LET’S TAKE A TRIP TO PORTUGAL Typically people gravitate toward American, French, Italian and Spanish wines when selecting their grape of choice. Those wines are everywhere and of course, there is so much to love about them. Portuguese wine, on the other hand, is not a natural “go-to” wine for most. Some would guess it is because the grapes are difficult to pronounce or identify and there is not that much of a selection at your local retail wine shop. There is, however, a huge value found in Portugal wines. What makes them unique is that although you can get value with wines from other countries, it’s usually because those bottles are from select areas within those countries verses Portugal wines where the value is fairly consistent throughout the country. I’ve opened a couple of bottles recently that really reminded me of this fact.
Aveleda Follies, 2013 from D.O. Bairrada (SRP $11): This is a blend of 70% Touriga Nacional and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon - aged in French oak for 12 months then another year in the bottle. What an easy drinker! This has notes of mushrooms, berry, oak and vanilla. This has some really nice and easy red fruits; it’s soft on the palate, and overall fun to drink!
Dona Ermelinda Reserva, 2013 from D.O. Palmela (SRP $18): This interesting blend is of 70% Castelao, 10% Touriga Nacional, 10% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon - aged in French oak for 12 months then another 8 months in the bottle. This has aromas of dark fruits, spiced fruit cake, and smoke. The palate follows through with more dark fruits, structure and noticeable but soft tannins. It has a long lasting almost mouth smacking finish. It’s delicious, but needs air to really open up. This is a bottle that would be even better over time, save it to drink sometime before 2023. Sláinte!