Two nice Portuguese reds
Two very impressive Portuguese reds: one from the Douro, one from the Alentejo. Both show lovely focus and definition, and subtle use of oak. The Portuguese seem to be so much less heavy handed than the Spanish with their oak use (yes, a generalization, I know).
14% alcohol. A blend of Syrah, Aragonez and Touriga Nacional, made by David Baverstock. Deep coloured. Some subtle meaty, savoury notes here alongside the sweet dark fruits. Slightly floral aromatics are really appealing. Nice balance with a spicy savouriness countering the sweet dark fruits very effectively. A delicious fruit-driven style thatís focused and less spoofy than some of the riper Alentejo wines. 89/100 (£9.99 Waitrose)
Quinta do Portal Reserva 2007 Douro, Portugal (pictured above)
40% Touriga Nacional, 40% Tinta Roriz and 20% Touriga Franca; 14% alcohol; aged in new French oak for 9 months. This shows a lovely nose of meaty, spicy, floral blackberry, plum and dark cherry fruit. The palate is focused with meaty dark fruits and some black olive character. Fresh and savoury with good acidity and firm tannins. Itís a really expressive, focused sort of wine that shows real personality. Quite serious, in a distinctive savoury style. 91/100