jamie goode's wine blog: Portugal: the good and the bad

Sunday, March 01, 2009

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)



At 10:29 AM, Blogger winey brett said...

It is a shame about the Tesco wine as, unfortunately, it is that supermarket chain where most people will find wine - they'll be upset by this one and be put off Portugal.
Covela's wines are great; I have also enjoyed watching the progress of the Adega Pegoes cooperative which has dramatically improved, first under the tutelage of the charismatic, and aptly named, Joao Portugal Ramos, and now by the prize winning winemaker Jaime Quendera.
Portugese wines are a delight!

At 5:53 AM, Blogger Nerval said...

Who is the producer of the Tesco TN?

At 6:21 AM, Anonymous tommy said...

Jamie, thanks for writing so much about Portugals wines. I work for a small family run importer here is San Francisco, CA that specializes in Portuguese wines. I learned a lot following your post. Keep up the great work! By the way I really like Covela's wines too, I got to meet the owner in Lisbon last fall. Thanks again!

At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Touriga is indeed truly foul. I had it a couple of years back and all but the first sip went striaght down the sink. Their "finest" (!!) Aglianico is equally evil stuff.

At 10:53 PM, Blogger Paulo Coelho Vaz said...

Thank you for your inputs about portugueses wines.
It's a shame about that Touriga from Tesco, but if Tesco is starting to sell some Touriga wine is because the British market starts to understand that Touriga like a grape have a good market potential, which seems good for me like a Portuguese guy.
Just keep us informed and thank you.


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