Portugal: the good and the bad
Regular readers will know that I'm keen on Portuguese wines. But in my enthusiasm, I'm not blind to the fact that Portugal still makes some fairly dodgy wines - just as most countries do.
I have three Portuguese wines open at the moment. Two are really good, and one is fairly dreadful. It's such a shame, therefore, that it's the dreadful one that's listed by Tesco. It's bad news for Portugal. What was the Tesco buyer thinking of? Portugal makes loads of really good wines at all price levels, so why did they list this throwback to the bad old days? There aren't many slots for Portuguese wines, and here's one taken by a dud.
I hate being negative, but I have to be honest, and sometimes this means saying critical things.
Tesco Finest Touriga Nacional 2006 Estremadura, Portugal
Strangely earthy and medicinal on the nose. Smells a bit like a hospital ward. The palate is bright with some plummy fruit, but the medicinal, spicy character dominates. Disappointing. 73/100 (currently £4.74 at Tesco.com)
Adega Pegoes Colheita Seleccionada 2005 Terras do Sado, Portugal
Nose of spicy, plummy, raspberry fruit with a savoury edge. The palate is spicy and intense with nice bright but structured cherry and plum fruit. Delicious and almost Italian in style. Great performance for a co-op wine. 89/100 (UK agent Hallgarten)
Covela Escolha 2005 Minho, Portugal
Deep coloured, this unoaked red from just outside the Douro is really fresh and vibrant, with a gravelly, earthy edge to the sweet, focused dark cherry and blackberry fruit. Savoury and food friendly, with good acidity. Quite serious. 90/100 (retail c. £13, UK agent Corney & Barrow who currently have the also excellent 2004 listed on their website)