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Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Robin Garr » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:02 am

Let's post this up a day before the new month, in case anyone wants to pick up a jug or two for weekend tasting: We're looking at Portugal for September's Wine Focus. We can dissect the range of Ports, check out the less-familiar reds, and say so long to summer with light, crisp whites such as (but not limited to) Vinho Verde. Portugal, facing the Atlantic but not the Mediterranean, has climate and terroir all its own, and it shows in the wines. Looking forward to the reports and recommendations that come out of this month's tasting.
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Tim York

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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Tim York » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:25 am

Port is quite easy to find in France because it is a popular apéritif. (The taste of many French for stickies before their meals is for me a stain on their gastronomic reputation :shock: ) However, nearly all are cheap (€5-10) ruby and tawny. Some nicer and dearer tawny as well as LBV is also available but vintages are conspicuous by their absence except in some posh Parisian shops. There is also a lot of cooking Madeira around but little of the really fine stuff.

Portugal's traditional reputation was based on its dessert wines, particularly port and Madeira but also some lovelies from e.g. Setubal, but, in recent decades, it has been making big progress in table wines where its Atlantic climate and native grape varieties procure a greater freshness than most in neighbouring Spain. There are some very satisfying robust reds and some charmingly fruity and fresh whites with a lot differentiated character compared with other countries' offerings. Availability here is sparse like with Italian and Spanish wines and often the choice has a French connection. However I have a large handful of Portuguese bottles in my cellar and will look out for more. But alas only one bottle each of vintage port and old Madeira are left and I doubt if I will be able to replace them easily.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:55 pm

Very good Focus subject as I still have a nice Portugal range in the cellar. Not many whites but some nice Douro.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Tim York » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:22 am

Going through Cellar Tracker, I am somewhat surprised to find that we have drunk quite a few bottles of Portuguese wines in the last 12 months. I note particularly several delightful whites. The two ports were typically dependable and I seem to have enjoyed the less expensive Douro reds more than the more upmarket but anonymous Quinta do Malhô. This is a repeat post for most of these wines but in the course of the month I hope to open some new bottles.

2014 Herdade da Comporta Vinho Regional Península de Setúbal - Portugal, Península de Setúbal, Vinho Regional Península de Setúbal (10/21/2016)
This medium/light bodied white made from Arinto 55% & Antão Vaz 45% is full of charm. Nose white fruit, mainly sweet grapes and lychee with a lemon hint, sprinkled with herbs. Palate dry with some tenderness and roundness of fruit, developing the aromas from the nose with the addition of a touch of ginger and oriental spice together with enough acidity for freshness and a hint of backbone. My guess is that it is probably at its best right now with no development potential. Very good at present.
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2011 Cap Wines Douro Quinta do Malhô - Portugal, Douro (11/15/2016)
This is another example of a wine where I find the first sniff and sip impressive but where I rapidly tire of the jammy fruit, thick texture, high alcohol (15%), harsh dry notes in the tannins and above all international anonymity. The wine could come from anywhere and from any grape with no discernible terroir or varietal character. Such a shame from a distinguished region like the Douro. It's not impossible that some age would bring out more individuality but I'm not volunteering a repeat investment to find out.
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2008 Graham Porto Late Bottled Vintage - Portugal, Douro, Porto (12/31/2016)
Dark coloured, robust, fruity, quite full bodied with backbone, this LBV filled well its function as pairing for mature nutty Stilton cheese but had a raw touch on the finish and naturally lacked the depth, texture and subtlety of 25+ year old vintage port, all of which from my cellar has alas been drunk. This bottle was finished in one sitting so we are unable to see if a few days in the opened bottle brings a marked improvement as with the Christmas Banyuls. Good.
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NV Ramos Pinto Porto 10 Year Old Tawny Quinta de Ervamoira - Portugal, Douro, Porto (4/16/2017)
Yes the label does say tawny, but its quite deep ruby colour and its marked backbone could have fooled me. Once expectations were adjusted, I was able to enjoy its robust style with medium+ body, nut tinged fruit and firmness of structure. Good.
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2014 Quinta Dos Platanos Alenquer - Portugal, Lisboa, Alenquer (5/5/2017)
Made from the Fernão Pires and Anito grape varieties, this is a very charming dry white, but not bone dry, and medium bodied wine full of grape infused white fruit, spice and fresh acidity. Ideal pairing for a Portuguese style salty cod dish and good wine.
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2015 Niepoort Douro Fabelhaft - Portugal, Douro (5/30/2017)
Good robust wine with tangy fruit, earthy minerals, fresh acidity and backbone but, from my notes of the 2013, it does not have the same captivating complexity as that vintage. Just arrived last week and may have needed more time to settle down.
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2015 Quinta do Ameal Loureiro Vinho Verde - Portugal, Minho, Vinho Verde (7/5/2017)
Deliciously medium/light with delicate citrus infused fruit, minerals and crisp acidity together with a slightly grapey and honeyed undertow. Very good.
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2015 Symington Douro Altano - Portugal, Douro (7/8/2017)
Fuller bodied, warmer flavoured, less Atlantic and more Mediterranean than I recall from previous experience, it showed dark sweet complexioned fruit, some depth, herbs and an oily rather porty complexity and finish.
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2016 Symington Douro Altano - Portugal, Douro (8/2/2017)
I find an attractive note of dessert grapes in many Portuguese whites and this one is no exception. Add to that medium body, fresh fruit and lively acidity and there is a lot to like and it was a good pairing for jumbo mussels brought from Belgium. Good wine and good QPR at €6.
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2014 Niepoort Douro Allez Santé - Portugal, Douro (8/3/2017)
I believe that this is the same wine destined for the Belgian market as is called Fabelhaft for the German market. Based on my TN of the 2013 Fabelhaft, it is indeed quite similar. It is medium bodied showing lively red fruit with a porty edge, spice, minerals and fresh mouth-watering acidity finishing off with nice gently saline grip. Good
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:44 pm

