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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:00 am

Pamela DOC. Had to blink twice, name of my ex-wife!! Here is some info Joe..and others who might be reading about this DOC for first time.

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_i ... 4782340696
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Dan G. » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:42 am

Roy Hersh wrote:Dan G.,

Was the bar your speak of on the Porto side of the Douro or on the Vila Nova de Gaia side. It kind of sounds like VINOLOGIA to me, but there are several possibilities.

Baldias is produced by Jose M. Barros and although he's been making Port for nearly 30 years that I know of, this producer rarely has had any "wow wines or Ports." It is not in the USA and I've only heard about it reaching outside of Portugal in Sweden and Norway. That doesn't mean it can't be found elsewhere, just that I know of collectors who have enjoyed it in those two countries.

Hi Roy,

I looked it up -- it was indeed Vinologia!

The wow for me may have been a novelty thing -- I had never had white port or a very dry port before that day. This one was both. At about €20 it's certainly worth trying at least for the novelty factor. But, as I said, it really was much much better after a couple of months after popping the cork and keeping it in the fridge. And it is definitely something to drink more in warmer weather.

As for where to buy it -- I googled it and it seems available throughout Europe at port specialty stores. Reading a snooth review, I realize that perhaps what was interesting to me about the taste was that it tastes like sherry -- a type of wine with which I have even less experience. ;) But if you visit Porto every once in a while anyway, I would suggest a taste. All the other "extra dry" white ports Vinologia had were much sweeter, so that made the Baldias really stand out.

Now I do have a mostly unrelated question for you, as a connoisseur of Portuguese wines... I am going on a sailing trip in the spring with my cousin and a small crew from the Canary Islands to Madeira, from Madeira to Gibraltar, and then from Gibraltar to the southern coast of Spain. We'll be spending a few days on Madeira (about 2 days in late April), and my cousin has tasked me with learning if it's feasible to purchase a small barrel of Madeira. I'm guessing it's not, unless they were to pour from one barrel into a smaller one. And of course, this would mean less variety. Any suggestions you might have on which bottles, then, we should consider taking in larger quantities (there will be lots of mouths and little to do on the open ocean)?

Thanks!
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by JC (NC) » Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:35 pm

Once a quarter would probably come closest for me. Being unwilling to spend the big bucks for vintage Port, and actually preferring Tawny Ports, I mostly open inexpensive ruby Ports or 10-year Tawnies. I like to celebrate the New Year with a Tawny Port rather than Champagne and so just finished a bottle of Port two days ago. I may have Port more often if visiting a restaurant that has several selections by the glass for an after-dinner choice.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:44 pm

Thanks for the reply Andrew. You seem to have a very good selection of Port in your area. That first link is tops eh.
You are right though, selection otherwise is pretty slim! But you know, asking to bring something in can pay dividends eh.
Great Port discussion here past 24 hrs on the other thread. Roy livens things up and (whisper) Sarah Ahmed is going to join us I hear.

Sarah`s Top 50 from Portugal (will take some time to read)....>

http://www.thewinedetective.co.uk/regio ... ines-2010/

Forumites should look out for this Arinto, a delicious white wine.....>

WTN: `07 Prova Regia Arinto, Bucelas Portugal.

13% alc, $20 Cdn, good natural cork, long thin-necked bottle unusual, wine comes from Companhiadas Quintas.

Color. Light straw w. brief hints of green.

Nose. Has a lot going for it with some appealing aromatic tones. Grass, minerally, BC apple like Granny Smith, passionfruit and lime as it warms. Distinct and funny how these tones did not follow through on the palate.

Palate. Initial entry is dry, no spritz, mineral, very brisk striking acidity. "This is the norm" HRH Jancis.
Reminds me of a typical V Verde, lots of citrus throughout. "Certainly not even close to a tropical fruit bomb...apple, pineapple" from across the table. Went quite well with a sauteed pork cutlet, on day 2 had a herbal feel on the finish which was slightly less enamel stripping! Might try with some shellfish when I buy another.

I see that Arinto is blended with Chardonnay, now thats future research eh.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Andrew Bair » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:21 am

Roy Hersh wrote:Andrew,

The Roxo 20 year old Moscatel from JM de Fonseca has not been made in years. Eight years ago, they finally replaced it with a newer bottling, called "Alambre" which is also a 20 year old blend. However, having had them side-by-side, I do not find the Alambre of the same caliber. I still have two bottles of Roxo and really miss that stunning bottling. See if you can find some vintage version, usually the 1962 sells quite inexpensively.


