jamie goode's wine blog: 50 Great Portuguese Wines 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

50 Great Portuguese Wines 2009

So yesterday was the 50 Great Portuguese wines tasting - the 2009 installment where I got to choose 50 of my favourite Portuguese wines to show to the press and trade at large, hosted at the Ambassador's residence.

I was a bit nervous. While, of course, the wines speak for themselves, the selection I made did leave out some big names who might have expected to be there, and included some less well known smaller producers, who I think really deserved to be there, but whose presence was a bit of a surprise to many.

The tasting was really well attended, and even at the close there were still a lot of people still working their way through the wines. I got lots of favourable comments (mind you, who is going to be blunt enough to tell me they didn't like the wines), although I know some people couldn't get their heads around the Concieto Bastardo, which is a really pale red wine ('a bit thin', said one old boy who I think must measure the merit of red wine by its opacity), but one with amazing elegance and aromatics. The red Vino Verde (Afros Vinhao) also split the tasters: some really loved it, others didn't get it at all.

A few wines didn't show well, which was disappointing. I can think of three that didn't really justfy their presence on yesterday's showing, although my previous experience of them has been really positive. I was really pleased by the way the Alentejo line up showed - this included some less obvious choices (and a couple of notable omissions).

The tasting was followed by a dinner which included the Portuguese wine awards. Journalism prize went to Sarah Ahmed, who will pick next years Top 50, and they couldn't have made a better choice: Sarah knows Portuguese wines really well, and I'm looking forward to tasting her selection this time next year.

Finally, a word about ViniPortugal. They are widely recognized to be the BEST of the trade bodies of any wine-producing country, providing excellent support to both journalists and the wine trade. They're doing a really good job, and I hope that whoever is in charge of funding them in Portugal recognizes the important work they do.



At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Liz Marcy said...

Jamie - where will I find a list of your chosen wines?(with stockists, pretty please?). We're huge fans of Portuguese wines, but don't get to try enough of them. Do any of the major multiples have examples worth seeking out, or is it small suppliers only on this one? Thanks!

At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ViniPortugal the best trade body?

Yes, we all remember that brilliant "secret potion" advertising campaign, don't we!!!

At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jamie,

Just like Liz - and for the same reason - I am very curious about your list and even more for your comments/reasons for choosing them! Please don't wait too long to publish a full article on the main site.

Paul Metman

At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Paula Sindberg said...

Excellent wine selection, Jamie.

I really enjoyed the tasting. I was thrilled that you selected the Quinta San Jose which Nick Dobson and I just started to import AND that I now carry 14 of your selected wines.

IMHO, the Austrian Wine Marketing Board is the absolute base national trade body in the wine biz but ViniPortugal is rapidly reaching their level.

Paula Sindberg
The Ultimate Wine Company Ltd

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi - Just like to say I really enjoyed the tasting too. Thought the Bastardo was great, and the red Vinho Verde was also good (maybe one for summer). Always been a huge fan of anything Alvaro Castro has been involved in. Left my notes at home but there were some great wines, loved the Soalheiro Alvarinho, generally more a fan of "modern" Portuguese winemaking that holds true to it's old roots (i.e. Typical Portuguese varietals).
Jamie Tonkin
p.s. We have a great Portuguese selection here too!

At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about Viniportugal... just looked at their website viniportugal.pt and it is very much outdated. The events listed are certainly not up to date. They got to do a much better job in this regards.

At 5:41 PM, Anonymous Jamie@NobleGreenWines said...

From the dealings I've had with ViniPortugal I'd say that their heart is definitely in the right place (delivery not always efficient though)!
NobleGreen Wines

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Simon said...

Excellent selection Jamie, nearly as good as last year's.... great to see the Bastardo and the red VV too. and I'd put Wines of Chile up in the top echelon of national bodies too.

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Chris Townend said...

Jamie - excellent post as always but like Liz says, where can I find further details. As an absolute novice when it comes to portuguese wine, can you make any recommendations where to start?


At 9:22 PM, Blogger Nick Oakley said...

Anonymous - the sectret potion got poured down the drain thank God. Much better direction these days with City tastings for regional merchants, and bursaries for independents and on trade. There is a new website going to be launched soon with a listing of where to buy Portuguese wines in the UK - as an extension of the viniportugal website

At 9:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure why Jamie is sucking up to ViniPortugal.

The new world generics are a million times more efficient, and actually know about marketing!!!

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Curigane said...

Unfortunately Vini Portugal only has the list in the portuguese website.

You can check it on the below link.


At 6:56 PM, Blogger Nick Oakley said...

Chris Townend.

If you're in Yorkshire you could no worse than have a look at the Portuguese selection at Halifax Wine Company. After the tasting of Jamie's 50 great wines, Halifax picked up the 'best regional retailer' at the annual Portuguese wine awards dinner.

At 9:39 PM, Blogger Warren Edwardes said...

Another new Bastardo fan here.

Great work Jamie.

At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's probably just like one Anonymous said a little up from this, i'm not sure why i'm sucking up to Jamie, although i could say, it feels great and it comes from the heart :-).
No, stop jokin', m'a man!
Think Jamie did a great job, and i love most of his secret potions, and the same for the not-so-secret.
Guess you picked the Robustus, for the photo, for a reason.
I'm with you. F... great wine.
No more comments.
gracias y saludos desde el Douro,
jo„o rosť (should i say bastardo?)


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