Great notes as always Tim..I too am a big Ameal fan. Here are some brief notes on a recent Baga.

2010 Campalargo Bairrada Baga.

I am a true Campolargo fan and we are fortunate to have his wines well represented here in AB. Cellared 3yrs, good natural cork, 13% alc, $23 Cna.

Just a hint of bricking on the rim and not a lot of depth of color. Forest floor noted straight away on the nose! Cherry and some olives, maybe brambleberry.
Initial entry thought is quite dry, earthy, dusty, good length. Maybe a light touch overall but of interest for sure. Red fruits, good balance, integrated tannins, ok acidity. Went well with braised pork loin and fiddleheads.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Joe Moryl » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:44 pm

Thanks for those notes, Tim. I visited Ameal in 2012 and it is a lovely, quiet place, and they now have some lodging on the property if you want to stay. Viticulture is organic, which is not trumpeted on the bottle. I have a bottle of the 2016 and will post a note here if I get to it. Also have the 2016 Anselmo Mendes Loureiro, which might make an interesting comparison.

Dirk Niepoort is a charismatic character who is really helping to push the envelope in Portugal, and not just in the Douro - he has projects in many of the regions (e.g. his work with old vine Baga in Bairrada) as well as outside the country. My only problem with his wine is that I usually find the more affordable end of the spectrum underwhelming, and his great stuff priced about 2x what similar producers charge.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:43 am

Hi Joe, good to see you here wondered when you might show up! How about a nice glass of Vinho Verde!!

2015 Anselmo Mendes Loureiro Vinho Verde Muros Antigos.

Always readily available at the winebar downtown for around $8 a glass. Pale yellow in color with lime zest, apricot and mineral tone on the nose. Nice firm acidity on initial entry, lovely citrus on mid-palate and the finish. Quite dry as I expected and a step up from the entry level VV.
Apple, pear and think melon all nicely balanced and overall a terrific experience.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Joe Moryl » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:48 pm

2016 Quinta do Ameal, Loureiro, Vinho Verde:

What confuses some people is the fact that Vinho Verde can mean the light, fizzy, off-dry stuff exemplified by Casal Garcia (quite delicious in it's own way) and dryer, higher alcohol wines that resemble most white table wines from elsewhere. There are an increasing number of VV wines that are of this later type - and even the Portuguese haven't always cottoned on to this. I hesitate to call the second type 'serious', but I think you get my drift.

