Portuguese winemakers show star quality at International Wine Challenge 2015, receiving 617 medals across multiple styles
60 Gold medals go to Portuguese wines in vintage year of success for the country’s winemakers
- Total award count of 617 for Portugal including 60 Gold, 223 Silver, 334 Bronze
- Portugal may be famed for its fortified wines, but a flurry of Portuguese unfortified wines also picks up top prizes
- Portugal produces oldest Gold medal winner, with 1934 Madeira striking Gold.
Portuguese winemakers demonstrated their mastery of both fortified and unfortified wines at the 2015 International Wine Challenge, which announces its results today. A total of 617 Portuguese wines were awarded medals, including 60 Gold medals, 223 Silver medals and 334 Bronze medals.
- Top honours in the Port category go to the Sogevinus Fine Wines, which create Cálem, Kopke, Barros and Burmester ports. The producer had a phenomenal year at the competition, receiving nine Gold medals, four Silver medals and four Bronzes. It is very unusual for a winery to receive more Gold medals than any other medal, showing its mastery of port creation.
- Hot on Sogevinus’ heels was Symington Family Estates, owners of Cockburn’s, Warre’s, Dow’s and Graham’s. The producer picked up six Gold medals, eight Silvers and seven Bronzes. Symington Family Estates also created five Ports for various UK supermarket own-brand ranges that picked up medals at the competition, including three ports created for Morrison and two for Tesco.
- The Morrisons Signature Late Bottled Vintage Port 2009 and the Morrisons Special Reserve Port NV both received Silver medals, and the Morrisons Ruby Port NV was awarded a Bronze. Tesco finest* 10 Year Old Tawny Port NV and Tesco finest* Late Bottled Vintage Port 2009 also received Bronze medals.
- A basketful of ports from the Marks & Spencer own-brand range also received medals at the competition. Marks & Spencer Royal Palace Colheita Single Harvest Port 2001, created by Taylor’s, received a Gold medal. M&S also received Silver medals for Marks & Spencer Vintage Port 2011, Marks & Spencer Late Bottled Vintage Port 2009 and Marks & Spencer 20 Year Old Tawny Port NV. Marks & Spencer 10 year old Tawny Port NV and Marks & Spencer Finest Reserve Port NV were both awarded Bronzes.
- Sixteen medals were awarded to Madeiras, including five Golds. Henriques & Henriques picked up three Gold medals for its Single Harvest Boal 2000, its 20 year old Verdelho NV and its Medium Rich Single Harvest 1998, as well as a single Silver and one Bronze medal.
- Justinos, Madeira Wine, S.A. who received the Madeira Trophy in 2014, continued to impress the judges this year. This winery received two Gold medals for its vintage wines; Justino’s Madeira Boal 1934 (the oldest wine to win Gold at this year’s IWC) and Justino’s Madeira Terrantez 1978 both struck Gold. The winery also received a trio of Silver medals and a pair of Bronzes.
- Five unfortified red wines created in the Douro Valley, home of port, were also awarded Gold medals, as winemakers in the region showed their talent for creating dry, unfortified wines, too. Quinta de Lubazim received a pair of Gold medals for its Lupucinus Seleccion 2013 and its 2011 Lupucinus Grande Reserva. The Douro vineyard also received a Silver medal for its Quinta de Lubazim Grande Reserva 2012.
- The region of Alentejo, located to the south-east of Lisbon, produced 102 medal winners, including six Gold, 40 Silver and 56 Bronze. All the Gold medal-winning wines produced in the region were red, predominately created from traditional Portuguese grapes such as Touriga Nacional, Aragonez and Trincadeira. However, the region also produced the only Gold medal winning Portuguese Syrah, a grape grown more and more in the south of Portugal. Its producer, Sociedade Agro-Pecuária do Oeste Alentejano, wowed the judges with the Serros da Mina Colheita Seleccionada Syrah 2012.
- 40 wines produced in the Dão region were also awarded medals, 5 Golds, 17 Silvers, and 18 Bronzes. Typically famed for its red wine production, four Dão white wines also received medals at the IWC. Three wines made using the great white Dão grape Encruzado received Bronze medals, and the 2014 Vinho Dão Colheita Seleccionada Pingo Doce 2014 created by Pingo Doce Distribuição Alimentar S.A was awarded a Silver.
- Two white wines from the Vinho Verde region received Gold medals, the Quinta de Linhares Loureiro 2014, from Agri-Roncão Vinicola, and the Soalheiro Reserva 2013, from VinuSoalleirus. Winemakers in the region also produced 12 Silver medal winners, and 22 wines that received Bronzes.
- A flurry of 40 wines created in the Península de Setúbal received medals, including a Gold for the Sivipa Moscatel de Setúbal 1996. Thirty-nine medal winners came from the Tejo region, including 10 Silver medals and 29 Bronze medals.
- One of Portugal’s most famous wine brands, Mateus Rosé picked up a Silver for its Mateus Sparkling Brut Rosé NV. Three 2014 blended rosés created for the Mateus Expressions range also received Bronze medals; Mateus Expressions Baga and Shiraz 2014, Mateus Expressions Baga and Muscat 2014 and Mateus Expressions Aragonez and Zinfandel 2014.
- Adega Do Cantor, a vineyard in the Algarve part owned by Sir Cliff Richard, also received two Bronze medals for its Onda Nova Alicante Bouschet 2012 and its Vida Nova Branco 2014.
- Visit the IWC website for the full list of winners: http://www.internationalwinechallenge.com
Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC commented:
“These results show that Portugal is no longer just the master of fortified wines, but is producing some fantastic unfortified wines as well. The Douro Valley and Alentejo are two regions making tremendous reds and ever-improving whites. Vinho Verde is also turning out some lovely whites, with bags of flavour and less alcohol – perfect for summer. If you are lucky enough to get your hands on any one of these medal winners, and you are in for a treat.”