Winner Details

White (including Vinho Verde)

Quietly, almost self-deprecatingly, Portugal’s whites are growing to become a really interesting part of SWA. We used to be happy with one or two Golds, but over the past few years we’ve begun to find real strength in depth here, and this year’s performance further advanced such a hypothesis. The figures were Portuguese brancos’ best yet.

Interestingly, the success this year was achieved with a fairly average performance from the white style you would expect to be the driving force: Vinho Verde. 

Fortunately, the quiet revolution, it seems, is one that runs across the whole country, with better winemaking in places like Palmela, Dão and the Alentejo coming to the rescue. The best entries from here allowed the different (usually indigenous) grapes to express themselves, which in most cases meant ‘without too much distracting oak’.

Fresh, well-priced and individual, these should be on every on-trade wine buyer’s ‘to taste’ list.

From The Tasting Teams

‘Precise winemaking is really taking effect in Portugal. Very consistent, good freshness, and the fruit was really expressing itself.’ Andre Luis Martins, team leader

‘I know there’s incredible quality coming from Vinho Verde at great prices, but our flight mostly didn’t reflect that.’ Tim Smith, Winesurfer Consulting

‘Some really good Portuguese whites, and a lot of them were new to me. There’s now a wide opportunity to explore the wines of Portugal and experience new aromas and flavours.’ Gary Newborough, The Aristologist

‘There’s very good value to be had at the lower end of the market, although there’s opportunity and potential at the higher prices too. You get a lot of wine for your money at £20.’ Victoria Sharples, St John Restaurant Group

‘At their best these have freshness and acidity. It’s easy to recommend them for fish and chips in a pub, or in a nice restaurant with prawns. They’re very versatile for food pairing, from pubs to Michelin-starred restaurants.’ Dario Barbato, Individual Restaurants

‘The cheaper Vinho Verdes had that vibrancy and zing. The expensive wines here weren’t in any way twice as good.’ Martin Lam, team leader

‘There was a lot of variety here, and they were really good, with lots of acidity. The prices started low and stayed pretty low too. There’s lots of quality at the lower end of the market.’ Jade Koch, team leader

‘Great diversity, and so much value for money.’ Jan Van Heesvelde, L’Enclume

Award winners

Found 39 wines

Portugal: White

Casa de Vila Nova, Vila Nova, Vinho Verde 2019, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Gold medal winner

'Showing some ripe tropical fruits, and with a good level of acidity, this is great value for money.' Gaetano Giangaspero, C&C. 'Typical, with good freshness and vibrancy.' Martin Lam, team leader. 'A very light and breezy wine that's soft and juicy, finishing with some crisp apple character. Very refreshing for the price, and great as a house by-the-glass option.' Jade Koch, team leader.

£6.50 Boutinot

Casa da Passarella, Abanico, Reserva Branco 2018, Dão, Portugal

Gold medal winner

'Savoury and mineral, with tropical fruit, pear and spicy oak and good concentration, with plenty of freshness.' Charlie Young, team leader. 'Stone fruits and blossom notes, as well as hay and camomile, and great texture, making this a very food-friendly wine.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel. 'Fresh acidity with some lovely stone fruit notes - perfect as an aperitif.' Sarah McKenzie, Nut Tree Inn.

£11.55 O ABRIGO DA PASSARELA, LDA

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Dona Ermelinda, Reserva Branco 2018, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Gold medal winner

'Sunshine in a glass, with passion fruit, pineapple and star fruits. For seafood restaurants this would be a great wine by the glass.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'This is elegant, with real depth of fruit, as well as floral honeysuckle notes and a creamy palate. Ripe and gently rich.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers. 'There's great harmony here between refreshing acidity, fruit and minerality.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards.

£9.25 Casa Ermelinda Freitas - Vinhos, Lda

Santo Isidro de Pegões, Fontanário de Pegões, White 2018, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Gold medal winner

'A quaffable wine with a bit of weight on the palate and some freshness to it, with peach and pear notes on both the nose and palate.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards. 'Crisp, refreshing and very elegant, with ripe tropical notes and some light nectarine too.' Andre Luís Martins, team leader. 'Delicate apricot notes with some white flowers too. Very good value.' Andres Ituarte, team leader.

£6.62 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Campos do Minho 2018, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Gold medal winner

'With lots of spritz, apple and pear fruit and some good acidity and freshness, this would work really well for a bar's by-the-glass offering.' Jade Koch, team leader. 'Fresh, zesty and citrusy, with a palate that's vibrant and refreshing. A great match with mussels.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant. 'A classic spritzy number that you could drink all day long.' Joshua Castle, Noble Rot.

