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Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:07 pm


Helsinki, Finland

WTN: Côtto table wine + port and Savennières

by Otto » Sat Sep 02, 2006 5:51 pm

Pierre-Bise Clos de Coulaine Savennières 2004

I opened this yesterday and it seemed a nice Sav if a bit fruity (seems to have a bit of RS) but well balanced. Unfortunately the nose was a bit closed. Today, the nose is still a little closed (slightly corked maybe, I'm not sensitive to taint, but shouldn't even a Sav be opening up by now?), but still shows itself to be a very nice little Sav. I like it, and at the 20€ it costs here, I'll buy a couple more bottles.

It was tasty enough that we polished it off though I would have hoped to save a bit for tomorrow in case it opened up more: young Sav can sometimes take ages to open up - even when already open [Wink] Unless corked, of course. I wish my TCA sensitivity was greater. There was something ever so slightly nagging me about this wine, but I really can't say what it could be.

Quinta do Côtto Vinho Tinto 2003

This is the basic red of Montez Champalimaud. Apparently they are a controversial producer - something to do with screwcaps and patronising attitude IIRC. I don't have much more detail. Whatever the debate, I was rather impressed. We rarely see drinkable or interesting wines below 20€ here, but this at c.12€ was interesting.

It was lactic and herbal, primary yet a bit earthy, leathery and mineral, with a sweetness to the fruit reminding me of Chateauneuf! Will certainly be better in the near future, but is pretty pleasant with a couple hours decanting.

The palate is very berryish, pleasantly lean and dry, yet structured and with moderate acidity despite the warm year. I rather liked it. It was unspoofulated and refreshing despite the hazards of the very warm year. "Only" 12,5% abv.

It was a rather strange wine, and not altogether the style which I'd embrace wholeheartedly but at 12€ I won't complain. Besides, there are few 2003s from Europe that I'd gladly drink.

And also, I had this with pizza tonight with a friend who isn't all that into wine. This went very well with the pizza (I put lamb mostly, but a quite a bit of chilli and olives also - fine pizza, though I say it myself, but a bit of a challenge for the wine due to the chilli).

Champalimaud Vintage Port 2001

À la Roy Hersh, this was decanted at 7:00 when I left for work. It already smelled lovely and open then, and didn't show alcohol on the nose.

It's like that still, with a 15 hour decanting behind it. Having experimented with a few Ports, I have come to see the wisdom of Hersh's long decanting times. Alcohol won't disappear anywhere, but the agressive alcohol of young(+ish) does get integrated into everything else.

There is admirable depth to the nose, no alcoholic heat, delightfully savoury despite the Fonseca-like blue toned fruit.

The palate is of the drier sort which I tend to prefer (Dow is usually a favourite of mine...), there is no alcohol showing. It is rather tannic, though, with nice fruit despite it being drier than usual. Like on the nose, what really won me over was the savoury, earthy notes to the fruit. The aftertaste was extra long, but it was certainly long enough and there was a touch of minerality creeping in - and that is something that I rarely find in Ports - and it was delightfully fresh.

Ok, this is a long and boring report, but though this isn't the most complex Port and seemingly it won't last for long either, the nuances of the flavours were very much to my liking. A very personal wine for sure. At the c.16€ for a half that it costs here, I'll be buying quite a few to drink soon. Maybe I'll cellar a few, but frankly I don't see this gaining much except in the mid-term.

Who else makes this sort of savoury, drier Port? Dow often does and apparently Champalimaud. Anyone else?

I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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Bill Buitenhuys


Wine guru




Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:47 pm


Phoenix metro

Re: WTN: Côtto table wine + port and Savennières

by Bill Buitenhuys » Sat Sep 02, 2006 6:09 pm

I'm glad you've gotten past your existential musings on note posting. That port does indeed sound interesting. I don't know of others in that style but I'd gladly try the Champalimaud.
btw, I love a prosecco with olive pizza (which I usually end up sprinkling crushed red pepper flakes on as well).

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