spices, leading to a generous palate. Great by the glass in a Michelin-starred restaurant.' Gaetano Giangaspero, C&C.'This is a very versatile style, with well-balanced sweetness.' Anja Breit, abWINEconsulting.

£37.45 Size: 75cl Hayward Bros

Kopke , Colheita 1980, Douro, Portugal

Gold medal winner

'A complex wine, with plenty of sweetness, spice and all things nice. Clove, orange peel, and a dried fruit medley, leading to a balanced finish that's sweet but fresh.' Giancarlo Cuccuru, The Ned. 'Notes of orange peel, walnuts, dates, raisin and forest floor.' Romain de Courcy, The Ritz Paris. 'This has everything an old colhieta should, with good balance and integrated alcohol.' Raphael Thierry, consultant.

£79.40 Size: 75cl Hayward Bros

Kopke , Colheita 1981, Douro, Portugal

Gold medal winner

'This is unbelievably fresh for the sugar level. Absolutely fantastic. Rich, with candied orange, vanilla pod and sweet pastry notes, and some well-balanced acids.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'Complex, with lots of nutty aromas, as well as figs, plums, cherries and jam.' Arturo Scamardella, The Ritz London. 'A good, old colheita to introduce to guests in a fine-dining restaurant.' Raphael Thierry, consultant.

£72.63 Size: 75cl Sogevinus

Wiese & Krohn, Krohn, Vintage 2017, Douro, Portugal

Gold medal winner

'A fantastic young and fresh vintage port with great ageing potential, and lots of red fruit, gingerbread and oak.' Immacolata Cannavo, Hakkasan Mayfair. 'Elegant and balanced, with nascent aromas of blackberry and anise.' Joshua Castle, Noble Rot. 'A rich and very spicy palate, well supported by some zingy acidity and firm tannic structure.' Marco Marcuzzo, Zuma Rome.

£43.00 Size: 75cl Boutinot

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

Gold medal winner

'A very well-balanced wine with lots of fresh red fruit and oak character joined by sweet spice and orange peel. It would pair well with a chocolate dessert with raspberry sauce.' Immacolata Cannavo, Hakkasan Mayfair. 'This has a spicy, peppery palate with silky dark fruits like cherry preserve. Superbly well presented, and very long and powerful.' Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader.

£40.94 Size: 75cl Atlantico UK, Top Selection

Poças, 30 Years Old NV, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

'A pungent wine with a luscious palate, showing some intense spices and a big hit of sweetness.' Tanguy Martin, Blandford Comptoir. 'Nutty and zesty, there's great complexity and texture here.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel. 'Savoury notes along with intense dried fruit notes.' Aurore Anguenot, Aviary.

£52.00 Size: 75cl House of Townend

Poças, Reserve Ruby NV, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

'This is remarkably multi-dimensional, with notes of red fruit, toast, nuts, liquorice and spice on the nose, and a warm boom of alcohol on the finish. Very well made.' Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader. 'Nice and plump blue and black fruit here, with some savoury fruit creeping in too.' Joshua Castle, Noble Rot.

£10.46 Size: 75cl House of Townend

Kopke , 20 Year Old White Port NV, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

'Nutty and quite dainty for the style, with dried peach and nectarine joined by some exotic Asian spices, and additional coconut and toffee notes.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'This port has a great orange colour, and is showing signs of development alongside some citrus notes.' Gaetano Giangaspero, C&C.

£25.00 Size: 37.5cl Hayward Bros

Kopke , 20 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

'Red fruit notes together with figs and dates, and some spicy traits too, leading to a resinous palate, with fresh and dried fruits showing well alongside cinnamon and cardamom, and a hint of anise. Good integration, with a lingering, sticky-fruit finish.' Charlie Carter, L' Atelier Du Vin. 'Attractive nutty, chocolate and mocha notes joined by toffee and orange peel, as well as some raisins and walnuts.' Tom Forrest, team leader.

£28.95 Size: 75cl Hayward Bros

Barros, Colheita 1996, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

'A luscious wine with high acidity, dried figs and prunes, with notes of smoke, tobacco, chocolate, coffee, honey and beeswax.' Savvas Symeonidis, Goodman Restaurant Mayfair. 'Bags of spice with a herbaceous character and a long, warm finish.' Giancarlo Cuccuru, The Ned. 'Pungent sweet spices with dried tropical and stone fruits leading to a balanced palate with freshness and complexity. Great to offer in a Michelin-starred restaurant.' Gaetano Giangaspero, C&C.

£26.37 Size: 75cl Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Alves de Sousa, Alves de Sousa, Vintage 2017, Douro, Portugal

Silver medal winner

'An exceptional expression that's super-powerful and extreme in every aspect, with baked and sweet fruit. Needs time, yet even at this stage it's balanced.' Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader. 'Very complex fruit intensity here, with cooked, ripe dark fruits and spices, and some high tannins.' Marco Marcuzzo, Zuma Rome.

£54.93 Size: 75cl Atlantico UK, Top Selection

Kopke , Colheita 2001, Douro, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'This is rich and fresh, with coffee and caramel notes, and very good balance, with puréed raisins and dried cranberry flavours on the palate, accompanied by lots of spice.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'Notes of orange peel, raisins and dried cherries, with oak, roasted hazelnuts and muscovado sugar.' Romain de Courcy, The Ritz Paris.

£30.38 Size: 75cl Sogevinus

Wiese & Krohn, Krohn, Late Bottled Vintage 2013, Douro, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'This has a very spicy approach, joined by rich dried-fruit aromas, as well as orange and cinnamon.' Marco Marcuzzo, Zuma Rome. 'There's crunchy, spicy fruit all the way through this LBV, accompanied by complex, succulent and juicy bramble fruit, with well-balanced sweetness throughout.' Joshua Castle, Noble Rot.

£11.75 Size: 75cl Boutinot

Cálem , 10 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'Dried orange peel notes with some caramelised aromas, leading to ginger and black tea flavours and a fine, dry rosemary finish.' Andre Luís Martins, team leader. 'Warm and round, with nutty notes, caramel and orange zest.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel. 'Pine resin and dried-fruit notes, with a hint of cardamom.' Charlie Carter, L' Atelier Du Vin.

£18.85 Size: 75cl Amathus

Cálem , 20 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'Acidity and viscosity are well matched, resulting in a lovely textural character, with wonderful fruit expression of dried plums, spiced figs and dates, joined by some burnt caramel, cinnamon and coffee notes.' Charlie Carter, L' Atelier Du Vin. 'There's great balance between oxidative notes and sweetness here.' Tanguy Martin, Blandford Comptoir.

£33.80 Size: 75cl Amathus

Poças, 20 Years Old NV, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£33.00 Size: 75cl House of Townend

Quinta do Crasto, Late Bottled Vintage 2015, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£14.84 Size: 75cl Enotria&Coe

Poças, Colheita 2000, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£26.27 Size: 75cl House of Townend

Kopke , 10 Year Old White Port NV, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£23.85 Size: 75cl Hayward Bros

Kopke , Colheita 2000, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£29.70 Size: 75cl Hayward Bros

Wiese & Krohn, Krohn, Colheita 2007, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£14.15 Size: 75cl Boutinot

Barros, 10 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£17.95 Size: 75cl Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Quinta do Crasto, Late Bottled Vintage 2014, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£14.84 Size: 75cl Enotria&Coe

Fonseca, 10 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£14.26 Size: 75cl Mentzendorff & Co

Quinta do Vallado, 10 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£16.32 Size: 50cl Bibendum

Barros, LBV Port 2015, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£16.45 Size: 75cl Hallgarten & Novum Wines

 

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