£4.22 Ermelinda Vinhos e Portugal, Lda

Casa da Passarella, O Oenólogo, Encruzado 2018, Dão, Portugal

Silver medal winner

'Citrusy and creamy, with a freshness to the palate, some vanilla and elderflower notes, and some white pepper too.' Elisa Soggia, Trivet. 'An elegant, quietly confident and grown-up wine with subtle spice on the nose and lovely plump fruit. Delicious.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers.

£13.00 Enotria&Coe

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Dona Ermelinda, Branco 2018, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Silver medal winner

'Lovely, fresh and lively, with a lovely creaminess to the palate. Great texture and super value.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers. 'Offering good value for money, this would be a solid by-the-glass option for pubs and bars, offering pleasant stone fruits along with some green apple and mineral tones.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards.

£6.50 Atlantico UK

Pegões, Fontanário de Pegões, White 2019, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Silver medal winner

'Great citrus blossom with white floral notes make this crisp and enjoyable. This would be great with dishes that require some counterbalance in terms of freshness, from creamy curries to spiced meat dishes.' Alonso Abed, Trivet. 'Super-fresh and aromatic, with citrus and pear notes, and good balance on the palate, which is round and full, but with good freshness and citrus character.' Charlie Young, team leader.

£6.62 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Herdade do Rocim, Mariana, White 2018, Alentejo, Portugal

Silver medal winner

'An elegant wine with juicy fruit that's food-friendly, well-made and quietly sophisticated.' Nigel Lister, St. Swithins Wine Shippers. 'This opens with some ripe apricot and gentle chamomile aromas, leading to green apple with some floral and earthy notes on the palate.' Andre Luís Martins, team leader.

£8.28 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Herdade Tinto e Branco, Quinta do Paral, Colheita Selecionada Branco 2018, Alentejo, Portugal

Silver medal winner

'This is bursting with flavour and amazing complexity.' Agostinho Leite, Bistrot Pierre at The Royal William Yard. 'Lemon and floral notes with a light cream and herbal element, and some refreshing, zesty citrus too, not to mention bright orchard fruits and Christmas spices. An easy-drinking wine with a velvet texture.' Andre Luís Martins, team leader.

£15.75 Herdade Tinto e Branco, Unipessoal, Lda

Monte da Ravasqueira, Coutada Velha, Signature White 2018, Alentejo, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'Ripe stone fruits and beeswax notes, with some fresh minerality and fruit balance.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel. 'With hints of camphor, this is textural and quite floral.' Victoria Sharples, St John Restaurant Group. 'Opening with smoky green limes, this is vibrant and crunchy, with impressive length.' Jade Koch, team leader.

£6.75 Bancroft Wines

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

Bronze medal winner

'Elegant, with some nectarine aromas on the nose, leading to a complex, rich, round palate with spice notes and ripe yellow fruit.' Andre Luís Martins, team leader. 'Floral and fruity, with good balance on the oak, bringing toast flavours and character.' Agostinho Leite, Bistrot Pierre at The Royal William Yard.

£20.58 Herdade Tinto e Branco, Unipessoal, Lda

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

Bronze medal winner

'Intense aromas on the nose of hay, chamomile and orange zest, followed by crunchy citrus flavours and a long finish, showing capability to age.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel. 'A complex and interesting wine with fresh saline and citrus, some floral notes of daphne and woody herbs like rosemary.' Victoria Sharples, St John Restaurant Group.

£23.83 Herdade Tinto e Branco, Unipessoal, Lda

Sogevinus, Kopke, Douro White 2018, Douro, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'Opening with pear, hay and some herbs on the nose, the palate is agile, with a herbal finish. This would be a good by-the-glass option in a gastropub or fish restaurant.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant. 'Ripe flavours, with some tropical notes and a bright mineral finish.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel.

£8.80 Hayward Bros

Casa de Vila Nova, Vila Nova, Alvariñho 2019, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'This is showing some deeper, creamier exotic fruits, but is still light and layered.' Sue Jones, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn. 'A lot of concentration of fruit, with some floral notes in the background.' Timothy Connor, Heddon Street Kitchen. 'A nice snapshot of Vinho Verde, with a slight honeyed character, leesy notes and ripe, sweet fruit. An approachable wine.' Harry Crowther, Grape Times UK.

