I asked for and got a bottle of Port for Christmas, which we opened with the Pudding. I was expecting an oaky, full bodied, black fruited mouthbomb but was surprised with this offering. It is very brooding and dark in the glass. The nose is brandy laced plum pudding, black currant and cedar. On the palate it gives me iodine infused black berries and oaky smoke. It is tasty for sure. The tannins are very integrated, lithe and very present on the mid palate. The wine has an astringent note that harkens from a tea component, The finish is nice and deep, with tannic dryness and a stewed plum component. Overall, I am enjoying this wine, even though I feel it is lighter in mouthfeel and slightly less flavorful than what I was expecting- perhaps it is a more ‘refined’ Port. I am going with 90 points and 3 stars for this $23 bottle. Salut….
Medium intensity in the glass. The nose is a bit funky, heavy on the oak and reeking of red fruits. Not particularly my favorite profile btw. The palate is very woody- raspberry and black cherry are the predominant flavors with a tart note to boot. There is a greeness to the midpalate to go along with the medium tannins. Acidity is decent and the wine balances on the finish. It’s a bit disjointed initially but comes together on a decent length ending. 88 points and 3 stars for this $11 effort. I may not purchase again as I don’t like the profile, some others may enjoy it though. Touriga Naconal 38%, Tinta Barroca 26%, Tinta Roriz 20%, Touriga Franca 14%, Tinto Cao 2%. Salut….
Of medium opacity, this blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) only clocks in at 12.5% alcohol. I paid a mere $ 6 for it and am excited to try what is proudly claimed as a 90 point WE #5 best buy 2016.
The nose is rather muted, offering up slight hints of blueberry and root beer. On the palate I am slightly surprised by what seems to be effervescence. More blue fruits and some slightly sweet notes of cola show up mid palate. The finish is rather short and the wine lacks much tannic backbone. I have to say, it is an easy wine to drink that will appeal to the relative wine noob as it does not inflict dryness to the gums and will serve its purpose at a Saturday afternoon cookout. A 90 point wine it is not. Not even close. I am going with 85 points and 3 stars for its relative price to quality ratio. Burgers, pizza and even the odd Spaghetti Bolognese would work here. Drink now, not for the cellar. Salut….
Nearly black, it exudes power. Rich plum puree with some oaky toast and blackcurrant jam greet me on the nose. The palate is very smooth, with more dark berry fruits and toast. It exudes more blueberry/blackberry compote that I am really liking. The mid palate shows off some dry tannins that reach back to the molars and give me a delightful dryness. There is a smoky component which slides in and out that I am really enjoying. It is very faint, but there. The sweetness of the wine is offset by its balancing acidity, the dryness is left in check. Overall, this wine is really good and I would pair it with Manchego, some dried apricots and almonds. Or you can just drink it by itself, delicious. 91 points and for $25 it gets 4 stars from me. Salut….
I opened this bottle up last week but kept forgetting to make notes (I was really tired). I nearly finished the dregs before realizing my faux pas, so pardon the brief outline- it was a good drop of Port that I bought for the initial Port taste test.
Rich, tannic, dry. Nose of dry oak, blueberry syrup and red raspberry reduction. The palate is very thick- blueberry, cedar slate, a long, dry finish. This wine is attractive, if young. It begs for a cheese tray. 90 points for this $15 bottle. I yet again disagree with the big boys…. oh well. 5 stars, you can’t beat the quality to price here folks, go get some if you like Port wine. Salut….
In my continued quest to to discover Portuguese wines, I have come across this $14 effort that piqued my interest. It is an equal blend of Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira, Syrah and Alicante Bouschet. My first hint is the 14.5% alcohol. The second is the deep, dark purple color in the glass. Both, to me, indicate an extracted, powerful wine that will grab me and not let go. I’m ready for it.