This wine is very light in color, with an explosive nose of lime and orange blossom. There is more lime on the palate, with some melon and green herb notes, super crisp acidity, followed by a crunchy mineral finish. Bone dry like Muscadet, but somewhat floral like Riesling. Very gastronomic, and it might age well, as the producer claims on their website. Only 11.5% abv, $13.

To be honest, there are echos of the cheap and cheerful VV wines here as well, and it is probably because Loureiro is one of the most commonly grown grapes in the Minho and is a major component in some of those wines. If you start to look at the details of the Minho/VV region, there are parts which are noted for growing certain grapes; this is from the Lima sub-region, which is apparently Loureiro country. The best Alvarinhos are often designated with the Monção e Melgaço sub-region, Avesso from Baião, etc. And there is red VV, with the best ones coming from Vinhao, which might be said to be an acquired taste....
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Robin Garr » Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:31 pm

Álvaro Castro 2013 Dão ($16.99)

Purple, clear but very dark. Ripe plums and dried plums and more subtle hints of blackberries and blueberries on the nose. Fresh and full black-fruit flavors carry over on the palate, wrapped up in zippy, lemon-squirt acidity with a touch of soft tannic astringency showing up in a long finish with 13% alcohol. A blend of Portuguese Alfrocheiro (50%) with traditional Port grapes Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (25% each). U.S. importer: Domaine Select Wine Estates LLC, NYC. (Sept. 6, 2017)

FOOD MATCH: Good with a Creole-style okra and tomato dish, but its ripe, acidic flavor went better with a buttery cheese. It might work best of all with roast or grilled chicken or pork.

WHEN TO DRINK: Some authorities liken Dão to red Burgundy, an assertion that may be a bit over the top. I can see how the impulse works, though, in its blend of richness and elegance on a sound core of acidity and tannins. The 2013 is certainly drinking well now, but if you have good, controlled-temperature cellar conditions, it could probably be cellared and evolve for at least a decade.

VALUE:
Wine-Searcher.com's $16 average retail conforms with my local selling price; it's a reasonable to good value at this price.

WEB LINK
Importer Domaine Select offers this good fact sheet on Álvaro Castro Dão

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Check prices and find vendors for Álvaro Castro Dão on Wine-Searcher.com.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Robin Garr » Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:32 pm

Taylor Fladgate 2011 Late Bottled Vintage Port ($26.99)

Deep purple, with ruby glints against the light. Classic Port scents of black and blue fruit, plums, blackberries and blueberries with a sense of heat on the nose from its fortified 20% alcohol. Full-bodied and sweet on first tasting, black fruit and a whiff of fennel, fresh and clean, fills the mouth with bright acidity, powerful tannins and alcoholic heat. For all of that power, it's nicely rounded and balanced, with blackberry and plum fruit lingering with astringent tannins in a very long finish. U.S. importer: Kobrand Corp., Purchase, N.Y. (Sept. 7, 2017)

FOOD MATCH: Port is best for after-dinner sipping with cheeses, although it can certainly be called to non-traditional service with rare roast beef or, perhaps even better, venison and other strong-flavored game.

WHEN TO DRINK: Don't count on LBV to age for decades as we expect of a true Vintage Port in good vintages, nor is it intended to evolve with age; rather, it's designed to provide immediate drinking pleasure, now and over the next few years. Still, Wine-Searcher.com reveals quite a few vendors offering bottles back to 2005 at prices consistent with recent vintages.

VALUE:
My local price is a few bucks over Wine-Searcher.com's $23 average retail, and some shops show it in the upper teens, so shop around. Still, a fine LBV offers much of the pleasure of a fine Vintage Port at a good discount, so I'm not complaining about a middle $20s price.

WEB LINK
Taylor-Fladgate offers this detailed fact sheet in English on its LBV; better still, you can click from here to a full library on Port and how to enjoy it.
Importer Kobrand Corp. also has extensive information at this link.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Find vendors and compare prices for Taylor Fladgate 2011 Late Bottled Vintage Port on Wine-Searcher.com.

