International Wine Challenge

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The International Wine Challenge (IWC) owned by William Reed Business Media is now in its 35th year. The IWC is accepted as the world's finest and most meticulously judged wine competition which assesses every wine blind and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage Throughout the rigorous judging processes, each medal winning wine is tasted on three separate occasions by at least 10 different judges and awards include medals (Gold, Silver, Bronze) and Commended awards

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Elly Barham-Marsh Helen Kenny
Manifest London
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International Wine Challenge

The Pick of Portugal: International Wine Challenge awards 532 medals to Portuguese wines

Under embargo until 11am – 10/05/18

Portugal has further cemented its position on the global wine stage as the International Wine Challenge announce its winemakers have received 532 medals this year, including an impressive 63 Gold medals, 195 Silver medals and 274 Bronze medals.

Gold medal-winning ports
Famed for its port, it is somewhat unsurprising that 39 of its Gold medals were awarded to this historic fortified wine. Most notably this year were Agri-Roncão Vinícola DR Port L70, Burmester Colheita 1952, Mário Braga’s S. Leonardo 40 Anos, Kopke Colheita 1958 and Esporão’s Quinta dos Murças Vintage Port 2015, which all scored 97 points out of 100.

Nine ports produced by Sogrape Vinhos were also awarded nine Gold medals, increasing on its six Golds last year. Three of its port houses picked up a trio of Gold medals each, including Sandeman with its 10-Year-Old Tawny, 40-Year-Old Tawny and Quinta do Seixo Vintage 2015. Ferreira also secured three Golds with its 20-Year-Old Tawny, LBV 2013 and Quinta do Porto Vintage 2015. Last but not least, Sogrape Vinhos owned port house Offley also received three Gold medals for its 10-Year-Old Tawny, 30-Year-Old Tawny and LBV 2013.

Elsewhere, Sogevinus Fine Wines had another stellar year, securing an impressive seven Gold medals for its ports, including one for a white port, the Porto Kopke Colheita White 2008.

Finally, Symington Family Estates increased its Gold medal wins from three at IWC 2017 to four this year. Once again, its Tesco Finest Vintage Port was a Gold medal winner, with Golds for Dow’s 10-year-old Tawny Port, Warre’s Quinta da Cavadinha Vintage Port and Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos Vintage Port.

Gold winning Madeiras and Moscatels 
While ports dominated the Portuguese medal board, four other fortified wines stood out and won Gold medals. Justino’s were awarded two Gold medals for its Madeira Colheita Verdelho 1997 and its Madeira Terrantez 50 Years Old. Two Moscatels also joined the Gold run, with Casa Ermelinda Freitas Moscatel de Setúbal Superior 2007 and Quinta do Portal Moscatel Reserva 1996 impressing the judges.

More than just fortified
For still wines, a total of 16 producers from six different regions achieved Gold. One particular favourite was Douro’s Quinta Do Pégo Vinhas Velhas 2014, which scored 97 points. Elsewhere, Douro’s Mateus & Sequeira Vinhos secured for further three Gold medals for its Clama Reserva Tinto 2014, Cadão Douro Tinto 2015 and Clama Tinto 2014.

Further Gold medals were awarded to wines from the Douro region, including Quinta da Ferradosa 2014, Quinta do Pégo Signature Douro 2014, Quinta da Terrincha tinto lote t-15 2015, Quinta Vale D’Aldeia Grande Reserva 2014 and Lua Cheia Em Vinhas Velhas Colleja 2015. A Gold medal was also awarded to a white wine produced in Douro; Quinta do Portal Reserva Branco 2015.

There were six Golds awarded to the Alentejo region. Five of these were red wine styles, with three of those being made solely from the nation’s iconic Touriga Nacional grape. The Gold winning reds were Santos da Casa Reserva Alentejo 2015, Herdade Da Malhadinha Nova Touriga Nacional da Peceguina 2015, Adega Mayor Reserva do Comendador Tinto 2014, Plansel Selecta C.S Touriga Nacional 2015 and Cortes de Cima Touriga Nacional 2015. There was also a Gold medal winning white produced in the region; Monte da Ravasqueira Reserva da Familia Branco 2016.

A further two Portuguese white wines won Golds this year, including Vinho Verde Lua Cheia Em Vinhas Velhas Nostalgia 10 Barricas 2015, made with Alvarinho, the Portuguese equivalent of the Spanish Albariño grape. From the Dão region, it was the Casa da Passarella O Oenólogo Encruzado 2016 that impressed the judges and secured a Gold medal. Around 80% of wine produced in the Dão is red, but its producers are increasingly making white wines, primarily using Encruzado vines, which lend themselves to a range of styles from light, fresh varieties to richer, barrel-fermented versions.

Lisboa and Tejo
Securing 96 points and a Gold medal for Lisbon was Quinta Varzea da Pedra’s Tinto Reserva 2015.
Lastly, the Tejo region produced a further Gold medal winner, with the Encosta do Sobral Touriga Nacional 2015.

Charles Metcalfe, Co-chair at the International Wine Challenge commented:

“Portugal is rightly known as the home of Port. But as our results show, it’s proving itself to be a terrific producer of top quality reds and refreshingly original whites. A combination of Portuguese loyalty to their native grapes and its seven centuries-old spirit of exploration certainly seems to be paying dividends in the creation of world-class wines – another great year for Portugal at the International Wine Challenge. Parabéns!”

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