April 2011 Meeting - Portuguese Wines

Mike and Sue Reeves presented a selection of wines from Portugal.  With two white wines and four reds, the selection reflected wine manufacture in Portugal where red wine production exceeds white...

The tasting got underway with a Quinta de Azevedo Vinho Verde 2010 (£6.99) from the Minho region in the far north of the country.  The name Vinho Verde literally means "Green Wine" (red or white) and refers to its youthful freshness rather than its colour.  With complex aromas of citrus fruits and white flowers, the wine was lively and stimulating with hints of spritz.  We then moved on to a Planalto Douro White Reserva 2009 (£6.99), a blend of white grape varieties indigenous to the Douro area.  This crisp, dry white had an interesting aromatic intensity and complexity with hints of citrus, soft pear and melon. 

The first of the red wines that we tasted was a Pena de Pato 2007 Dao (£7.49) made from a selection of traditional red Dao varieties including Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional.  A medium-bodied red with a trace of oak, the wine’s smooth tannins and generous weight was balanced by lively acidity and ripe red fruit flavours.  The next wine that we tried was a Quinta dos Carvalhais Colheita 2008 Dao (£9.99).  This full and fruity red is produced only in years of exceptional quality harvest and is made from handpicked local grape varieties.  The wine displayed aromas of black fruits together with hints of vanilla, chocolate and spices from the French and American wood in which it matured.  

A Crasto Douro Red 2008 (£9.99), a traditionally styled blend of four of Portugal's indigenous grape varieties, followed.  Another medium-bodied red, the wine was rounded and rich on the palate with intense aromas of blackberries and raspberries on the nose.  The final red was an Altano Douro Organic 2009 (£9.99) from the Symington Family Estate located in the far north-eastern corner of the Upper Douro, known as the Douro Superior.  A powerful red and quite dry on the palate, it showed port-like aromas of blueberry and rose.

For a surprise finish, Mike produced a bottle of Taylors Late Bottled Vintage Port 2004.  Another wine from the Douro region, blended from wines of a single year, the port showed intense fruit flavours and fantastic depth and complexity and proved a fitting finale to the evening’s tasting.

Overall, an interesting selection of wines that reflected Portugal’s indigenous grape varieties and typical wine styles.  All of the wines tasted during the evening came from Majestic.