BTW, do you drink Port w/ my friend Moses B. who lives in your area?


Roy,

Thanks for the info on the JM da Fonseca Moscatel Roxo. I haven't come across any vintage Moscatels outside of a 2001 from Bacalhoa a couple of years ago. Will keep an eye out for the 1962 JM da Fonseca.

Unfortunately, I don't know Moses; otherwise, I would let him know that you said hello.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Joe Moryl » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:26 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Pamela DOC. Had to blink twice, name of my ex-wife!! Here is some info Joe..and others who might be reading about this DOC for first time.

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_i ... 4782340696


I'm just glad your ex wasn't named Terras do Sado!
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:22 am

Thats not bad for you Joe!!

Anyhows time you put on your reading glasses, here is a great piece by Chris on Noval! Recent table wines plus naturally LBVs.

http://www.thewinedoctor.com/tastingsfo ... 2010.shtml

BTW, just opened the 1997 Barros Colheita. Delicious, you have a Barros or maybe a Colheita story for us?
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Roy Hersh » Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:45 am

Bob P.,

I agree that there are a bunch of wines, even expensive Douro wine from some pretty high end producers that can definitely show an "international" style. Usually for me in Douro wines, that means too much oak, especially when they use American oak vs. French, but also when the wines lack the distinction of the terroir of the Douro ... the latter dynamic bothers me even more than the former.




Andrew,

Thanks for sharing! Aidil is a fantastic purveyor of Portuguese Port and DOC wines! I've never met the guy who owns Grape Moments, but have read his story and it is compelling. If I am thinking of the right company (and my memory may be ? at times) they only have Portuguese wines. Then again, I may be thinking of another importer based in MA who does that, but the name is familiar.



Joe M.,

Not to be critical, but Dona Ermelinda is from "Palmela" (typo?) DOC which is right next to Setubal, an hour or so outside of Lisbon. If you ever get to Palmela, please do yourself a favor and stay at the amazing Pousada there. I spent a few days at that property in 1994 and was blown away by the experience. BTW, Bob repeated the error on the first post on page 2. : )




Dan G.,

If I added up all the hours I've spent at Vinologia and all the Ports I have had there over many years ... ouch, I think I need a new liver, just thinking about it. This is on the other side of the river though, in Porto and not on the Gaia side, where all the Port Lodges are located.

Jean Phillipe Duhard is the owner and if you ever go in there, please tell him you are a friend and he might either kick you out or not charge you anything. Either way, it is worth mentioning. LOL

Seriously though, if you are seriously into dry white Port, try the Dow Extra Dry and let me know what you think.

As to Madeira, I visit the island and lead tours there every May. It is an amazing place and I hope you will get at least a day or two to venture through Funchal. If you have time to sail around to the North side of the island to Porto Moniz, there are some spectacular sites there. Also on the South side of the island, the revered, legendary vineyard beside the ocean is called Faja dos Padres. You can sail up to it and dock your boat and have a great lunch of fresh line caught tuna and some local wines, not to mention some amazing Malvasia (Malmsey).

Unfortunately, you won't be able to find ANYWHERE on the island to purchase a cask, no matter how much cash you flash. There are some stunning wines available there at prices that can't be found anywhere else. Explore a little!




JC/NC wrote:
"Being unwilling to spend the big bucks for vintage Port, and actually preferring Tawny Ports ... "

In the past two weeks on my site, I've seen plenty of Vintage Ports mentioned for sale in the USA for $29-35.00 and I just don't see that as expensive for bottles that can drink well for 50 years.

As to your penchant for Tawny, who can blame you? Here is something that you might find worthy of your time reading, best with a glass in hand. I hope you may appreciate some of the suggestions:
http://www.fortheloveofport.com/port-ba ... tawny-port





Bob P.,

Glad to hear you've attracted Sarah Ahmed. She has a really fine palate and an equally brilliant mind and writing style. I admire Sarah and hope to drink with her some day in the not too distant future!




Andrew,

It was a shot in the dark that you might know Moses, one of the two most active Port enthusiasts in the state of MA. Another is Robert A. (won't use his last name) but if you know him ... he's famous for Port & Poker nights.




Bob P.

Here is another story on Quinta do Noval and a tasting that blew all of my guests away. Make sure you have something to protect your keyboard from drool:
http://www.rjonwine.com/port/visit-to-quinta-do-noval/
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Sarah Ahmed » Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:16 am

Hey there, thanks to Bob Parsons for giving me the heads up on this interesting thread.

