Monday, April 19, 2010
I brought back to Denmark a single bottle of Bastardo from Conceito from my last Lisbon trip.
From a quick research on the red grape ”Bastardo”, you will read that Bastardo was formerly widely used in Portugal. Especially in Dao and Douro. It riped in early June, hence is a very early maturing wine, and its sweet grapes were eaten during the popular festival of Sao Joao (June 25). Small amounts of Bastardo still remain today mixed into wine production, where its main characteristics are low acidity, high sugar levels and pale colour. The latter is ideal for fortified or a tawny*, but sounds little flattering for a modern table wine.
However this was not so, and while the bottle may not be Portugal’s best table wine presently, it is surely an interesting bottle which stands completely out from the crowd of table wines in Portugal. From all wines I’ve tried in Portugal, there is no brand which comes close to this taste. Although the label would lead me to pass on this wine, I recommend you to try it.
Conceito Bastardo 2007
Color: pale red (as German Spätburgunder/Pinot noir)
Nose: redcurrant, pine needles, resin, on a base of foxy flavours (barnyard flavours). Taste: quite well acidified, with something sweet towards the end. Finish is medium long. Locally bought 13€, 89P
* From R. Mayson, The wines and vinyards of Portugal
Friday, April 9, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Here are two recommendations from Portugal. First up is Niepoorts Redoma branco. Apart from Vinho verde, Portugal is not know to produce any white wine which praise the critics beyond the countrys borders. But here is a high bench mark - for what old native douro grapes (Rabigato,Codega, Donzelinho, Viosinho, Arinto) may evolve into when grown between 400-800 meters height in Duoro schist soils, and more importantly in the hands of the right wine maker.
Second, the first 100% merlot on Grape juices, Ma Partilha from Setubal. This region is known for planting the first international grape varities such as merlot and cab. sauvignon. The big producer, Bacalhoa, produces both great blends but Ma Partilha (translates into "poorly or unevenly shared") is a mono casta and 100% merlot.
Niepoort Redoma Branco 08
Bouquet of exotic fruits, peachy, nuts (hazel/almonds) and vague hints of petroleum. The taste is finely balanced and neither”fat” or sweet, but crispy. This reminds me very much of Chablis when its good from Bourgogne. Locally bought 18€, 91P+
Ma Partilha 07
Dark red berries, young leather, tobacco leaves, green coffe beans and ”moist cellar”. The wine is tight with a peppery taste, and keeps its figure, rather than being jammy. Generally mid range Portuguese wine is produced to drink right away, but here I sense potential for development in the cellar. Locally bought 13 eur, 89P