For a good primer on Late Bottled Vintage and an extensive catalog of LBVs and vendors, check this page on Wine-Searcher.com.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Paul Winalski » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:08 pm

I opened a 1950 Barbeito vintage Madeira Bual recently. It was imported by The Rare Wine Company in Sonoma, and the label says it was bottled in 2000. It is what one would expect from a fine vintage Madeira--golden brown color, complex, fragrant aroma, concentrated, smoky flavor with a touch of sweetness and bracing acidity. The flavor lasts in the mouth for over twenty minutes. This is showing well now, and probably will for another couple of hundred years. Triple Curly.

-Paul W.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:29 pm

That Dao sounds very new world to me Robin.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Robin Garr » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:42 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:That Dao sounds very new world to me Robin.

Relatively low alcohol, though, and the fruit flavors were appealing without being a froot bomb.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:06 pm

2009 Quinta Nova Douro Colheita.

Always cellar my Douro reds for a few years and this turned out quite nicely. Light purple, no bricking on the rim. Earth, tobacco on the nose with dark black fruits. Nice integrated tannins, lovely acidity and thought well balanced. Thought quite dry with a hint of ripe fruit on day 2. Very berryish, no heat at all...14%alc.

2009 Quinta do Vallado Colheita.

Opened about 3 months ago but did not post notes due to health issues. 14.5% alc, cellared 4 yrs.
Medium cherry with no real sign of age. Savoury nose, some oak and earthy. Some chocolate on immediate opening, not much evolvement after an hour decant.
Very bright acidity, soft tannins, lively finish. Dry at early stage but some ripe fruits showed day 2. Overall dried red fruits and some bell pepper.."complex wine" from across the table.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Joe Moryl » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:05 am

Bob Parsons Alberta wrote:That Dao sounds very new world to me Robin.


I didn't get that from Robin's note at all, and, in general, I wouldn't expect a Dao wine from Alvaro Castro to be very new worldish.
BTW, that is probably the most common grape mixture one finds in red Dao, but the percentages can vary, and include Jaen, Rufete, Baga, and possibly other grapes (especially if sourced from old mixed vineyards). Tinta Roriz is Tempranillo, for those not familiar with Portuguese grape names, sometimes called Aragonez, especially in the Alentejo (this is where to find more new-world style wines...).

Robin: did you get to try the wine after it was open for awhile? I often find Dao wines to blossom with a few hours of air. And the better ones can age for many years.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Robin Garr » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:10 am

Joe Moryl wrote:Robin: did you get to try the wine after it was open for awhile? I often find Dao wines to blossom with a few hours of air. And the better ones can age for many years.

I still have a half-bottle waiting further investigation. Probably tonight! :)
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Tim York » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:15 pm

This is Douro with a French accent but it carries it very successfully IMO, particularly in view of its modest price. Of the big French names signing wine from l'étranger, Chapoutier is one of the most reliable. There was none of the heavy handed élevage which may be found in wines signed, say, Rolland or Magrez.

2013 M. Chapoutier Touriga Nacional Douro Eleivera - Portugal, Douro (9/11/2017)
This Douro red made 100% from Touriga Nacional is an attractive medium bodied wine with a refined bouquet on the nose of liqueur tinged red and dark fruit, blackberry and ripe cherry especially. The palate is attractively savoury but rather up-front in shape and not very long showing fruit and aromas which add complexity and underlying roundness to those from the nose with lively acidity, velvety texture and a little ripe backbone. Good wine and QPR at €9 and worth repurchase if I could find it in France at a similar price.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Joe Moryl » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:55 pm

2015 Post-Quercus Baga, Filipa Pato:
Baga is the heartbreak grape of central Atlantic Portugal, especially the DOP Bairrada region. Filipa is the daughter of Luis Pato, one of the best producers in the Bairrada region, and she has struck out on her own with a line of distinctive high quality wines.

