Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Douro’

A deep Portuguese wine from Quinta do Vallado

I plan to unleash several posts this week featuring a large number of wines that I have tasted this summer. Until I do so, this short post bides me time.  The 2011 Quinta do Vallado, Vallado, Douro springs to mind as a selection for you to try.  I found that it is immediately recognizable as a serious wine.  The depth of flavor is obvious and forward but it also carries the need for age with ease.  My experience with mature Portuguese table wine is minimal but this is one I would see through the short-term.  This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

Vallado1

2011 Quinta do Vallado, Vallado, Douro – $23
Imported by Quintessential LLC. This wine is a blend of Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Franca, and Touriga Nacional Sousao that was fermented in stainless steel tanks then aged 70% aged for 14 months in stainless steel and 30% aged for 16 months in used French barriques.   Alcohol 14%.  There were deep aromatic notes then low-lying aromas of deep red fruit with a sushi note.  In the mouth was rather focused, young, black fruit, that showed acidity right away with a forward drinking nature.  The wine continued with floral flavors, a dark robustness, and some oak notes.  With air this wine became weighty with fuzzy plum flavors.  *** 2018-2020.

Vallado2

Old-vine wine and simply old wine with Roy Hersh

January 26, 2015 Leave a comment

WithRoy4

I met up with Roy Hersh (For the Love of Port) during my most recent trip to Seattle.  That this was our first time meeting, despite all of my trips to Seattle, is in retrospect a shame on my part but we now have the future ahead.  As it was my first night in town we went to dinner near my hotel at Matt’s in the Market.  We each brought a bottle of wine, both of which fueled hours of conversation until there were no other customers left.  I did not bother taking notes but the wines were remarkable in their own way and deserve to be mentioned.

WithRoy3

Roy brought the 2006 Quinta do Crasto, Vinha Maria Teresa, Douro (imported by Broadbent Selections) to start.  This wine is produced from Crato’s oldest plot of vines which were 91 years of age at the time of harvest.  As was typical for the period of planting, this plot is a blend of grapes of which some 45 different varieties have been identified.  Roy related that to preserve the nature of the plot every vine is mapped out and any dead vine is replaced with an identical variety.  Roy had double-decanted the wine a few hours ahead but it promptly went into another decanter at our table.  I could smell the wine as it was poured into my glass which proved quite a prelude. In the mouth, you could tell the edges had softened but the wine still had a balanced density suggesting that after shedding the structure of youth it would now start developing.  It had that old-vine confidence of flavor.

WithRoy1

With the Quinta do Crasto finished we switched gears.  I flew over with a bottle of 1970’s NV Lopez de Heredia, Viña Bosconia 5° Año, Rioja (imported by The Rare Wine Co.) with good fill, great labels, and not that much sediment.  This too was decanted.  An immediate taste showed it was sound but it really took an hour or two to flesh out.  It then showed moderate complexity on the nose, hints of ripeness at the start followed by that more elegantly mouth filling nature of an old wine.  The wine itself kept delivering until there was none left in the decanter.  It it is a good thing that we did not have a third bottle because I know we would have stayed until midnight.

WithRoy2

A few drinks from our International Gold Cup weekend.

October 27, 2014 Leave a comment

GoldCup

Our weekend was dedicated to the International Gold Cup steeplechase held in Virginia.  Between hanging out at home with an old friend and drinking wine at the Gold Cup we went through a variety of wines.  It was a gorgeous, warm and sunny day at the races so I spent my time chatting and tasting.  Which meant I did not take any pictures.  So I have no clue, for example, of what the tasty Barbera d’Alba was we had during the day.  There was an elegant and crisp 2012 Failla, Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast.  Between the 2013 Justin, Sauvignon Blanc, Central Coast and the 2012 Justin, Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles, I preferred the later for being an unapologetically forward Californian wine.  The 2011 Chateau Lilian Ladouys, Saint-Estephe was an herbaceous, Merlot dominant wine that, like the Justin, disappeared before I could taste it again.   The most interesting bottles that I did save include the  2010 Castell d’Encus, Quest, Costers del Segre which is a Bordeaux blend sourced from high-altitude fruit in Spain.  The particular cool factor is that the fruit is fermented in 12th century stone vats located in a mountainside.  The resultant wine had herbaceous, brighter fruit with outstanding crunchy acidity.  The 2007 Mas de Boislauzon, Chateauneuf du Pape and 2007 Mas de Boislauzon, Tintot Special Cuvee, Chateauneuf du Pape were a fun pair.  The former is a Grenache dominated blend that showed secondary flavor complexity, good wood notes, herbs, all at a presently drinkable 13.5% alcohol.  The Special Cuvee is purely Mourvedre.  It possessed even less alcohol but packed more of a flavor punch of earthy fruit.  I think this cuvee might be aged a bit more.  The 2011 Crasto, Superior, Douro showed more polish from oak aging but came across as muted compared to the regular Douoro bottling that is both floral and flavorful.  Finally, the 2008 Alice Bonaccorsi, Val Cerasa, Etna Rosso did not appear to have too many fans.  This is primarily Nerello Mascalese with some Nerello Cappuccio in it.  I rather liked its earthy take and reasonable price so I will follow up on this wine by drinking another bottle at a later date.