I've been contributing on Portugal Port and Madeira for Hugh Johnson Pocket Wine for some 5 years now and I must say it's hard, even though I visit Portugal regularly each year, to keep my finger on the pulse. The wine industry is really undergoing a revolution and so much more aspirational than it was 10 years ago.

The problem for Portugal is that its image is out of step with what is happening on the ground and unfortunately this is reflected in some rather tired same old labels on our wine shelves. I'm pleased to report that, in the UK (where I'm based), independent boutique wine shops are raising the stakes and there's a growing handful (2 hands full?) of Portuguese specialists doing a stellar job. The Wine Society also have an excellent range.

So just to pick up on a couple of comments I endorse what Roy says about the Douro having shifted up a gear in the last 5 years or so - less rusticity, more finesse, even elegance with those producers who are backing off oak (most are reducing it in some way shape or form whether it's less new oak or bigger format barrels). 07 and 08 are really beautiful vintages - I've yet to write up the New Douro 08 tasting on my website (http://www.thewinedetective.co.uk) but this vintage is going to be relatively forward and I love its mineral sluiced fruit and perfume. Another great development in the Douro is the quality coming through at lower price points. Aside from Quinta do Crasto's v good lower tier wines, most offerings have been very much at the high end price-wise. We're now seeing a cohort of cheaper, earlier drinking but classy, distinctly Douro wines like Niepoort's aptly named Drink Me, Passadouro Passa, the Noval wines Roy mentioned (both of which made it into my 50 Great Portuguese Wines 2010 selection), Conceito Contraste, Quinta de S Jose Colheita and one of my picks of 08, Poeira Po de Poeira red.

OK, enough on the Douro though I think it is the most consistent region quality-wise. Elsewhere Portugal is buzzing and another trend is the quantum leap in the quality of white wines leading me neatly onto the area I'm most excited about Vinho Verde (though look out for Douro whites - v mineral and unique to the region). At the top end, single varietal wines made from lead grapes Alvarinho and Loureiro are terrific, the best ageworthy too, e.g. Quinta de Soalheiro, anything from Anslemo Mendes, Quinta do Ameal and new to the scene producers like Afros and Quinta do Feital are exciting not just with the quality of their wines but also a different approach, so the range of styles is really interesting too.

Other regions to watch out for - from west to east Bairrada, the Dao and Beira Interior offer plenty of excitement. Joe mentioned Quinta das Bageiras for their sparkling wines, their Baga reds and their white wines are truly outstanding. Luis Pato is well known for his Baga wines but his daughter Filipa Pato is making some beautiful, very original wines - Lokal Silex 2008 labelled Beiras but from a single vineyard in the Dao was the most talked about wine of my 50 Great Portuguese Wines. In the Dao Alvaro Castro is masterful but producing quality and quantity both in great measure are Dao Sul - Quinta do Cabriz wines are great value. Beira Interior is in the early days of development but its white Siria grape is well worth taking note of and the Dao vareities, Touriga Nacional and Jaen among others perform well - Quinta do Cardo and Quinta dos Currais are the stand out producers.

Further south there are pockets of excellence in Lisboa, Tejo - Monte D'Oiro for Syrah the obvious one (consultancy from Chapoutier) and Alenetjo has plenty of very well made drinkable wines, the best of the new guard, for example from Herdade do Malhadinha, showing concentration with balance and minerality. Portalegre is the subregion to watch - more elevated, cooler, more rainfall - Quinta do Centro and Terrenus.

And to finish because, like Roy, I could go on lots (!) and there are stacks of great producers I've not mentioned, but a wine I tasted late last year really captures how bold and exciting the winemaking scene is in Portugal - Primeira Paixão Verdelho 2009 is a thrilling Verdelho table wine from Madeira, no less.
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by David M. Bueker » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:04 am

Welcome Sarah, and thank you for an informative 1st post!

Your comments about what's happening on the ground in Portugal not aligning with what we see in the shops ring very true for me. I have very little access to Purtugese wines otherthan some Port in my local shops, and when I ask about getting the wines the best response I get is a shrug. These are not chain wine/liquor stores either, but highly focused wine shops. When there is something that looks potentially interesting on the shelf the folks in the shop know nothing about it. This isn't just an east coast phenomenon either. I visited a prominent west coast shop a couple of years ago, and was looking speciically for a dry red wine from Portugal. There was a display of 8 or 10 rather expensive wines, so I asked what they could tell me about them. The answer consisted of "well, they're from Portugal."

