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The Big Fortified Tasting: DWWA-awarded wines to discover

The largest and most diverse annual trade fair dedicated solely to fortified wines returns to London this April.

The largest wine trade fair dedicated solely to fortified wines, The Big Fortified Tasting (the b.f.t.) will return to London on 23rd April.

Established in 2010, the 2024 edition promises to exceed expectations with more than 70 producers confirmed to show their wines. From Port, Sherry, Marsala, Madeira, Carcavelos, Montilla-Moriles, English Vermouth, Moscatel de Setúbal, Azores and Australian fortified wines, the fair offers trade a true masterclass in this special and historic wine style.

Exhibiting at the fair for the first time, Decanter will show a selection of 12 top-scoring fortified wines from the 2023 Decanter World Wine Awards. Tasted and rated by fortified specialists, including DWWA Regional Chair for Port & Madeira, Richard Mayson, the selection will include wines from Spain, Portugal, Italy and Australia – all awarded 95 to 97 points.

The b.t.f.’s programme will also include three masterclasses with topics covering Port, Moscatel de Setúbal and Australian stickies from Penfolds.

Aimed at members of the wine and hospitality trade who buy, sell or serve fortified wines on a commercial basis, trade-only registrations are open to attend this spectacular one-day-only tasting.

Don’t miss this top selection of DWWA-awarded fortified wines on the day…


Gonzalez Byass, Tio Pepe Tres Palmas, Fino, Sherry NV

Platinum, 97 points
Wonderfully complex dried orange and rose petal aromas build to an unctuous palate of caramelised hazelnut and richly fruited vintage marmalade. Hugely powerful with a finesse of tangy salinity keeping things in check. Very stylish. Alcohol 16.4%

Gonzalez Byass, Tio Pepe Cuatro Palmas, Amontillado, Sherry NV

Platinum, 97 points
Elaborate layers of roasted nuts, burnt sugar, wood barrels and crème caramel undercut by a stunning beam of acidity which gifts its way through to the intricate rancio finish. One to sip gently and contemplate. Alc 21.15%

Harveys, Very Old Medium 30 Years, Palo Cortado, Sherry V.O.R.S

Platinum, 97 points
A labyrinth of plump sultana, dried fig, roast chestnut and peanut brittle with oodles of smoky toast and vanilla on the creamy, smoothly tapered palate. The amazing finish is intense and salty with a cleansing glimmer of bitter kumquat essence. Alc 19%

Bodegas Hidalgo-La Gitana, Faraon 30 Years Old V.O.R.S., Oloroso, Sherry NV

Gold, 96 points (DWWA 2022)
This is a rich, intensely powerful wine with an amazing baroque oxidative complexity. A glass of very old wine to drink like fine old Cognac: short sips, meditatively, tasting with the memory rather than with the senses. Its extremely well-integrated alcohol elevates the roasted walnuts and bitter orange peel characteristics. Alc 20%

Colección de Toneles Centenarios, Fondillon Luis XIV, Edad Superior a 25 Años, Alicante NV

Gold, 95 points (DWWA 2022)
Exuberant aromas of prunes, clove spice, blood orange, caramel, black chocolate, raisins, herbs and tobacco. The palate has lots of tertiary flavours, texture, persistence, well-integrated alcohol, a wonderful line of acidity and impressive depth. No shortage of complexity, length or beauty. Alc 17%


Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Superior, Moscatel Roxo de Setúbal 2010

Platinum, 97 points
An engaging spread of caramel, orange marmalade, perfumed florals and buttermint with an intensely spicy lift and a biscuity warmth. Mouthwateringly rich and characterful with a lush persistent acidity and a lovely grapefruit zest on the finish. Alc 18.5%

Cockburn’s, Fine Ruby, Ruby, Port NV

Gold, 95 points
Brooding and dense, with well-defined ripe berry, plum and raspberry and a thought-provoking vibrance on the long, lingering finish. An impeccable representation of the category. Alc 19%

Marks & Spencer, Collection, Late Bottled Vintage, Port 2017

Gold, 95 points
A real belter! Immensely concentrated tart black cherry, liquorice and culinary herbs with hints of tar and a cleansing bitter note; rich and unashamed in its expression. Alc 20%

Granvinhos, Dalva, Colheita, Port 2001

Gold, 95 points
Well-judged ageing comes through with a weave of leather, baked earth, chocolate and muscovado which is serenaded by a tableau of juicy dried fruit. Extremely long and tangy. Alc 20%

Cálem, 40 Year Old Tawny, Port NV

Best in Show, 97 points
Tawny ports with an indication of age, such as this 40-Year-Old, are distinctively different from Colheitas (or vintage-dated Tawny Ports). The blending process involved gives them a lifted, perfumed quality and a silky, lithe, aerial grace which, combined with the concentration which is the natural legacy of age, makes them perhaps the subtlest, most haunting and most seductive of all of the world’s grand old fortifieds. This wine is a light russet-walnut in colour, with refined and graceful scents in which you might find vanilla, unlit Havana cigar leaf, petitgrain spice, dried orange peel and the oily perfumes of Mediterranean wild flowers. On the palate, the wine is so smooth and seamless, fresh, light and graceful as to be almost disarming; its raisin and milk-chocolate fruit mingles with orange peel and lemon peel; and it has a tender, enquiring acidity that comes as a surprise, too. One sip leads to another; before you know it, the glass will be empty. Alc 20%


Florio, Vergine Riserva Vr1609, Marsala, Sicily 2009

Gold, 96 points
Heady sweet spice, golden raisins, almonds, hazelnuts and toasted buckwheat with a salty sea spray impression. Piquant and dry with a long orange rind finish. Alc 18.5%


Morris, Old Premium Rare Muscat, Rutherglen, Victoria NV

Platinum, 97 points
Delightfully intense with compact aromas of malt, toffee and muscat fruit which melt into the seductive and exquisitely evolved palate. A glistening acidity pervades the scrumptious sweetness and infuses its way to the long, moreish finish. Alc 17.1%

Trade only: Register here

Tuesday, 23 April 2024
Church House Conference Centre
27 Great Smith Street
London, SW1P 3AZ

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