Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy new year for 2010

posted by drud
Happy New Year for 2010 and QOTD: Which wine are you planning to drink during the last hours of 2009 and which wine shall be the first for 2010?

I managed to get hold of one of the 2500 bottles from the new Cartuxa espumante series which was released for the first time this year. The wine is made on Arinto grown in Alentejo. Locally bought 27€.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking for Ramisco: Colares visited

posted by drud
Arenae Ramisco 2004

Color medium transparent with copper egdes. Huge bouquet of red cherries, dark chocolate, stone fruit, moist cellar and red meat. The taste is well structured, with notes of dark cherries and ink followed by a long finish where the tannins clear of the teeth. The well defined acidity of this wine makes me think of the characteristics of Nebbiolo. Wonderful. Locally bought at 9 €, 92P

More on Colares to come.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Seafood and vinho verde

posted by drud

There is a rare match between Portuguese seafood and their Vinho verde (green wine). Vinho verde is produced in Minho, Portugal's most northern wine region, where a number of less-known white grapes thrive. Of these, the most known include loureiro, trajadura, arinto and alvarinho (albariño in spain). Green wines are fresh, often with low alcohol (10-12%) and are excellent companions to seafood.

It took, therefore, only a brief look at the wine menu to pair up a delightful seafood lunch at the coastline of Lisbon (Caparica).

Alvarinho Deu la Deu 2008 is from the subregion Monção and entirely produced on alvarinho.

Color transparent with an olive-green tone and natural-occurring bubbles. Nose of green apples and hints of lime. The taste is simple and dry with fresh acidity which makes up a long apple finish. 87P

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas wine #4 Pera-Manca Branco 07

posted by drud
My christmas wine for the traditional Bacalhau dish in Portugal had to be Pêra-Manca this year. I am a fan of the wines of Fundação Almeida, but had yet to try one of their top wines, the Pêra-Manca. The white is made from the Alentejo grapes Arinto and Antão-Vaz picked from granite soils. It's aged for 10 to 12 months in steel vats and french oak. Hereafter, it rests for 6 months more in the bottle.

Pêra-Manca 07
Nose of honey, flowers, and distinct tone of green almonds/hazel.
Nicely balanced with an apple/pear thing going on, ending with a finish of hazel. One would have guessed Chardonnay. Locally bought at 25 €, 91P

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas wine #3 Arenae Ramisco 2002

posted by drud
Yesterday's best (wine) experience was clearly the Aranae 2002 Ramisco. I had no idea that this wine also was made to drink this young. This bottle only come 50Cl and with an annualy production of 6000 bottles. I ordered the bottle mainly to satisfy my curiosity on ramisco, while preparing a mind talk on how this bottle perhaps should had been stored 40 more years before opening. After a slight sip, all prepared defense lines vanished. Aranae appears to made for drinking now, and I do sincerely recommend this wine. Notes to come..

Lisbon is full of sneaky corners, authentic cantinas, and one can not help surrending to such an atmosphere. The images posted are from Fabrica Lisboa, in Alcantara, where we had our last stop.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas wine #2 Alentejo red

posted by drud

Yesterday I had a new Portuguese wine, in what could be called ”seek and try out” for good christmas wine.

First up Aveleda’s red ”Charamba” from Douro, but the taste of this wine was simply not of my liking, ”Sharp, moulded, and alcoholic”.

Instead we turned to Alentejo to try Mouras de Arraiolos 2007, grande escolha.

I have often visited the lovely little village of Arriolos in Alentejo, because it hold one of Portugals gastronomic gems, the resturant ”moagem”. However, I had never tried this wine from same village. Mouras de Arraiolos is produced on, Cabernet sauvignon, Syrah and Alicante bouschet, aged for 12 months on new french oak.

Nose with hints of dark berries, spices, peat/tar, vanilia, cut grass and mint. Beautiful structure, well balanced and a good tannin bite to leave the mouth dry. Great food wine, 12€, locally bought. 90P

Monday, December 21, 2009

First christmas wine #1 Niepoorts Pinot Noir

posted by drud

First Chrismas wine was Niepoorts PN project which i had been wanting to taste for long, mainly driven by the big question - does it taste like burgundy?

The wine is medium dark (darker than french PN), and has a nose of dark red berries, spices and cigarbox wood. It has an elegant light structure, which first appears a bit creamy, then turning into a sweet smoky aftertaste. As for the big question (Burgundy or not) the answer is no. The nuances were few and we are in the new world PN style. However, to me, there was a Portuguese (spicy/herbs) signature in it, which i have tasted in many other Douro wines. I enjoyed the lightness, the aftertaste and the experiment. 92P

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Long journey and long silence

posted by drud
After a long silence here on the blog due to work in South america, I am back to Lisbon to celebrate christmas and try new portuguese wines. Surprises and disappointments will posted soon

First buy is Niepoort PN project (35 eur locally bought) which I have been wanting to try for long. PN is nearly not grown anywhere in Portugal, and it will be intresting to to test whether Niepoorts PN from Douro contain any bourgogne characteristics...