This situation makes it tough to venture into the genre.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Joe Moryl » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:51 am

Roy - thanks for pointing out my dropped "l" in Palmela. I am a lousy editor, especially after a couple glasses of wine!

When I visitied Portugal I spent my time traveling from Lisbon to the north, so I'm saving the wine regions in the south for another visit. I didn't stay at any Pousadas but they sound like tremendous places.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Sarah Ahmed » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:19 pm

David

Many thanks for the welcome.

I notice you're a Riesling fan in which case definitely check out Vinho Verde - with age, Quinta de Soalheiro's basic Alvarinho puts me in mind of aged Aussie Riesling - absolutely delicious - have reported 2 verticals on my site, the most recent in Lisbon last November. Also in case you don't know, Dirk Niepoort is making a really interesting Riesling in the Douro which is worth seeking out though I prefer a little more tension and line it's a remarkable wine given the climate!

Sarah
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Salil » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:27 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:I have very little access to Purtugese wines otherthan some Port in my local shops, and when I ask about getting the wines the best response I get is a shrug. These are not chain wine/liquor stores either, but highly focused wine shops.

While certainly not 'local', Chambers has a handful of Portuguese table wines - http://www.chambersstwines.com/Browse.a ... =0&price=0

I'm a big fan of the '01 Da Silva Casal de Azenha - have seen some bottle variation with it, but it's generally been very impressive (particularly at the price).
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:08 pm

A huge thank you to Sarah Ahmed for tuning in here, her knowledge of Portugal is immense as all can see.
This months Wine Focus has attracted the attention of Sarah and Roy, what else can one ask for! Well, I did have to prompt them (grin).

BTW, I found this comment on another forum that I thought was apt after what David said (sort of!).

The non-blockbuster wines of Portugal are some of the most underrated wines in the World. Unfortunately it's very difficult to sell Portuguese wines that are austere in their youth and require ageing, so they are subesequently seldomly found on the shelves. I personally regret that there is a new wave of very pumped up wines produced in Portugal that get high ratings from reviewers but don't age as gracefully as the more traditionally produced wines. Unfortunately, I'm rather alone with this point of view!
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Joe Moryl » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:25 pm

To the US availability issues raised by David and Salil:

It is a major problem if you are interested in these wines. The way importation and distribution works in the US it is almost like each state is its own (small, in many cases) country. If you don't have a Portuguese community you are probably consigned to a poor choice. And even if you have that community the choices are not often the kinds of wines some wine lovers like to talk about - some of the working class Portuguese locals appear to favor a nice chilled mug of Carlo Rossi with their meals! When I go to eat in Newark's Ironbound the better by the glass selections tend to be Monte Vehlo (Esparao) or EA (Cartuxa) if you are lucky. And these are surprisingly good wines for $4 a glass (I noticed a glass of Carlo Rossi with a spritz of soda goes for $1.50). To be fair, they often have some better stuff on the wine list, but it is unusual to see anyone drinking it.

That being said, I am somewhat spoiled by being close to one of the best assortment of Portuguese wines and have been exploring them for the last few years. The native grapes are fascinating and one doesn't need to pay big bucks on the Douro heavy hitters to get some interesting bottles. There are at least a half dozen shops that I can walk into and purchase a Soalheiro Alvarinho for around $15. And some of the better wine shops in NJ outside Newark have a fairly well chosen selection (e.g. Wine Library). I've found the selection in NYC quite limited - Chambers is small and idiosyncratic, Astor quite a bit larger but loaded with wines from the large producer Bacalhoa (who must have a good sales staff in the NYC area). Strangely enough, Northside in Ithaca have some interesting Portuguese wines I've not seen elsewhere in the states. I do wish we saw more of the small artisanal producers, like the Afros wines praised by Sarah and Jamie Goode - I've not had the chance to try these.

For you guys in CT: have you ever visited the New Bedford or Providence area shops? I'd venture to guess there are some Portuguese wines to be had in those areas.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by David M. Bueker » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:29 pm

Joe Moryl wrote:For you guys in CT: have you ever visited the New Bedford or Providence area shops? I'd venture to guess there are some Portuguese wines to be had in those areas.


