Thursday, June 1, 2017

May June Came Together in Portugal

As the Bank Holiday Mondays clashed with our first Mondays of the month meetings we had both our May and June meetings on Monday May the 29th. I know. The First Monday became the Last. It worked!

Portugal was introduced as a land of extremes from wet in the Minhos to baking and often too dry down south in the Algarve. Everything goes in between and Louise Wilson's fabulous book 'The Wine Lovers Coloring Book' was used to illustrate the regions!!! I kid you not. The book was very popular on the night ...  well done Louise. Mind you, the wines weren't half popular as well ....                                   Another great tasting at the AC Wine Club


Quinta da Lixa Vinho Verde 2015
We began with a Vinho Verde from O'Briens Wines €12.50. Surprisingly some club members didn't like this style. Thought it had the whiff of something unpleasant ....  Comments were disparaging towards the bouquet as not suiting a Club Tasting but would do very well on the patio, beside a barbecue on a very warm day. Positive , I'd say! (I know what they mean because in blind tastings its that whiff that often gives this wine away .....)
Crisp style of wine with exact acidity, long flavours from a lot of fruit and a pleasant touch of sweetness ( fact sheet says this is a dry wine...!?). The very obvious petillant hung around as a bubble corona in the glass. Sunny day wine made from a blend of Alvarinho, Loureira and Trajaduro. Gave us a great opportunity to talk about the Grapes of Portugal.

Monte Velha 2015 An Alentejo White from Esparão
A wine made by Australian and long time Portugal resident David Baverstock. This is modern Portugal where white wines are crisp, clean and essential summer time fare! I like nearly everything bottled under the Esparão label but keep coming back to Monte Velha as a really fine 'teaching wine'. In the warm (and warming!) Portuguese sunshine its not easy to coax freshness from its grapes and keep them that way all the way through to the retail shelf. The grapes here are the Antao Vaz, Roupeiro and Perrum (Palomino). Antao Vaz is THE white grape of the Alentejo. Remember it because its a winner!
Image result for monte velho wine

Boas Vinhas 2011 Dao
Whites from the Dao region (just south of the Douro) tend to be rare beasts (in Ireland) these days. This fella is a tad old bit that in itself has advantages. The grapes used here are the Encruzado and Cercial Branco. The former of these is a specialty of the Dao region and gives its wines quite a rich assortment of perfumed fruits but also a sort of resin or a wood-sap quality. The Cercial is used mainly for acidity, bulk and light perfumes. A bit of age brings out the resin style as a nuttiness and this wine excels in this regard. Really good for creamed pasta dishes and lightly roasted meats


Image result for opta daoOpta Dao 2012
Interesting that member (in good standing!) Br liked this because it resembles a St Emilion. Good call. It has developed an earthiness with age. Made from Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro and Tinta Roriz it has a bricked ruby of medium depth, a red-fruit earth bouquet and a soft rich palate. I always find wines from Dao interesting
Distributed by Classic Drinks

Segredos de Sao Miguel  Alentejo 2016
Fabulous wine. Ripe fruit bursting from the glass. Agents Grace Campbell tells us that this is Ireland's leading wine from Portugal. We could all see why. It really is a wine you would want to purchase a second time. Acidity is excellent, tannins are soft - very much a 'smooth and silky' number as stated on the Corkscrew website who are selling this RIGHT NOW at only €60.00 for 6 bottles! where they show you the most recent Gold medal this wine has won

Segredos de Sao Miguel Alentejo
Image result for pocas vale de cavalos douro 2012

Pocas Vale de Cavalos Douro 2013
This is the unfortified Douro Superior red wine from Port House Pocas Junior. It is one of the wines that shows ho far the Douro has progressed with its unfortified offerings. This si  sensational in that it has an absolute presence and a really enormous 'fruit - quality - structural ratio'.  A classic blend of the Port grapes Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca it's a classy and very rich style. Sipped on the terrace this is the complete accompaniment to a 'summer holiday novel reading session' as the sun sets and a light chill enters the patio...! 

Colours of Portugal       R- L: Alentejo, Douro, Dao.