 

Some Tasty Portuguese Reds

Jenn and I recently tasted through four different Portuguese wines that could offer a change to your weekly wine lineup.  The 2011 Monte Velho, Alentejano provides distinct Portuguese flavors at a very attractive price.   I would venture that if you like maturity and wood box flavors to your Bordeaux you will enjoy the 2009 Quinta da Rosa Vinhos, douROSA, Douro.  Not that it tastes like Bordeaux but it is showing its maturity very well right now.   The 2012 Quinta do Crasto, Crasto, Douro is quite effusive with its fruit and should be a general crowd pleaser.  It is a nice follow-on to the previous vintage.   The 2010 Esporao, Reserva, Alentejo was the most backwards of the four.  On the second night the wine revealed it has some good things to come but it really is best left in the cellar.  I was a little concerned by the vanilla note but things should come together with age.  If you are concerned then you cannot go wrong with the Monte Velho and the Quinta do Crasto.  I have this sneaking suspicion that there might be some stunning Douro red wines in the $15-$20 per bottle range. These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

Portugal2

2011 Monte Velho, Alentejano – $10
Imported by Aidil Wines & Liquors.  This wine is a blend of 40% Trincadeira, 40% Aragonez, and 20% Castelao.  Alcohol 14%.  This was a grapey ruby color that matched the grapey, black fruit on the nose.  In the mouth there was weight to the purple-black fruit from the start.  There was both a tangy hint and force to the flavors which began as grapey then became riper.  There was also some texture and black minerals.  ** Now-2017.

Portugal3

2009 Quinta da Rosa Vinhos, douROSA, Douro – $15
Imported by William-Harrison Imports.  This wine is a blend of 35% Touriga Franca, 35% Tinta Roriz.  and 30% Touriga Nacional.  Alcohol 14%.  Tasted over two nights this maintained a slightly pungent nose.  In the mouth were wood box natures, black fruit, and general maturity which was attractive.  The flavors became plummy with some integrated acidity followed by tang near the finish.  The flavors were dry and a little salty.  The very fine and dry tannins left a touch of roughness in the end.  *** Now but will last.

Portugal1

2012 Quinta do Crasto, Crasto, Douro – $15
Imported by Broadbent Selections.  This wine is a blend of 35% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinta Roriz, 25% Touriga Franca, and 10% Tinta Barroca.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was immediately fragrant with grapey and floral aromas.  In the mouth there was red fruit which quickly turned blacker with riper and sweeter fruit (not residual sugar) that had a cinnamon note.  This made way to minerals in the finish and spices in the aftertaste.  There acidity was there and noticeable on the tongue tip.  This youthful wine was still compact and should drink well over the short term.  *** Now-2017.

Portugal4

2010 Esporao, Reserva, Alentejo – $25
Imported by Aidil Wines & Liquors.  This wine is a blend of Aragonês, Trincadeira, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Alicante Bouschet sourced from 15 year old vines.  It was fermented in stainless steel then aged for 12 months in French and American oak.  Alcohol 14.5%.  This had a subtle nose.  In the mouth were some roast notes with drying tannins that lead to a firm structure mixed with black minerals.  The flavors were a little racy and spicy with a citric nature and cinnamon hint.  With air the good fruit was noticeable but still low-lying.  It became a bit softer with a round, vanilla nature and perhaps some tar in the finish.  Needs age.  **(*) 2016-2022.