There are several unusual things one notices before even pulling the cork on this one. First, although it is Baga, grown in the Bairrada region, it does not carry the DOP designation. It also comes in a 500 ml bottle and has a stated 11% abv, which is pretty low compared to most Baga wines. It turns out that this is a wine fermented and aged solely in clay amphorae, with the goal of producing a gentler type of wine than is typical from this grape (think young Barolo for some more traditional styles).

The result is a deep ruby red wine, with a slightly funky, leathery nose. I swear I detect a whiff of rootbeer.
Medium-bodied, with black cherry, a hint of cider, substantial tannins but they are very smooth and well integrated into the whole. There are touches of earth and a light herbal character too (oregano?). It is a wine that manages to be sophisticated and slightly wild at the same time. A nice variation on a tough grape, but I think I prefer a well aged version of a more traditionally made Baga (e.g. Quinta das Bageiras Garrifeira).

BTW, Jaime Goode went gaga over her wines, giving this one a 95/100, but I'm not as enthusiastic. Her Nossa Bical (a white grape) is super, though.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Tim York » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:57 am

This wine come from Alentejo which is an area close to the Spanish frontier towards the south of Portugal. As such it is probably the Portuguese wine region with the least freshening Atlantic influence. This producer seems to be part of the large Sogrape group, which produces Mateus rosé and owns several port houses including Sandeman. They seem to have done a good job here in making an attractive and friendlily priced wine in warm conditions.

2015 Herdade do Peso Vinho Regional Alentejano Vinha do Monte - Portugal, Alentejano, Vinho Regional Alentejano (9/18/2017)
This wine is made from a cocktail of Aragonez (AKA Tempranillo/Tinta Roriz), Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet & Syrah. Although it comes from a dry and warm area it is neither heavy in taste and texture nor unduly alcoholic (13.5%). It was medium+ bodied with generous red fruit copiously sprinkled with with wild herbs and anise and with moderate acidity and backbone. It was a good pairing with veal liver, onions and apple compote. Good wine and good QPR at the Foire aux Vins price of c.€6.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Joe Moryl » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:31 am

Tim,

Posting on a Sogrape wine brings up an interesting feature of the Portuguese wine business. Aside from the growing number of small producers which are the darlings of wine geeks like us, there exist a number of larger companies which produce a wide range of wines from multiple regions. Sogrape may be the largest, but just off the top of my head there are similar companies like Aliança, Esporão , Borges, Messias... In many countries oenophiles might shun products from a company the makes Mateus, but one needs to be a bit more open minded in Portugal - aside from the port houses Sandeman and Ferreira, Sogrape makes wines like Barca Velha, widely considered to be a great Douro wine.

Aside from that, Vinha do Monte falls into a niche that includes the likes of Esporão's Monte Velho and Cartuxa's EA: widely available wines from the Alentejo that offer great QPR. I wind up having all of these from time to time as they always pop up as half bottles when I go out to eat at the Portuguese restaurants in my area. Usually solid wines for the money, but I generally prefer wines from other regions of the country if I can get them (they are a bit to internationally styled for me). And it pains me eating in a decent restaurant in Porto and seeing the house wine being something from Alentejo....
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WTN: Leacock's "Rainwater" Medium Dry Madeira

by Robin Garr » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:44 pm

Leacock's "Rainwater" Medium Dry Madeira ($19.99)

Pretty, bright and clear reddish-gold color, somewhere on the spectrum between copper and bronze. Delicious characteristic Madeira aroma, walnuts and a whiff of lemon that carry over on the palate with a back note of something intriguingly akin to dark chocolate. Good acidity to give structure, balancing a distinct note of fresh-fruit sweetness, and there's a bit of warmth on the back of the palate from 18% alcohol. Walnuts and mouth-watering citrus lingering in a very long finish. U.S. importer: Premium Ports & Madeiras, San Francisco. (Sept. 21, 2017)

FOOD MATCH: "Best served as an aperitif, lightly chilled," advises the winery on the back label, although its description as a "soft slightly fruity dry wine" may come as a surprise: It's dry only in contrast with the significant sweetness that's more typical of the Madeira genre. I wouldn't try it as a dinner wine - it's too sweet for that - but it does go well with a bite of mild, buttery cheese. The importer also suggests using it in cooking: "Even a dash will brighten meat and vegetable dishes."

