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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:55 am

Joe, tasted the Follies line-up at a recent do here. Thought they were all nice entry-level wines, especially the V Verde.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:54 am

When I saw this Vinho Verde on the shelf downtown about 3 months ago, I thought rather pricey ($22) and a very old fashioned style label that needed jazzing up. However local winebar was offering today so had a glass with some sauteed scallops fines herbes. Very nice match indeed.

WTN: `07 Alvarinho Deu la Deu Vinho Verde Branco, Adega Cooperativo de Moncao.

Pale yellow gold, mineral nose with a hint of sulphur (new bottle opened). Otherwise aromatic/pear/apple.
Light to medium bodied, crisp, citrus edge to the finish. Also pear and some peach, dry-ish, no spritz. Very refreshing, not bad for a 3 yr old VV. Could not want for a better white! Me biased...nagh.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Dan G. » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:56 am

Roy, thanks again! Lots of research for me to do. Including tasting the Bual, which lies as yet unopened in my apartment... too much work!
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Joe Moryl » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:27 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:When I saw this Vinho Verde on the shelf downtown about 3 months ago, I thought rather pricey ($22) and a very old fashioned style label that needed jazzing up. However local winebar was offering today so had a glass with some sauteed scallops fines herbes. Very nice match indeed.

WTN: `07 Alvarinho Deu la Deu Vinho Verde Branco, Adega Cooperativo de Moncao.

Pale yellow gold, mineral nose with a hint of sulphur (new bottle opened). Otherwise aromatic/pear/apple.
Light to medium bodied, crisp, citrus edge to the finish. Also pear and some peach, dry-ish, no spritz. Very refreshing, not bad for a 3 yr old VV. Could not want for a better white! Me biased...nagh.


Bob, I continue to be shocked with what Canadians need to pay for their wines. Deu la Deu is a $12-$14 wine in the shops round here. I've had the '07 and found it to be an OK Alvarinho, maybe not up to the level of another co-op Alvarinho, Portal do Fidalgo from PROVAM (Produtores de Vinhos de Alvarinho de Monção), which is in the same price range.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:40 pm

Yeah, tell me Joe!! $$$$.

Found this just now, sounds like a VV I would enjoy. Thanks for your note just posted.

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=10163&start=0

It is not really white wine weather right now. Minus 28 and more snow coming today.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:29 pm

WTN: `06 Companhia das Quintas Fronteira, Douro.

Checking out a few websites, C das Q seems to control about 9 different wineries in various northern Portugal locations including Douro and Estremadeira. Perhaps someone here has more info?

$27 Cdn, 14% alc, good natural cork. Opened/not decanted for one hour, blend of usual suspects...T. Nacional, T. Franca and T. Roriz.

Color. Very dark ruby, reddish hints on rim. Nearly opaque in the centre.

Nose. Very aromatic, spice, black fruits. Nothing evolves over the evening but oak seems quite prevalent.

Palate. Initial entry thoughts..dry, tannic, oak still obvious, pepper. Black fruits, good acidity, needs food and time for sure. Old world style here, full-bodied, earthy tones as it opens.
Not much change overnight, brief hint of sweetness shows up. Really not sure about this one?
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Sarah Ahmed » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:23 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:WTN: `06 Companhia das Quintas Fronteira, Douro.

Checking out a few websites, C das Q seems to control about 9 different wineries in various northern Portugal locations including Douro and Estremadeira. Perhaps someone here has more info?

$27 Cdn, 14% alc, good natural cork. Opened/not decanted for one hour, blend of usual suspects...T. Nacional, T. Franca and T. Roriz.

Color. Very dark ruby, reddish hints on rim. Nearly opaque in the centre.

Nose. Very aromatic, spice, black fruits. Nothing evolves over the evening but oak seems quite prevalent.

Palate. Initial entry thoughts..dry, tannic, oak still obvious, pepper. Black fruits, good acidity, needs food and time for sure. Old world style here, full-bodied, earthy tones as it opens.
Not much change overnight, brief hint of sweetness shows up. Really not sure about this one?



Hi Bob, interesting, I think Companhia das Quintas has an impressive portfolio of quintas, all well made and well priced (those that make it to the UK) but the Douro wines (and those from Alentejo's Herdade da Farizoa) are for me the least exciting. Elsewhere, they are the leading lights in more obscure regions. In their portfolio, I strongly recommend:

Quinta do Romaneira DOC Bucelas. It's a tiny region with not many producers (Murta is also v good) and it makes the best examples of the Arinto grape you could hope to find - tropical citrus fruit balanced by a lively streak of acidity, making for ageworthy wines which show minerality with bottle age - used to be known as Lisbon Hock in the 19 century.

