Tag Archives: Portuguese wines

Wine(s) of the Week – 2 Portuguese wines worth learning about

Two Portuguese wines from Herdade Do Rocim, Touriga Nacional, Vinho Regional Alentejano 2015 and Verdelho Vinho Regional Alentejano 2015, come from the southern part of Portugal between Vidigueira and Cuba, produced on the estate owned by Caterina Vieira and Pedro Ribiero who have invested in the land, regenerating vineyards and creating a new state of the art winery.

The region has soil consisting of clay and sand and the wines are harvested manually and are organic though not certified as such. The wines undergo cold maceration prior to fermentation in French oak barrels for nine months, and are then bottle aged an additional three months.

Touriga Nacional, a rich ruby red with purple notes, is fresh with good minerality and soft tannins. From the aging, it develops spicy notes. The Verdelho is a light gold with hints of chartreuse, with notes of lime, green almond and white peach. It’s 13.5 percent ABV.

Both represent excellent quality and value, pair well with food and would be great additions to wine by the glass lists. Learn about the lovely wines of Southern Portugal with these two as a guide!


Wine of the Week – Blandy’s Colheita Bual 2003

Blandy’s Colheita Bual 2003 comes from Blandy’s Madeira Wine Company, a producer with a long history spanning seven generations to 1811 of winemaking. This lovely Madeira is rich and complex with acidity, made with hand-harvested grapes from the volcanic sub-tropical soil of this Portuguese island. It is described as a special vintage, one more highly rated than others. We found it to be rich and spicy with hints of caramel. It has 13 years of aging in all in American oak casks.  The winery makes a number of deeply flavored Madeiras. Visit https://www.blandys.com/contact.html

Wine of the Week – W & J Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Porto

If  you’ve been curious about Port wines and wanting to learn more, there’s probably no better place to start than with the Symingtons, a family with Scotch, British and Portuguese ancestry that spans 14 generations, all the way back to the mid-17th century and the beginnings of the history of Port.

Today, they own 27 individual estates in the Duoro Valley of Portugal, described as the most significant vineyard holding in the region. Symington Family Estates is responsible for making nearly one-third of all premium Port categories. Wine Spectator’s Robert Parker has called the family “the most consistent produce of great Port in the post-World War II era,”

That being said, Six Grapes is an iconic brand that dates to the early 19th century when W&J Graham (William and John) began using a coding system to classify wines from each harvest by their quality. A  select group of ‘lots’ is picked in a rigorous selection process to make up their Vintage Port and the best of the remaining lots are blended and bottled as Six Grapes Port, described as more like a “declassified” Vintage Port than a typical reserve Port.

This wine is 20 percent ABV with grapes from five separate vineyards. It received 91 points from Wine&Spirits in 2013 and 5 Stars-Best in Show that year from Decanter Awards. W&J Graham began in 1810 in Oporto, going on to produce vintage Ports of great quality.

We’d been skeptical about Ports, not really knowing anything about them, until tasting a number of them at a wine event about a year ago. From the very first sip, we knew we’d discovered something worth learning more about.  We’ll be writing more in weeks ahead about rich and elegant vintages produced by this family. They note that long-term vision and commitment are the requirements for success. Through many generations, they’ve proven their dedication. With several Wine Spectator Wine of the Year awards and high rankings, the Symingtons, who also own Quinta do Vesuvio, a leading vineyard estate, have proven their commitment many times over with a group of outstanding vintages.20170421_103107#1.jpg

This vintage pairs well with rich chocolate desserts and strong blue cheeses. It’s a rich red color with a nose of plums, blackberries and cherries. Well structured, the  Ports are designed for drinking in special Port wine glasses or white wine glasses to allow the wine’s aroma to be fully appreciated. This fresh, rich wine makes an excellent starting point for learning about vintage Port. The six grapes symbol has become a mark of quality. Visit http://www.sixgrapes-port.com.

Wine(s) of the Week – time for winter whites

A snowy winter weekend is a good time to celebrate winter whites! Think clean, crisp and delicious – meant for sipping as you watch the snow fall outside your windows.
We love the wines of Portugal and Herdade d’Esporão doesn’t disappoint. Monte Velho 2013 is the result of a long, wet spring and dry summer months. Fermented in stainless steel tanks with temperature control, it had an early bottling.
The wine is 3.5% ABV and won two silver medals.

This is a well balanced wine with a long, aromatic fruit finish from three varietals, Antao, Perrum and Roupeiro. The finish is citrusy and the color, pale straw. It’s moderately priced – mid-teens – and makes a great addition to wine by the glass lists.

From our own West Coast in California’s Carmel Valley, Holman Ranch‘s Pint Gris 2013 Estate Grown is made with  organically grown grapes from the ranch which has been producing wines since 1928.
This particular white is priced in the high teens and is 12.5% ABV. Fresh and fruity, it makes a welcome addition to the dinner table or by the glass with its bright acidity. The climate here, is ideal for Pinot Gris, with  the warmth of the inland valley and a cooling marine layer that create an ideal microclimate.


Wine of the Week – Fonseca Port celebrates 200 years

A leading Portuguese Port producer, Fonseca celebrates 200 years of family tradition and achievement this year, an historic occasion for the house shaped by four families, the Fonsecas and and Monteiros, who founded the business; the Guimaraens dynasty, which led the Port house for more than a century and have made its wines since the 1860s to the present day, and the Yeatmans, who have steered the company successfully through the second half of the 20th century and into the new millennium.
The wines were acclaimed by leading wine write James Suckland in Vintage Port: The Wine Spectator’s Ultimate Guide for Consumers, Collectors, and Investors (Wine Spectator, 1990).
The winery is perhaps best known for its Fonseca BIN 27m a reserve blend. In the U.S., Fonseca Ports are imported by Kobrand Corp.
Visit http://fonseca.pt/image001fonseca

Wine of the Week – Esperão Quinta dos Murcas Reserva 2010 – red

The primary motivation at Esperão since it began has been an unconditional will to craft the best wines. That goal is at the core of what they do and of each and every wine. The Quinta dos Murcas Reserve 2010 – red is a beautiful example. Rich and special, it has become a hallmark of the Douro where it was conceived. Taut, with great minerality, it reflects its region with hillsides covered in grapes. Bursting with flavor, aged in oak barrels, this is a wine that speaks out loudly as you sip it, declaring: “Pay attention!”