Portugal5

Four AffordableWines from Iberia

December 12, 2013 Leave a comment

This is just a quick post for today.  The 2012 Vina Buena, Allende, La Ermita, Ribera del Duero is a strong value at $10 per bottle.  It has fruit, stones, acidity, and structure.  There are not many decent $10 wines so bear that in mind.   I have drunk an  earlier vintage of the 2011 Quinta do Passadouro, Passo but apparently have never written about it.  I’ll have to dig through my notes and pictures.  This bottle was more of a crowd-pleaser and was immediately accessible.   Despite the accessibility I preferred it after several hours when it was more complete.   My favorite of the lot is the 2011 D Ventura, Pena do Lobo, Ribeira Sacra.  I am a big fan of the producer and found this particular wine is in need of short-term cellaring.  It is worth the wait.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

wine7

2011 Muxagat Vinhos, Tinto Barroca, Douro – $15
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is 100% Tina Barroca souced from a vineyard planted in 2007 on soils of schist and granite at 1,800 feet.  It was fermented then aged for eight months in old cement vats.  Alcohol 13%.  There were young, drying red flavors then drying black fruit.  The fruit was young with some citrus and a drying structure in the finish.  The citric tannins continued though it developed some grapey concentration.  ** 2014-2015.

wine8

2011 Quinta do Passadouro, Passo, Douro – $13
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is a blend of 40% Touriga Franca, 30% Tinta Roriz, and 30% Touriga Nacional sourced from vines averaging 30 years of age on soils of schist. It was fermented in stainless steel then aged for 18 months in 80% used and 20% new barriques.  Alcohol 14%.  There were soft, billowy aromas of black fruit and vanilla.  In the mouth were flavors of round, dense fruit, and which were delivered with a gentle, puffy powdery vanilla note.  The wine was smooth with a chocolate hint.  With air it became a little fresh with baking spices.  It was a decent drinks from the get-go but I preferred it with air when it took on more minerals and floral flavors.  **

wine9

2012 Vina Buena, Allende, La Ermita, Ribera del Duero – $10
Imported by Tradewinds Specialty Imports.  This wine is 100% Tempranillo. Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose revealed subtle, wafting aromas of black fruit.  There was moderate concentration in the mouth with slightly floral, red and black fruit.  There was a subtle structure, salivating acidity, and a hint of stones.  There were some drying tannins in the structure which came out a bit with air.  Strong value. ** Now-2018.

wine10

2011 D Ventura, Pena do Lobo, Ribeira Sacra – $18
Imported by DeMaison Selections.  This wine is 100% Mencia sourced from 80+ year old vines on granite soils.  It was fermented in stainless steel.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose was slightly deep with orange and red fruit.  It took until the second night to soften a bit becoming more approachable yet maintaining grip.  There were high-toned flavors on a pillowy note of tart red fruit.  It had a powdery texture, leaving some ripeness on the gums.  It left a youthful impression.  **(*) 2014 – 2018.

wine11

A Few Thanksgiving Wines

December 2, 2013 1 comment

Mr. Bloodgood’s Flock of White Holland Turkeys. Image from Herbert Myrick’s Turkeys and how to grow them. 1899.

For the Thanksgiving holiday we managed to drink through German Riesling, mature Bordeaux, Oregon Pinot Noir, and a Tawny Port.  Not all in one day, of course, but over several days.  The 2012 Weingut Keller, Riesling Trocken is a recent arrival at MacArthur Beverages.  With pink grapefruit flavors, minerals, and great nerve this is an exciting wine to drink.  It has a lot of personality for the price.  We bought the 1989 Chateau Sociando-Mallet some time ago from MacArthur Beverages, on the order of a decade.  The bottom of the cork was firmly seated in the bottle so despite my Ah-So and Le Creuset worm I still managed to break the cork.  You might recall we recently enjoyed a bottle of 2000 Chateau Phelan Segur which came from a questionable cellar.  When two bottles became available from a good cellar I jumped on them.  Having two bottles was reason alone to open one up. The shorter cork offered less resistance and came out simply with the Ah-So.  Both Bordeaux wines were enjoyed over a period of ten hours.  The 1989 Chateau Sociando-Mallet never really opened up and only slightly faded over the period.  Had there been a bit more fruit I would have enjoyed it more in the mouth but it was certainly an enjoyable drink and as Jenn commented, the nose was of an old wine, and attractive at that.  I imagine this wine will last for some time but I do not see it improving.  The 1990 Chateau Phelan Segur is still on the up-slope and unfolds over several hours.  I really enjoy the earthy, mixed berry aromas and flavors.  The price was crazy good.

The Prize Bronze Turkey bred by Sherman Hartwell. Image from Herbert Myrick’s Turkeys and how to grow them. 1899.

The 2012 Patricia Green Cellars, Pinot Noir, Reserve was being poured at the store the day before Thanksgiving.  The 2012 Sineann, Pinot Noir, Resonance may have rocked but it also highlighted how good the Patricia Green is.  It is a varying blend from different parcels, so perhaps no terroir here but it is tasty stuff for a cold evening by the fire.  I would buy several bottles then hold them for a few months.  The fall and winter are our typical seasons for drinking port. The NV Wine & Soul, 10 Years Old Tawny is a new bottle for us.  It is a field blend from old vineyards which are foot-trodden then raised in 50+ year old Portuguese Chestnut containers.  The bottle is finished with a traditional long cork but a short cork is included for stoppering after it is opened.  This is a fresh, young Tawny Port with impeccable balance.  It is less nutty than other ports.