Quinta do Cardo DOC Beira Interior - a region with a long way to go but with some exciting producers like Cardo showing what can we done. The white is similar in style to the Bucelas but richer. It's made from the Siria grape (also called Codega and Roupeiro) which has a honeyed sweetness and tropicality - rum baba/pina colada exotic note, again with quite racy acidity to balance. Cardo's reds are among Beira Interior's best/most serious - an elegant floral, well structured (featuring Touriga Nacional/Tinta Roriz blend (vineyards here are a several hundred metres). Currais are the other leading winery in this region.

Quinta de Pancas, Estremadura/Lisboa - muscular, concentrated and structured reds, blends and single varietals including a Cabernet which can be very good.

Pegos Claros DOC Palmela - very good examples of the region's Castelao grape, smooth, figgy and velvery with lots of raspberry.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:35 am

Thanks for the great heads up Sarah. I was unable to find much even after going to Able Grape.
Note your remark about CdQ wines from Douro being down your list. There is also a Reserva on the shelf, think I will pass.

***** I will be posting on the `03 Crasto VV shortly!
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Kyrstyn Kralovec » Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:54 am

I picked up a bottle of Herdade do EspoaoAlandra Vinho de Mesa Branco, Alentejo from the "2 for $20" bin at my local wine shop the other night. The grape varieties are not listed on the bottle, nor is the year. I searched the internet for info and didn't come up with much more. I did see that they tend to sell this stuff in boxes in some places in the UK.

Anyway, I thought this was a nice little wine, highly acidic with some floral notes backing up the overwhelmingly citrus profile. 12.5% abv.
I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine. ~John Galt
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Jenise » Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:57 pm

Kyrstyn Kralovec wrote:I picked up a bottle of Herdade do EspoaoAlandra Vinho de Mesa Branco, Alentejo from the "2 for $20" bin at my local wine shop the other night. The grape varieties are not listed on the bottle, nor is the year. I searched the internet for info and didn't come up with much more. I did see that they tend to sell this stuff in boxes in some places in the UK.

Anyway, I thought this was a nice little wine, highly acidic with some floral notes backing up the overwhelmingly citrus profile. 12.5% abv.


Krystyn, good to hear from you!!!!! Are you still in Crete?
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Roy Hersh » Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:29 pm

Dan G.,

It is my pleasure.

FYI, my upcoming newsletter this week, will feature tasting notes on 80 recently tasted bottles of Port, Douro wines and lots of Madeira notes too. There are some really stunning DOC red wines from 1989-2008 in this report. You don't need to be a subscriber but do have to register to get it.

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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Tim York » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:46 am

La Revue du Vin de France runs an article this month on red Douro wines. The article is authored by sommelière, Caroline Furstoss. Here is a loose translation of her conclusions with which Roy, for one, will not fully agree.

Made from the same grape varieties as Port, principally Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz, these dry wines aim to play on the world court for great wines. Are they ready? Not so sure! After a tasting of nearly 100 samples, we think that only about twenty really distinguish themselves. Too many are made in an international style without personality. Nevertheless the potential is there with typical local grape varieties, old vines and unique terroirs.

Here are the wines which they liked best (15/20 and over).

16/20
Niepoort - Douro Redoma 2006
Quinta de Romaneira - Douro R de Romaneira 2007
Quinta da Rosa - Douro La Rosa 2008
Qunita do Noval - Douro 2007

15.5/20
Quinta do Vale Meão - Douro Q do V Meão 2007

15/20
Quinta do Portal - Douro 2008
Prats & Symington - Douro Post Scriptum de Chryseia 2008
Poeira - Douro Colheita 2008
Quanta Terra - Douro Grande Reserva 2007
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:45 pm

As usual one has to ask what was the original 100 selection? Who made the selection etc?
Some very good wines above, not too many that "international"!
In fact opening a `05 Portal Reserva this evening, after my traditional stint of snow removal. Minus 25 too/still.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:21 pm

WTN: `03 Quinta do Crasto Reserva Old Vines, Douro.

My third and last bottle! Opened one hour, decanted, slight trace of sediment. $28 Cdn or thereabouts, 14.5% alc, mish mash of usual suspects that grow out there.

Color. Nice dark garnet color, no sign of any age on the rim. Very intense tones here.

