Wines of Portugal
Jean Smullen


1. Duque de Viseu, Vinhos Sogrape, Do, 2003
Deep yellow; interesting nose. Quite nutty, some oiliness, a bit puckering, long
. Grapes are Encruzado, almost exclusive to Do,  and Bical, sometimes called Borrado das Moscas (fly droppings) in  Do. Interesting but not my cup of tea.
12.99 Coffeys 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 Ferno Pires & Arinto, which gives acidity and freshness.
9.99 Independent 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; 9.99

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, Castelo (Periquita) and Camarate, with possibly some T Franca as well.
Capranis; Selected Next Door; On the Grapevine, Dalkey & Booterstown; 12.50

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% Castelo. 12.5% alc.
Mitchells, Kildare Street & Glasthule; Red Island Wines, Skerries, The Grape Escape, Lucan; Andersons, Glasnevin; 10.95

6. Duque de Viseu, Vinhos Sogrape, Do, 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 Independents; 12.99

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 cross). 14%
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>.
Searsons, 23.50/500ml

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.
Searsons, 23.50/500ml

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