£7.95 Boutinot

Poças, Branco da Ribeira 2018, Douro, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'Elegant and fragrant with a touch of oak, butter and dried flowers, and a precise palate with nervous acidity that lifts the richness of the mid-palate toward the stony fruit finish.' Chris Delalonde MS, The Dorchester. 'Well integrated oak with some refreshing citrus and stony minerality alongside it, and a lick of hazelnut that makes for a rich and buttery palate.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards.

£33.00 House of Townend

Quinta da Silveira, Reserva Branco 2013, Douro, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'There's some richness to this wine, with a little kick to it too, leading to a bit of creaminess on the palate, but ultimately it's really mineral rich, with great acidity to carry it through.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards. 'This is broad on the palate, and slightly oily, with citrus underpinning it. Long, luscious and will work better with food.' Victoria Sharples, St John Restaurant Group.

£12.83 Davy's Wine Merchants

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Vinha da Valentina, Branco Premium 2019, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'A great nose that's enticing yet reserved, with oak and tropical fruit, and a palate that's full and long, with pear, quince and citrus, leading to a mineral and clean finish.' Charlie Young, team leader. 'Concentrated, with peach, lime citrus and white apple blossom - an elegant, concentrated and perfumed wine.' Claire Love, Loves Consultancy.

£17.92 Casa Ermelinda Freitas - Vinhos, Lda

Pegões, Alto Pina, Reserve, White 2018, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'This has ripe peach and some minerality, with lime sherbet notes, and a herbaceousness.' Carolina W Seibel, Comptoir Cafe and Wine. 'Some incredibly ripe pineapple notes here, along with some melon and lemon.' Charlie Cockaday, Gravetye Manor. 'Very quaffable, with fresh apricots and nectarines.' Victoria Sharples, St John Restaurant Group.

£7.68 Adega de Pegões

Best Of Douro , Ardínia, Premium 2018, Douro, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'Savoury and focused, with minerality and some rich aromas, this is ripe and full on the palate, with white peach along with some stony characters, and finishing with more minerality and spice.' Charlie Young, team leader. 'Bright and crunchy, with a really good fruit character and punchy acidity.' Jade Koch, team leader.

£14.45 Best of Douro Produção de Vinhos Lda

Reguengo de Melgaço, Alvarinho 2018, Minho, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'This is elegant and grassy, with green and spiced notes and a long palate of lime fruit, finishing with white-pepper spice.' Jade Koch, team leader. 'There's a bit of lees on the palate, along with really fresh acidity and a bit of candied fruit.' Timothy Connor, Heddon Street Kitchen. 'A typical wine with lots of minerality.' Martin Lam, team leader.

£14.32 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Quinta das Arcas, Arca Nova, Alvarinho 2018, Minho, Portugal

Bronze medal winner

'With yellow flowers and wet stones, and some good, vibrant acidity in the mouth, this is a match for sea bass tempura.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant. 'Elegant, cool and focused on the nose, with pear and apple fruits, and a palate that's dry yet juicy, warm and bright.' Jade Koch, team leader.

£10.64 Matthew Clark

Pegões, Adega de Pegões, Selected Harvest White 2018, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Casa de Vila Nova, Vila Nova, Loureiro 2019, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£7.00 Boutinot

Espaço Rural, Bojador, Vinho de Talha Branco 2018, Alentejo, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Poças, Vale de Cavalos, White 2018, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Casa da Passarella, Pedra do Gato, Premium Branco 2018, Dão, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Companhia das Quintas, Barão de Figueira, White 2018, Beira Interior, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Vale de Mata, White 2018, Lisbon, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Quinta do Crasto, Superior, White 2017, Douro, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£14.61 Enotria&Coe

Herdade do Esporao, Verdelho 2017, Alentejo, Portugal

Commended medal winner

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

Commended medal winner

£9.65 Atlantico UK

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Sauvignon Blanc/Verdelho 2018, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£10.82 Atlantico UK

Quinta das Arcas, Conde Villar, White 2019, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£7.25 Bibendum

Quinta das Arcas, Conde Villar, Alvarinho 2018, Minho, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£10.58 Bibendum

Quinta do Pinto, Vinhas do Lasso, Colheita Seleccionada Branco 2018, Lisbon, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£8.50 Boutinot

Pegões, Encostas da Arrábida Reserve White 2018, Península de Setúbal, Portugal

Commended medal winner

Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Porta Nova, Loureiro 2018, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Commended medal winner

£5.07 Ermelinda Vinhos e Portugal, Lda

DFJ Vinhos, Escada Reserva 2018, Lisbon, Portugal

Commended medal winner

 

Subscribe to the SWA newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest Sommelier Wine Awards news.