Nose. Initially closed at first, then earthy, some vanilla, plum cherry. "Coffee" from across the table, not much change over the evening.

Palate. Initial entry.....some fine tannins, good acidity, Am oak, very good balance here. Hint of sweetness after an hour or so, some chocolate, fair amount of black fruits here, hint of vanilla. "Raspberry....expected more raisins, not that port-like" from in-house PO. I think this drinks nicely now but one could hold a tad longer. Did not find the heat Oswaldo noted in his note last year. Very good Crasto in my opinion, must find other notes.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Tim York » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:03 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:As usual one has to ask what was the original 100 selection? Who made the selection etc?
Some very good wines above, not too many that "international"!
Minus 25 too/still.


Bob, I think that the wines they prefer would not include those which they find too "international". As to the 100 selection, it is my guess that it would come mainly from wines available in France, with perhaps a sprinkling of sample requests directly from Portugal, which perhaps explains some curious price quotations; e.g. Duas Quintas Reserva Especial 04 quoted at c.€17 but listed here by an importer at €47 :evil: .
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:06 pm

Sorry Tim, should have said "not at all international".!!!

Not thinking straight, am exhausted from all this bl.... snow removal.

Oh, here is another regional report from Sarah, including Esporao and Passadouro.

http://www.thewinedetective.co.uk/regio ... -december/
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Andrew Bair » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:10 pm

Here are three from an in-store tasting on Saturday:

2009 Adega Cooperativa de Ponte de Lima Vinho Verde “Encostas do Lima”

80% Loureiro/20% Trajadura. Light in weight, dry, with a bit of spritz; basic but refreshing, with mixed citrus notes. Good. $11.

2008 CARM (Casa Agrícola Roboredo Madeira) Douro Superior
A blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), and Touriga Franca. Medium-bodied, moderately acidic, with somewhat light tannins. Shows notes of mixed berries and cherries, and a bit of oak, with a slightly meaty note. Good; maybe a bit lacking in structure. $16.

2007 CARM (Casa Agrícola Roboredo Madeira) Douro Grande Reserva
Primarily (all?) Touriga Nacional, with 12 months in new oak. Moderately full-bodied, sleek, polished, and well balanced, with moderate acidity and tannins. The oak influence is at an acceptable level where it complements, rather than overwhelms, the fruit and the Douro-ness. Shows berry and cherry notes, with some elements of chocolate, stones, baking spices, and earth. Very good. $40.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Joe Moryl » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:19 am

I don't think anyone has posted here on any wines from the Tejo (nee Ribatejo) region north of Lisbon:

2007 Quinta do Alqueve, Tradicional, Pinhal da Torre, Vinho Regional Tejo:

Estate grown on sandy, calcerous soils, this is mostly Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo) with smaller percentages of Trincadeira and Castelao (Periquita). Fairly dark color with violet tints. Plummy, slightly cedarish nose. The first thing that strikes me is a mouth watering bright acidity coupled with some slightly smokey blackcurrent fruit. Combined with the noticeable but ripe tannins, this is a wine that cries out for food at this point. But it isn't heavy or ponderous, might even be a bit lean. I expected something a bit more new worldish, but this leans more towards the old. Sort of a cross between a mid-level Douro wine and a cru Beaujolais, if that makes any sense. Not bad stuff for $11. 13.5% abv, braille back label!
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:59 am

I expected something a bit more new worldish, but this leans more towards the old.

Thank goodness for that Joe! Any thoughts on the `03 Crasto note that I just posted Joe?
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Tim York » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:50 am

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:Sorry Tim, should have said "not at all international".!!!



Here's an example of a Douro which I found somewhat "international". The TN must date from October or November last year but strangely I find no trace of having posted it here or on the UK site along with about 5 or 6 other TNs.

Douro Tinta Barroca 2001 – Quinta do Vale da Raposa, Domingos Alves de Sousa – Alc.14% was medium bodied showing refined red fruit and a polished patina no doubt from having been raised in new wood. Very pleasant but lacking in personality and could have come from a deft wine-maker anywhere; 15/20.

PS I now discover a TN from Jamie Goode which is quite different from mine. As the youngest wine reviewed in his article was from 2003, i guess it dates from about 2005 when the wine could have been a lot livelier.