Ever tried to get to Providence from central Connecticut? If I had to shop in Providence for my wine I wouldn't drink. It's amazing how two places so close together can be so far apart. :wink:
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Roy Hersh » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:59 pm

We have a few guys from MA on my site's forum and I constantly read about their extraordinary selection of Portuguese table wines, while their Port selections are what i consider spartan. That dichotomy bothers them, because they are Port lovers first, yet they love to find bargains in DOC wines that often times don't ever make it past MA's borders. David, if you had to drive 2-3 hours once or a year to MA to buy a few cases of mixed Portuguese wines, is that such a hardship? Now I am sure you won't do that, but really it is not such a big deal. :wink:

Anyway, Sarah raised some excellent points and the diversity of what is being made in Portugal, from Dirk's Riesling (good considering) and an even better Pinot Noir, to indigenous vinifera grapes in a half dozen of the top regions around the country -- to even red Vinho Verde (I did finally find one I really enjoyed) to grapes few have ever heard of -- that are making solid, ageworthy and distinctive table wines ... slowly but surely Portugal is gaining relevance with their non-fortified wines.

As mentioned, the USA is a tough market to crack and sadly the Duriense went about it the wrong way, when leading the charge into the USA a decade ago. They lead with their cult wines and tried introducing Americans to Portuguese wines at the $50+ price points and expecting American's to embrace these bottlings, not even able to pronounce them. This was the case even going back just six years ago. Crazy!

Finding Portuguese gems in the comfort zone for most daily drinkers @ $10-15 was nearly impossible in the USA. It was only in the mid-section of the past decade, when we started to really see anything of quality for under $20/bottle on our shores, (from Portugal). There were some really cheap wines $5-12 per bottle like the most basic Vinho Verde and an occasional breakthrough from the Alentejo or Dao, but nothing that most would've consider drinking at the time ... considering the plethora of intriguing and better known, easier to pronounce wines from: So. France, Spain, Italy, Australia and So. Africa that were available in that price range.

I only spend about three weeks a year in Portugal, but I've long implored the up and coming producers that had gained a foothold in the USA ... at least found an importer to rep them ... to start making wines in the $5-20 range that were approachable early on (many Portuguese wines even 3-5 years ago, reds in particular, were anything but approachable in their youth). Certainly not due to my efforts, but fortunately we are now seeing that happen a lot more than ever before. Sure it was great being able to buy Niepoort's Batuta for $60 a bottle several years back and Crasto Vinha da Ponte 2004 at $100/bottle ... but that is not how to break into or sustain a marketplace. Both of these Douro stalwarts have spent a great deal of effort creating whites and reds that are affordable and available in quantities that can please a country the size of the USA.

Nowadays, there are MANY others available here (in Seattle) even a few importers of Portuguese wines coincidentally based here and in CA ... from the Douro and a half dozen other regions too. It is nice to see this finally change, as it was always such an East coast phenomenon. It never would have happened if the value oriented wines, that most American's are drinking ... not the .2% of the country that are wine geeks like us enjoy -- did not begin to proliferate to a larger extent. But as we have seen in posts above, there is still a major disconnect in this country and finding both value oriented, mid-tier and even the "cult wines" from Portugal, requires the skill set of a detective.

For Portuguese trying to break into the USA, finding importers, especially in this provincial land can be a multi-year investment of time and reesources which are scarce for all but a dozen large players there. For a large country with such unfriendly liquor/interstate shipping laws and a neo-prohibitionist mentality within our governing forces (regardless of political party) it can be a daunting task. Shelf space is at a premium and in box-store games in the UK and USA, a rough "pay to play" environment ... where the likes of Constellation Brands and so many other of the multi-nationals are willing to fork over the big bucks, Portugal is easy to shut out entirely. How many Portuguese (non-fortified wines) have you ever seen sold at Costco? Correct, that would be zero!

So to get into brick and mortar wine shops, restaurants, no less online retailers; Portugal must step up their efforts to introduce taste driven wines, ready for pop-'n-pour, with modern packaging at an affordable price. Portugal is still learning this lesson and fortunately the pioneers who blazed the trails here have also come around to see the light. It took years to realize they're better off bringing 10,000 cases of a $12.99 wine into the USA than 150 cases of a wine retailing for $75. Sorry for the long rant.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by David M. Bueker » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:28 pm

Roy Hersh wrote:We have a few guys from MA on my site's forum and I constantly read about their extraordinary selection of Portuguese table wines, while their Port selections are what i consider spartan. That dichotomy bothers them, because they are Port lovers first, yet they love to find bargains in DOC wines that often times don't ever make it past MA's borders. David, if you had to drive 2-3 hours once or a year to MA to buy a few cases of mixed Portuguese wines, is that such a hardship? Now I am sure you won't do that, but really it is not such a big deal. :wink:


Driving 2-3 hours is no big deal. Paying Boston area prices is a whole 'nother matter. :wink:
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Roy Hersh » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:44 pm

From prices I've seen at Marty's. and other places my friend mentions for purchasing his Douro wines in MA, it would more than pay for your tank of gas!
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by David M. Bueker » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:49 pm

Roy Hersh wrote:From prices I've seen at Marty's. and other places my friend mentions for purchasing his Douro wines in MA, it would more than pay for your tank of gas!


