jamie goode's wine blog: A beautiful evening with a Portuguese red

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A beautiful evening with a Portuguese red

Almost a year ago I visited the Dao and Bairrada regions of Portugal; on that trip, Ana Sofia of Viniportugal encouraged me also to visit the Beria Interior, the region that is sandwiched between the Douro and the Alentejo in the east of Portugal. I'm glad she did, because this is a rather poorly known region that's making some great wines. Tonight's wine comes from here.

It's one of those perfect English summer evenings, with temperatures comfortably in the 20s and some gentle sunshine. We don't get all that many of these, so you have to savour them when they come along. So I'm sitting outside, glass in hand, blogging. This is one of my favourite times of year. I wish I could bottle evenings like this up and save them for later.

This afternoon we were round at some friends for lunch. It was a jolly crowd, but unfortunately we had a dog war. RTL, who is in season, took issue with Bramble, our friend's dog, and they started going for each other. We separated them, but it was quite scary, and quite out of character, because these are placid dogs who normally get on very well.

So, my note on tonight's wine:

Gravato Touriga Nacional 2006 Beira Interior, Portugal
From Quinta dos Barreiros, 14.5% alcohol. This deliciously rich Touriga is a sort of half-way house between the aromatic, cherryish Dao style and the lush, ripe Alentejo style. It shows lovely vibrant plum and dark cherry character as well as richer, spicy, slightly tarry blackberry fruit. There's some attractive oak influence, but it integrates nicely into the ripe, dense fruit. Fruit driven, this finishes with some grippy, spicy tannic structure, with a streak if minerality. Good definition. A really well made wine with great appeal. What I particularly like about it is the way that it really tastes of Touriga Nacional. 91/100 (see http://www.gravatoqb.pt/ for more details).

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At 8:09 PM, Blogger Nick Oakley said...

Jamie, as you know I've been a fan of this area for some time. The Serra de Estrela range (the Star Mountains)lies across this region and is the climatic divide between the reliable south of the country (weather-wise) and the more fickle north. Wines lying on the southern side of the mountains have a lot of Alentejo character -warm, ripe, commercial, dependable - but also carry a lot of the great mineral character, and backbone of Dao and Bairrada wines. These are unsung heroes, and thanks for revealing one of the very few wines that find their way out, to us.

Let's hope that more and more of them make an appearance in the near future, Portugal is on the march!

At 8:14 PM, Blogger Nick Oakley said...

Having looked more closely to the adress on the bottle, I see this is (virtually) from the Douro -it must only lie a couple of km from the appellation boundary -how like Douro wine is it?

(by the way for the wine described in my earlier message you need to be south of Guarda,to the southeast of the Serra - probably 70 or 80 km south from this wine's location)

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Hi Nick - yes, there's some Douro character here, I guess - not sure what soils the vines are planted in - probably schist?

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Ligurio said...

Iíve created an open access group using twitter called drinkedin were people can share their passion about Portuguese Wine. If you are interested please join at http://www.twibes.com/group/drinkedin . There is no rivalry, no competition, no guru stuff, just passion.
A group like this is willing to discover new wines like this one you review and I hope that you can get some insights from us to.
Sometimes in a country like Portugal with lots of micro production wines itís difficult to buy or even know all the good things producers make.
Thank you for the review and for choosing a product difficult (!?) to find in our how country.


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