Quinta do Vale da Raposa Tinta Barocca 2001
Quite a striking nose: open and herby with some caramel and tar richness. A little disjointed. The palate is midweight with bright, sappy herby red fruits and a spicy structure. Good acid. An unusual wine in a distinctive style. Very good 84/100


I have two bottles left and perhaps should take another look.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Joe Moryl » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:54 pm

Bob Parsons Alberta. wrote:I expected something a bit more new worldish, but this leans more towards the old.

Thank goodness for that Joe! Any thoughts on the `03 Crasto note that I just posted Joe?


A few months ago we had a delightful bottle of the '04 Crasto VV (sadly, my only bottle), which was probably the WOTN and loved by some others with little exposure to Portuguese wine. It continued to improve nicely in the glass over the course of our meal, too. I generally gave a skip to most European wines from the freakish '03 vintage, but the Crasto sounds like it was quite nice. Somewhere I saw a comment from a Douro winemaker who said his '03 wines were not outside the usual parameters because they were so used to dealing with extreme temperatures. Your price on the VV isn't too bad either - I recall paying $25 for the '04, but the price on that bottling has jumped since some pointy types made nice comments.

Tim- A 100% Tinta Barroca wine is a rare thing; I can't recall having one. Having said that, I have yet to have an Alves de Sousa wine that I love. His Abandonado is something I'd like to try, but on someone else's coin. One can find better Douro wines than those at the cheaper end of his range.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:06 pm

Sarah Ahmed has been asked to speak at a big upcoming Portuguese Wine event. I include the details from her blog....>

http://www.thewinedetective.co.uk/blog/ ... 9th-march/

I note that she has a questionnaire that UK residents can fill out, availability of wines etc.... "who is buying Portuguese wines, how often, how much are they spending and if they’re not buying Portuguese wines, why not?" . Would not mind filling that out from a N America point of view.
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by Roy Hersh » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:52 am

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, the 2003 vintage, while hot all over Europe, was not any warmer than a typical hot year in the Douro. Yes, the grapes reached their phenolic ripeness earlier than average pick dates but the over-ripe raisin character found in many regions across Europe was not nearly the case in the Douro. Some GREAT Vintage Ports were made that year and also lots of very solid DOC wines as well.

I've had MANY of the 2000-2007 versions of Crasto's Old Vines. I buy at least one case every year ... sometimes more. I saw the 2007 selling for under $30 just this afternoon. The 2003 is very solid. Lots of great qualities in that wine, albeit I prefer the awesome 2004 and have saved four of them for drinking in the next decade or late in this one.

15.5/20
Quinta do Vale Meão - Douro Q do V Meão 2007


Someone above quoted this wine which I recently had again and loved. My score was two points higher than the low score at the table and the average was higher than my score:

2007 Quinta do Vale Meão Douro Red Wine – Taut and hard as nails initially, with a half hour in glass this really came around full circle after having been decanted too. Densely packed with ripe fruit, it seemed in a different style than the likes of 2004 and 2005, both of which were gorgeous vintages for Meão. I mentioned to Francisco (owner) that the 2007 seemed more seductive than earlier vintages and he commented that Xito had really downplayed the Touriga Nacional in ‘07. Bright, intense and with abundant plum and blackcurrant flavors accented by a graphite note, soft and creamy texture and a really unctuous, flamboyant style with dominant oak that took some getting used to. Paying close attention to this, I believe in a few years the oak will become more restrained and the fruit will prevail. It’s already quite harmonious and multi-tiered, full-bodied yet seemingly light in the mouth, with powerful tannins and a crazy long, persistent aftertaste. This is one of the rock stars in the Meão lineup and along with 2004, it tops the charts. Cellar for 2-3 more years and all components will meld; then drink from 2013-2027. 95 points
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Re: Wine Focus for January: Portugal

by michael dietrich » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:18 pm

After spending the last several days with a nasty toothache I can now start to go through the dozen Portuguese wines I got here. One of the great value brands I have been selling has been Casa Santos Lima from the Lisboa region. We actually have over a dozen wines available from them, including 2 that are bag-in-the-box. This is the Casa Santos Lima Eximius Branco white 2009 Lisboa $6, 60% Fernao Pires, 30% Vital, and 10% Moscatel. It has a kind of fresh floral and stone fruit nose. On the palate it is medium weight with some mineral and peachy flavors with a dry finish. This is very user friendly and has a nice acidity that will pair well with chicken or seafood. I also tasted the Fernao Pires 2009 Lisboa, 100 % Fernao Pires $10. This has more minerality and a bit more character. I will have 9 reds to taste over the next few days, including some single varietal ones and an estate bottled one. I find these whites to be great value.
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