WHEN TO DRINK: Madeira lasts pretty much forever, in the cellar, on a wine rack, or even in an opened bottle.

VALUE:
It's a little irritating when my local price comes in as much as $5 over Wine-Searcher.com's $15 average retail. On the other hand, this fine fortified wine probably justifies a $20 price tag.

WEB LINK
This importer's fact sheet contains an overview of Leacock and its wines and Madeira in general. Here's another article about Leacock's from the Madeira Shopping website.

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Check prices and find vendors for Leacock's "Rainwater" Medium Dry Madeira on Wine-Searcher.com.

Check this Wine-Searcher.com list for a broad selection of Madeira in many price ranges, with links to find online vendors around the world.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Joe Moryl » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:57 pm

2007 Poeira, Jorge Moreira, Douro:

The Douro region is an absolutely stunning place, but the production of table wines from these vineyards is a relatively recent phenomena. This is one of the wines that has contributed to the region's growing reputation for fine, non-fortified wines. Having come across some notes that may be indicating this wine may have peaked, I thought it might be worth pulling the cork.

Deep ruby color, with just a tiny hint of brick. Dark fruited on the nose and palate, with a balsamic, savory harmony, maybe a touch of coconut (oak?). Medium bodied, with svelte tannins and good length. This comes from north facing vineyards, preferred for maintaining freshness in table wine production and crushed by foot in granite lagares. I need admit that this is a very solid wine, maybe not yet peaked, but it fails to excite.

2011 Quinta do Crasto LBV Porto, unfiltered:

Here is another wine from the lagares, old vine grade A vineyards. This is stupendously good LBV. Opaque, with a magenta rim. Very fragrant: licorice, grassy notes. On the palate there is bitter orange, blueberry, some herbal notes. No hotness, tons of smooth tannins with fantastic length. This is a step up from the fine 2010 from the same producer. Sees 4 years in barrel prior to release, but as an unfiltered LBV under cork, it should improve with bottle age as well. Priced about the same as other top LBVs at $19, it is a great value.

2015 Montalegre Classico, Tras-os-Montes DOC:

Tras-os-Montes is a remote region in far NE Portugal up next to the Spanish border. This is high altitude wine from Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Amarela grown in granite soils. Deeply colored, young looking wine. Nice nose, no evident oak, good grip and decent length. Picked this up on a whim on my way to a BYOB restaurant, certainly worth the $11 (daily drinker thread alert...). The producer is new, having been a winemaker at Sogevinus (ports like Kopke, Barros, etc.) now off on his own; there was also a white (Fonte Cal and Siria blend) which I am tempted to try.
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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Jenise » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:21 am

Regrettably, Portugese wines are thin on the ground here in the Pacific Northest Westest. When I did a neighborhood tasting on this topic about two years ago, I had to travel two hours to Seattle just to pick up a small selection from a Total Wine, whose selection was comparatively paltry and consisted of two house brands with whom they have exclusive deals--what do they call it, Winery Direct? Something like that. I put a few bottles of my favorite in the cellar to age, and they won't be ready yet so I'll not open them.

However, dinner guests a few weeks ago brought a bottle of Warre's Warrior. It's been ages since I've had one of those and while if I were going to buy inexpensive port I'd gravitate toward Fonseca's, I'd forgotten how pleasant these young everyday ports can be. And while I'm at it, I must bit in a hoorah for Elliot Apter. Anyone remember him? Elliot taught me to appreciate port--he lived in New Jersey, and I lived in Alaska--by sending me a few bottles of port and explicit instructions for training my palate over a period of many days. Before that, I didn't get it. After that, I did. He also shared perhaps the most valuable information of all: that the best accompaniament for port is a chocolate chip and walnut cookie.

He was SO right about that.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Robin Garr

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Re: Wine Focus for September 2017: Portugal

by Robin Garr » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:28 am

Jenise wrote:Elliot Apter. Anyone remember him?

Sure do! Very generous guy, with a great cellar. As I recall, he ran into a spot of serious trouble that took him out of the game, though. :(
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