Just kidding mostly - and I get by Marty's a few times a year anyway.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:36 am

ALICANTE BOUSCHET
Despite not being an indigenous Portuguese grape variety, Alicante Bouschet is so deep-rooted in Alentejo collective patrimony that it is often assumed to be Portuguese. In fact it is a displaced variety, the result of conjoining the French varieties Petit Bouschet and Grenache. It is one of the world's very few colouring grapes, able to provide concentrated, deeply coloured wines, a feature that has earned it the nickname "Writing Ink".

Alicante Bouschet's natural habitat has always been the Alentejo. Introduced here over one hundred years ago by the Reynolds family, it was first planted on the Quinta do Carmo estate. Its many wine attributes include structure, firmness, tannins ... and colour, lots and lots of colour! Alicante Bouschet is seldom bottled as a varietal wine, reinforcing its image as a rustic, structuring grape that could produce pungent and extraordinary wines. It does wonders to a blend, adding colour, vigour and volume, as so many Alentejo wines will attest to. The aromas it evokes are of forest berries, cocoa, olives and vegetal notes. Alicante Bouschet is assuredly our most Portuguese non-Portuguese grape variety.

WTN: `04 Encostas de Estremoz Alicante Bouschet, Alentejo.

$22 Cdn, 14% alc, gd natural cork, no sediment noted, did not decant. Opened for an hour or so, my first AB experience! Not a very well-known winery till now!

Color. Dark ruby, no sign of age on the rim. Looks very inviting.

Nose. Some oak, spice, pepper, some big black fruits here. No change overnight.

Palate. Initial entry thought was chewy, dry, blackberry, some cab here?? Hint of some sweetness, cocoa, good acidity, smooth tannins on the finish. Plum and trace of cherry, "reminds me of a malbec" from across the table. Might be a tad new world for some but this wine worked for me.
Not much evolvement overnight, maybe some old leather, more peppery but still fresh and clean. Think this might merit some more cellaring?

Food was pork scallopini, blueberry coulis and vegies.
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Roy Hersh

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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Roy Hersh » Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:58 am

I am not sure if this will be allowed by Robin or the admins here, but if I can ever help any of you to learn more about Northern Portugal, especially Port and the Douro ... and/or Madeira too, have a look at this:

http://www.fortheloveofport.com/general ... tours-2011


If this breaks some rules of the Forum, please feel free to delete.
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Tim York

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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Tim York » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:33 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Welcome Sarah, and thank you for an informative 1st post!

Your comments about what's happening on the ground in Portugal not aligning with what we see in the shops ring very true for me. I have very little access to Purtugese wines otherthan some Port in my local shops, and when I ask about getting the wines the best response I get is a shrug. These are not chain wine/liquor stores either, but highly focused wine shops. When there is something that looks potentially interesting on the shelf the folks in the shop know nothing about it. This isn't just an east coast phenomenon either. I visited a prominent west coast shop a couple of years ago, and was looking speciically for a dry red wine from Portugal. There was a display of 8 or 10 rather expensive wines, so I asked what they could tell me about them. The answer consisted of "well, they're from Portugal."

This situation makes it tough to venture into the genre.


Considering the number of Portuguese expatriates there must be in the Brussels area, I am surprised at the lack of a good source of Portuguese table wine here, AFAIK. For example I can see only one Brussels listing in Wine Searcher for Quinta do Crasto. (But Wine Searcher is fairly useless for French speaking areas here.) There used to be a charming elderly Portuguese man who specialised in "prestige" producers like Quinta dos Roques and Alves de Sousa and regularly presented them at Rob, gastronomic temple, but he seems to have gone out of business. Port and Madeira are another matter.
Last edited by Tim York on Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Roy Hersh

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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Roy Hersh » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:33 pm

Tim do you see much Madeira there?

I love Madeira the island and wine!
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