Thanksgiving1

2012 Weingut Keller, Riesling Trocken, Rheinhessen – $20
Alcohol 12%.  There were flavors of pink grapefruit and minerals which had great nerve from acidity.  The acidity was focused at the start with the wine taking on drying, spices and textures towards the finish where more minerals came out.  Young and lively.  *** Now-2024.

Thanksgiving2

1989 Chateau Sociando-Mallet, Haut-Medoc –
Imported by Luke’s Distributing Co.  Alcohol 12.5%  There was a mature nose, learner in aroma with black cherry and wood notes.  In the mouth were dense flavors of black cherry, firm acidity, and old textured tannins in the finish.  The finish was fresh with some ripe spices and tannins.  The old, tasty wood structure was appealing.  ** Now-2018.

Thanksgiving3

1990 Chateau Phelan Segur, Saint-Estephe – $40
Alcohol 13%.  The interesting nose bore earthy, mixed berries.  In the mouth were slowly expanding flavors of black cherry which took on an earthy note.  There were minerals and nice expansion in the middle followed good integration of some weighty tannins and acidity.  There was grip in the aftertaste where the acidity returned.  The wine left impressions of nice, earthy, mineral flavors.  ***(*) Now-2024.

Thanksgiving4

2012 Patricia Green Cellars, Pinot Noir, Reserve, Willamette Valley – $24
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir which was aged in 5% new oak.  Alcohol 13.5%. The nose bore standout aromas of Pinot Noir berry fruit.  In the mouth were younger fruit flavors, some spices, and depth.  With air the flavors leaned brighter with red fruit and acidity and a good aftertaste.  It has complexity and grapey depth, almost ripasso like.  With air this builds weight in the finish.  *** 2014-2019.

Thanksgiving5

NV Wine & Soul, 10 Years Old Tawny – $45
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is a field blend of over 30 varieties sourced from vineyards planted between 1950 and 1970 on soils of schist at 1155 feet.  Bottled in 2011.  Alcohol 19.5%.  This was a fruit driven tawny which remained fresh in flavor.  There was some weight to the wine before black fruit, minerals, and good acidity came out.  There was a tangy finish with notes of orange peel.  This seamless wine has a glycerine infused body with fresh and complex flavors that are less nutty than other Tawny Ports.  **** Now-2029.

Thanksgiving6

2010 and 2011 Crasto, Douro

I really enjoyed the 2009 Quinta do Crasto, Douro as noted in Three Tasty Wines for the Weekend.  After tasting both the 2010 and 2011 vintages side by side I am happy to report that I also enjoyed the 2011 vintage.   It is well priced and enjoyable in its youth.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.  On a side note I have spent the last week or two obsessed with the 17th and 18th century vineyards of England.  I knew they existed but did not realize there were over fifty vineyards throughout those two centuries.  If you are curious then I recommend check out a few books namely Richard Selley’s Winelands of Britain, Stephen Skelton’s The Wines of Britain and Ireland, and the thorough Hugh Barty-King’s A Tradition of English Wine. For contemporary accounts check out the article on Coates & Seely in the May 2013 issue of House & Garden and the article on UK sparkling in the May 2013 issue of Decanter Magazine.

Crasto2

2011 Quinta do Crasto, Crasto, Douro – $15
Imported by Broadbent Selections.  This wine is a blend of 35% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinta Roriz, 25% Touriga Franca, and 10% Tinta Barroca.   Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose is of fresh fruit cobbler and pretty perfume.  In the mouth there is a bit more ripe fruit, grip then blue fruit with a cool aspect.  The tannins are ripe which goes well with the grip.  There was good expansion in the finish followed by a very likeable long aftertaste.  Good in its youth and held up well over three nights.  *** Now-2018.

Crasto1

2010 Quinta do Crasto, Crasto, Douro – $15
Imported by Broadbent Selections.  This wine is a blend of 35% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinta Roriz, 25% Touriga Franca, and 10% Tinta Barroca.   Alcohol 14.5%.  There was a light nose of fresh, purple berries and some perfume.  It was a familial nose but not as aromatic nor intense as with the 2010 vintage.  In the mouth there were fresh, forward berries, good up front flavors of slightly dense fruit.  The flavors were cooler with more acidity coming out.  There were notes of violet as the fruit flavors firmed a bit in middle and end.  The wine was more rough and unrefined with pencil lead in the structure.  ** Now-2018.

Crasto3