Some more Portuguese wines
Been trying some more Portuguese wines as I look to firm up my Top 50 selection for the tasting in January. I'm just so impressed by how many serious wines are currently being made in Portugal. It's a very exciting wine scene, and choosing just 50 wines will be tough. The good news is that all the wines in the tasting will be well worth seeking out, although I need to qualify that this is a personal selection, and others would likely come up with different lists to mine.
Five wines open at the moment. Two are from Joao Portugal Ramos - the Marques de Borba Reserva 2004 Alentejo and the Quinta de Foz de Arouce Vinhas Velhas de Santa Maria 2005 Beiras. Of these, I prefer the latter: a tight-wound, serious expression of the Baga grape with great potential for ageing beautifully. Two are from Quinta de Sant'Ana, an interesting estate in Estremadura. The 2006 Tinto is deliciously bright and meaty, with some of the characters of a northern Rhone Syrah (meat, olives, spice, as well as vibrant fruit). The 2005 Reserva is a varietal Aragonez, and is modern, dense, ripe, pure and a bit spicy. Both are really good wines. Finally, a Douro red: Quinta do Tedo 2006. This is actually quite serious, and great value for money at £9.99. It shows lovely dense fruit with a nice minerally, expressive character, unadorned by too much oak. Impressive, even if the label design is a bit crazy.