jamie goode's wine blog: A pair of periquitas

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A pair of periquitas

Periquita is, if I recall correctly, the Portuguese word for parrot. It was until fairly recently a synonym for the Castelao grape variety. And it is also the name of Portugal's oldest wine brand, dating back to 1850.

It's interesting that Portugal was the source of some of the earliest and strongest wine brands - with the likes of Lancers, Mateus and Periquita, Portugal pre-empted the modern world of branded wine.

JM ds Fonseca's Periquita is one of those rare commodities: a reliable, characterful branded wine with plenty of personality, and the ability to age for a few years in bottle. As Jancis Robinson observes, 'It’s difficult to think of any other wine with such a history, such distinctively local character and such a low price'.

Interestingly, the image that forms the backdrop to the Periquita website is a panorama of Rio de Janeiro, reflecting the importance of this brand to the Brazilian wine market.

Tonight I'm tasting a brace of Periquitas: as well as the red, there's now a white in the range.

JM da Fonseca Periquita 2005 Terras do Sado, Portugal
A blend dominated by Castelao, with some Trincadeira and Aragonez (aka Tempranillo). The nose shows dark, cherryish, blackberry fruit with a slightly bitter plummy edge, together with some savoury spice. The palate is dark and plummy with some savoury, spicy personality. Perhaps a bit more fruity and modern that Periquitas of the past, this still has a slightly rustic edge, and I reckon it will develop nicely over the next year or two in bottle. Great value. 84/100 (£4.99 Waitrose, on offer at £3.99 until April 22nd)

JM da Fonseca Periquita White 2007 Terras do Sado, Portugal
A blend of Arinto and Moscatel. Very pretty, perfumed and fresh with a sweet grapey character, as well as a bit of spiciness. The palate is fresh and crisp with an attractive perfumed, fruity quality. Distinctive stuff that would suit strongly flavoured or spicy food. 83/100 (£4.99 Waitrose, on offer at £3.99 until April 22nd)



At 2:57 AM, Anonymous Daniel Goncalves Maia said...

Interesting article on the Periquita. I bet it didn't disapoint you and you had a great dinner (alfterall, it is a Portuguese wine). I wondered if you would share your tasting notes on these Periquita with my Portuguese readers.

P.S.: A Periquito(a) is actually a Paroquet (like a small Parrot). The "a" says it's a female.


At 11:17 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

thanks for the parakeet clarification. We have a large 'wild' population of green parakeets in this part of west london - quite exotic, but not typical of UK bird life.

At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Andre Ribeirinho said...

I live in Portugal and I didn't know they had a white!

I have a Periquita Clássico Special Reserva 2001 (discovered in my father's cellar) and a Periquita Reserva 2004 (also a gift from him) waiting to be open and discovered.


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