Wines of Portugal
1. Duque de Viseu,
Vinhos Sogrape, Dão,
Deep yellow; interesting
nose. Quite nutty, some oiliness, a bit puckering, long.
Grapes are Encruzado, almost exclusive to Dão, and Bical,
sometimes called Borrado das Moscas (fly droppings) in Dão.
Interesting but not my cup of tea.
Off-Licence, Naas; The Vintage Store, Tullamore; Selected Independents
2. Tagus Creek, DO Alentejo, 2004
Light lemon; nose white
pepper, apple and pear, lots of legs. Good fresh acid, pepper again,
citrus and apple. Very different, very nice. Grapes are the
early-ripening Fernão Pires & Arinto, which gives acidity and freshness.
Off Licences; Coopers Wine & Spirit Warehouse, Limerick
3. Tagus Creek, D.O. Alentejo, 2004
A grey-red, somewhat murky
colour. Supposed to be a peppery, brambly nose. Pleasant, warm-country,
slightly jammy brambly fruit, decent acidity. Grapes
Syrah & Trincadeira (which likes hot, dry places).
Independent Off Licences; Coopers Wine & Spirit Warehouse, Limerick;
4. Palha Canas, Casa Santos Lima, Estremedura, 2003
Dark, plummy red; leggy. Big,
concentrated plum nose, fruity rather than jammy. Huge extract, good acid,
well-balanced tannins; too much burn perhaps (13.5%) but a very nice wine
if maybe a bit overpriced.
Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Castelào (Periquita) and Camarate, with
possibly some T Franca as well.
Capranis; Selected Next Door; On the Grapevine, Dalkey & Booterstown;
5. Dom Freitas, Casa Ermelinda Freitas, Palmela/Setubal, 2004
Pinky red; spicy with a hint
of violets. Initially seemed slightly sweet; very interesting mouth feel
with lots of fruit, some tannin, a good backbone and not too big; should
last. I loved it, others didn't; well worth a try. 100% Castelào. 12.5%
Mitchells, Kildare Street & Glasthule; Red Island Wines, Skerries, The
Grape Escape, Lucan; Andersons, Glasnevin; €10.95
6. Duque de Viseu, Vinhos Sogrape, Dào, 2001
Light orange-pink red. Bit
dumb, some cold tea. Clean, good acid, fresh, lovely fruit gums
taste but a bit hollowed out. Nice though.
Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (aka Aragonez or Tempranillo)
Lord Mayor, Swords; World Wide Wines, Waterford; Coffeys, Naas; Select
7. Vida Nova, Sir Cliff Richard/David Baverstock, Algarve (Albufiera), 2004
Nice deep purple red.
Vegetal, leathery and spicy. Huge extract, a bit stewed, very fruity,
supple leathery tannins. Actually quite nice but not €18 worth.
Syrah; Aragonez (Tempranillo/Tinto Roriz); Alicante Bouschet (a Grenache
Independent Off Licences; Superquinn; €17.99
8. Callabriga, Sogrape, Alentejo, 2003
Pleasant dark red, nose of
fruit gums. Good acid, great fruit, soft tannins, very clean, some
burn (14%). Long, long finish but with a big burn. Well
rounded, very good indeed.
Aragonez (Tempranillo/Tinta Roriz); Alfroncheiro; Alicante Bouschet;
Redmonds, Ranelagh; Tomas Deli, Foxrock; Claudios, Georges Arcade; Bin
No 9, Clonskeagh; Donnybrook Fair; €18.49
9. Henriques & Henriques, 10 year old Sercial
Almost Lucozade colour.
Lovely, nutty nose, spicy and tangy In the mouth a delicious burst
of tangy marmalade, fine, clean acid, burn of alcohol, a nutty caramel
finish. What a wine! Most acceptable Christmas present <hint>.
10. Henriques & Henriques, Boal
Slightly burnt marmalade and
nuts on the nose. Hugely nutty, big burn (20%), still fresh - a rounder,
caramelised marmalade, smooth, gorgeous. Another smasher but maybe a
little too sweet.
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