Last night was the Portuguese wine awards dinner at the Ambassador’s residence. It’s an annual event, now in its eighth edition, and is organized by the Association of Portuguese Wine Importers (APWI).
The goal is to give a pat on the back to those who communicate about, or sell Portuguese wines in the UK. It’s quite a jolly gathering, hosted by the Ambassador, and represents for those not winning awards a chance to have some fun together, with good food and good wine.
The current ambassador, Dr João de Vallera, is a wine lover, which is a good thing. He also likes his food, and has had a decent chef installed at his residence, so we ate well.
But before dinner, there was a special ceremony: the Portuguese government had decided to bestow a special medal on Charles Metcalfe for his services to Portuguese wine (title: Comendador do Ordem do Mérito Empresarial – Classe do Mérito Agrícola), and this was presented by the ambassador upstairs as we sipped our pink Espumante (Informal Bruto 2010 by Luis Pato).
Here are my notes on the dinner wines:
Morgado da Torre Alvarinho 2010 Vinho Verde, Portugal
A serious Vinho Verde. Fine, fruity nose with grapefruit and peach notes. The palate is fruit-driven, fresh, yet richly fruited with good acid, nice concentration and depth of flavour. 90/100 (UK importer Stevens Garnier)
Niepoort Redoma Branco 2010 Douro, Portugal
Fine, expressive nose with toast, pear and some spice. The palate has lovely weight and freshness with bright fruit, a gentle toastiness and good acidity. 92/100 (UK importer Raymond Reynolds)
DFJ Francos Reserva 2003 Alenquer, Portugal
This was the surprise of the night. Sweet and ripe with some spice and earth notes, as well as old wood characters. Taut, rich and fresh at the same time, this is showing lovely complexity and definition. 92/100 (UK importer 10 International)
Quinta das Cerejeiras Reserva 2004 Obidos, Portugal
Nice bright sweet fruit here with some spicy notes. Seductive, rich berry fruits style, but also with a hint of seriousness. 89/100 (UK importer Casa Leal)
Terra d’Alter Telhas 2008 Alentejo, Portugal
Warm, rich, spicy and savoury with sweet berry fruits and rich oaky notes. A seductive, ripe style. 88/100 (UK importer Delibo Wine Agencies)
Dão Sul Preto e Branco 2008 Bairrada, Portugal
Fresh, vivid, spicy and bright with grippy tannins under the raspeberry and blackberry fruit. It’s ripe yet vivid and structured. Lovely. 91/100 (UK importer Clark Foyster)
Baçalhôa Moscatel de Sétubal 1999 Portugal
Now this is special: complex, spicy, rich, intense and sweet with notes of raisin and lively acidity. Great concentration and freshness. 94/100 (UK agent Ehrmanns)