Thursday, November 26, 2009

Nov. 21 Tasting the Wines of Portugal

After a short break, we moved on to the wines of Portugal. This country has a magnificent terroir, as anyone who's experienced the wonders of a well-aged Colheita or Vintage Port can attest to. In a brutal climate, the Douro Valley somehow manages to produce wines of both great concentration as well as balance.

2008 Aveleda Follies Alvarinho

2008 Alveleda Follies Alvarinho, Vinho Regional Minho

Same grape varietal as our Spanish white, close in geographic proximity to Rias Baixas - we want to compare apples with apples, to properly gauge the character of each wine. Lighter in colour, but shows a much fuller bouquet. Palate is a bit crisper, with an aggressive acidity - this is, after all, a vinho verde.

2006 Burmester, Douro

2006 Burmester, DOC Douro

No question, this blogger had the shakes at this point - was this going to be another Internationally-styled bottle? I can't say it wasn't, but it did show some good fruit characteristics. More structure as well, with a pleasing tannic grip. This is the bottle that had tasters the most excited. When you expect a wine to be $30-$35, but it's only about half that, that's what you call finding value.

2005 Quinta do Vale da Perdiz Reserva

2005 Quinta do Vale da Perdiz Reserva, DOC Douro

This wine showed quite well, in my opinion. Rich, fruit-forward, but with structure and grippy tannins. This is more of what I had in mind. Of all the reds, this is the bottle that I would recommend. Slightly chilled, with a beautiful piece of beef or lamb - wonderful for a cool autumn night.


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