What to Drink

Best Portuguese wines of 2021

Sip on the finesse of these gold medalist wines from the London Wine Competition.

When most people think of Portuguese wines, the first thing that comes to mind is a fortified wine like Porto. However, Portuguese wines have been making strides in the non-fortified, or table wines arena and these are much more substantial and varied in nature. With more than 250 varieties of grapes found in the country, there is much to explore. Judges from the London Wine Competition tasted their way through the many entries from Portugal and found these to be the clear winners. 

Awarding the finest wines from around the world, the London Wine Competition has been recognizing top-quality wines from diverse regions for four years. These wines have been blind-tasted and judged by some of the UK's most celebrated Sommeliers, Master Sommeliers, wine buyers, and industry experts. Highlighted for their exceptional quality, value for money, and packaging, the winners are a sure bet in your list of the best wines, whether to sip at a bar or home.

In addition to the traditional gold, silver, and bronze medals, the London Wine Competition highlights winning wines in special category awards such as Wine of the Year, Winery of the Year, Best in Show Wine (By Country), Best Wine by Varietal, and more.

Quinta do Gradil 1492

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Flooring the panelists at the London Wine Competition, Quinta do Gradil 1492 was crowned Best in Show by Country (Portugal). The 2019 vintage by Quinta do Gradil is a lively wine with aromatic notes of stone fruit and minerals. Excelling with a gold medal and 94 points, this Portugal wine sets a benchmark with its well-balanced flavours on the palate and is freshly acidic with a 12.5% alcohol content. 

Mina Velha Reserva

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The elegant Mina Velha Reserva is a gold medalist wine hailing from the hillside vineyards of Arruda dos Vinhos, Portugal. It reveals a dark ruby color, with expressive aromas of ripe fruit and some toasty notes. Made from 60% Tinta Roriz and 40% Touriga Nacional, it has a smooth taste on the palate making the wine fruity and easy to drink.

Mula Velha Reserva

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Mula Velha Reserva is a very consistent wine of quality with aromas and flavors of blackberry and raspberry jam, spices, and vanilla. Fermented in stainless steel vats, this full-bodied wine has a smooth, long, and elegant finish. The 2019 vintage by Parras Wines was awarded a gold medal and a score of 92 points. 

Qss Rare Red Wine 

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A blend of Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah is the next gold medalist wine, banking 91 points at the 2021 London Wine Competition. Qss Rare Red Wine has a bright garnet color with fresh expressive aromas of mulberry and blueberry fruits. On the palate, it is slightly spicy, structured, and extremely velvety.

Evidência Reserva

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Aged 6 months in oak, Evidência Reserva hails from Dão which is one of the oldest wine regions of Portugal. Excelling with a gold medal and 91 points, the wine has a complex aroma, with confited forest fruits, spices, and floral notes. It is an unctuous, dense red wine serving a persistent mouth.

Stones & Bones

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Produced by Casa Santos Lima, Stones and Bones is an intensely flavored wine, with notes of oak and spices leading to a fleshy body. The palate flavors of black fruits, vanilla, spices, and chocolate grace hit, offering an intense complexity with a good finish. The wine was awarded a gold medal and 90 points. 

LB7 Reserva

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Backed by a gold medal and 90 points, is the 2019 vintage LB7 Reserva. It has a deep ruby red color with complementing flavors of blue fruit, stone fruit, earth, savory, and spices. The wine stands in a luscious body with a good balance of fruit ripeness leading to a long, lingering finish. With this wine, Casa Santos Lima secured two spots on the winners’ list. 

Alto Pina Reserve White

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An exuberant wine by The Cooperativa Agrícola Santo Isidro de Pegões, this winner has notes of peach yogurt, nectarine, candied tangerine, and fresh persimmon on the nose. The palate has vibrant flavors showing a round, velvety texture with notes of apple, grass, lemon, and nectarine. Alto Pina Reserve excelled at the London Wine Competition, scoring 90 points and a gold medal.

Adega de Pegões Moscatel DO Setúbal 

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Adega de Pegões Moscatel DO Setúbal is an excellent wine from Portugal, with a distinctive orange peel hue and aromas of mandarin, lemon drop, nectarine, and honeysuckle. The unique taste notes of yellow apple, quince, and sage work well with the herbal/citric interplay garnered the wine a gold medal and 90 points. 

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