On the nose, I get the telltale Syrah notes- Plum, oak, cocoa. The wine has amazing ‘legs’ indicative of the alcohol content. The initial taste is as predicted, full on, powerful and alluring. The wine starts off with black berry, black currants and a delightful set of tannins that prop the wine up rather than detract from the fruit. The mid palate shows off more dark fruit and some earthiness. Tannic structure is great and they start to peak on the finish where menthol and anise flavors intertwine with berries. I am digging this wine and like the flavor profile. It has the correct structure to age for 2-5 years and is drinking well now if you like them a touch dry. I have to go 90 points and 5 stars for this wine. Salut….
I have harped many times about the quality and price coming out of Portugal. Always good, rarely pricy- you can count on it in a pinch. This Port is part of my study into the fortified wines of Portugal. I am having fun doing it and have discovered some really tasty, near $20 dessert style wines that have really become part of my after-dinner ritual. This one starts out very dark purple in the glass and has a nose of sweet verbena, dark fruit melange and oaky blueberry reduction. The palate shows off a slightly lighter style of Port, black cherry, dark fruits and stout oak. On the mid palate I get cedar plank, dark berry and a tannic streak. The wine is tasty, but slightly dry and dusty. I’m enjoying it and hope it develops. For now, 88 points which is in stark contrast top the whopping 94 points it got from the big boys. Perhaps it needs some time, or else I need to recalibrate my palate fifty these wines! I recommend some soft cheese, and maybe something stinky like Cambozola to go with this one. I might have to get another bottle to cellar. Priced at $24, it gets 3 stars initially, hoping for 4 at a future tasting. Salut….
See through in the glass is this blend of 40% Aragonez, 35% Trincadeira, 20% Touriga Nacional and the balance of Syrah. On the nose it it musty- with some oak, blueberry and green pepper. Kinda funky and different if you ask me. The palate is a different story with primal flavors of blueberry, cedar, and graphite. As the wine gets to the midpalate it adds some acidity and juiciness by way of rhubarb, (which I hated as a kid BTW). Tannins are very fine grained and perceptible mainly on the finish. A dryness envelops the gums and I feel balance. The cedar I mentioned earlier comes out again on the back end and mingles with some more blue fruits. There is an astringency that hits right at the very end that detracts a bit but overall this is a decent wine for the $6.88 I paid for it. That’s right, under 7 bucks for a decent weekday quaffer that gets 87 points from me, therefore making it a 4 star wine. Salut….
I have said it recently and i will affirm it again- Portugal is a go-to wine source. In tonight’s case, I needed something full of flavor to go with Braised Lamb Shanks in Rosemary Mint sauce. Sounds fancy huh? Costco…
This particular wine rings in at $11 and was worth a punt when I saw it with free shipping. Here goes- It comes in at 13% and is a blend of 50% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinta Roriz and 20% Baga. It is of medium shade in the glass and has no ‘legs’. The nose is of dark fruits and wood smoke. I also get some spice, like cinnamon. On the palate, this wine is very soft, gentle and supple. The flavors of black cherry, plum and espresso are very tasty. The mid palate shows off some very fine tannins and an earthiness along with cherry. The finish is somewhat tart, with acidity coming through as cherry and rhubarb. This wine is rocking the full flavored Lamb and has just the right amount of acidity to cut the fat while the flavors complement the herbs of the dish. I am going 90 points and 5 stars for this bargain. Drink now till 2022. Salut….
I do love me some Port. It goes well with cheese, dessert or alone after dinner. It is one one of life’s real pleasures.
This particular one was bought with a slew of others as I am trying out as many as I can. It looks almost black in the glass. A brooding, dark monster. It is after all named a Warrior, and is of the Finest Reserve. The nose offers up burnt matches and dark plums. Kind of a weird combo. The thickness of the wine is evident on the presentation. On the palate- it is rich, with dark cherry reduction and blackberry syrup. The wine has an unctuous feel to it, somewhat akin to dessert whites. It shows off a nice level of acidity to go along with the tannic backbone. This one will cellar well. The finish is long, broad and has hints of blueberry pie, some vanilla as well as dark chocolate. I like this one and am going with 90 points. I paid $19 and give it 4 stars. Not a bad drop if you like Port. Salut….