Best known for intense, impressive and age-worthy fortified wines, Portugal relies almost exclusively on its many indigenous grape varieties. Bordering Spain to its north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean on its west and south coasts, this is a land where tradition reigns supreme, due to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation. A long and narrow but small country, Portugal claims considerable diversity in climate and wine styles, with milder weather in the north and significantly more rainfall near the coast.
While Port (named after its city of Oporto on the Atlantic Coast at the end of the Douro Valley), made Portugal famous, Portugal is also an excellent source of dry red and white wines of various styles.
The Duoro Valley produces full-bodied and concentrated dry red wines made from the same set of grape varieties used for Port, which include Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo), Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão, among a long list of others in minor proportions.
Other dry wines include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde white wine, made in the north, and the bright, elegant reds and whites of the Dão as well as the bold, and fruit-driven reds and whites of the southern, Alentejo.
Saturday, Dec 7th
[Parking In Back]
2017 Quinta Nova ‘Pomares’
Moscatel Galego Branco
Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo is a unique place that runs along the north bank of the river Douro for just short of one mile. Of its 296 acres, 210 are planted with letter A vines. The Quinta includes a manor house, now a hotel, that dates back to the early 18th century; a baroque chapel; an olive mill and a winery. Surrounded by the stunning orchards and vineyards, the Quinta deeply reflects the Douro agriculture tradition.
Wine Enthusiast 91 Points: Green citrus-colored wine with an attractive aroma of nectarine, white flowers and apricots combined with capsicum, gooseberry and white spices. In the palate is balanced by freshness, fruit, density and concentration, good complexity, structure and gravity. It ends with light mineral notes and precision.
2016 Casa de Mouraz – Antonio Lopes
“In 2000 we left our secure jobs in Lisbon and immersed ourselves in what has become a family adventure, our version of sustainable viticulture and authentic winemaking. The transition from our urban lifestyle was as natural as we could expect. Mouraz, situated in the heart of Dão region, is António’s birth place, where his family have farmed vineyards in a holistic and ecological way for many generations. This is also a place where the landscape and terroir is shaped by its people and geography, old and new vineyards coexisting with the pine, oak, chestnut and cork trees in a wild forest. This diversity is reveals itself in the personality and complexity of the Casa de Mouraz wines, and reflects our own love of the place.” – Antonio Lopes
Winemaker Notes: 90% Vinhão, 5% Borraçal (aka Caino Tinto), 5% Loureiro
From 30 year old vines planted on 1 hectare of granite soils in Vinho Verde. Dusted rose and fresh cranberry waft out of the glass and lead to a clean, fruit forward, very pleasing wine that will pair with many things.
2009 Eladio Pinerio ‘La Coartada’
La Coartada means your alibi; after an intense search for five years, in 2004, Eladio located a 95-year-old vineyard with very poor slate soils, gentle slopes and southern exposure. This vineyard took more than eight years to transition to biodynamics. The vineyard is trellised, at a relatively low ground level, the pruning is done in double Guyot and its vegetative expansion is small, located in the north-central limit of the Alentejo, which has a very special microclimate, as it is protected south-southeast, by the Sierra da Ossa, to the north, by the Sierra de San Mamede and west by the Sierra de São Miguel.
Decanter 93 Points: Ample and gentle in the mouth, reveals complexity with hints of roast and minerals but also underwood and ink. Complex, round, edgeless despite the tannic strength. Long aftertaste with a hint of sweetness. Less than 500 cases made.
1995 Caves São João – Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva Quinta do Poço do Lobo
Deep in the heart of Bairrada, Portugal, an extensive cellar owned by Caves São João holds a wide selection of library bottles dating back to the 1950s—and the family is keen on keeping a large majority of them. When their doors were opened to the commercial public in 2013, it wasn’t to a red carpet and trumpeting horns; rather, several safeguards were implemented to ensure only small amounts would trickle out. Very few people (even in the industry) know of this cellar and what it currently holds, so we are thrilled to offer one of its previously-hidden gems.
Wine Advocate 91 Points: The 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva Quinta do Poço do Lobo is unoaked and comes in at 13.5% alcohol. This Reserva has more power than the regular reds and much riper fruit. It is bigger and fresher in every respect. Intense and powerful, this is nuanced by cassis and red fruits. It ends with a big finish. There are some typical nuances of aging Cab too. So, while it is fresh for its age, it hardly tastes like a young red. Many will consider that a good thing. Complexity counts. It is surprising that it is still so tight, but it seems mostly to have the depth to keep up. I did wonder, though, if it is not ready now, will it ever be? It is definitely on the rustic side. The quibble over balance is relatively minor, however, and you can approach this. It should easily last another decade maybe two. Complex and beautifully structured, this is impressive on many fronts. Give it some air.
1989 KOPKE Colheita Porto
Kopke existed even before there was a Demarcated Region of the Douro. Established in 1638, the oldest Port wine house built an impeccable reputation based on the highest quality. A leader in the production of Port Tawny Colheita wines, including white port, Kopke has a remarkable range of special category Ports, also producing excellent DOC Douro wines. History and exclusivity are two of the words that best describe Kopke, a brand synonymous with prestige.
Every wine tells a story. Kopke’s Colheitas, however, tell a unique story. To taste a wine is to taste history and, in the case of this 1989 Colheita, it means remembering a remarkable event like the fall of the Berlin Wall, ending the Cold War and beginning the unification process of Germany
Decanter 96 Points: Intense amber-golden colour. It reveals a bouquet of wonderful complexity and elegance, with dominant aromas of dried fruit and vanilla and enveloping notes of toast. In the mouth, it is dense and voluminous, yet smooth and delicate. It shows great complexity and great balance. A long and impressive finish.