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22 leading Portuguese wines tasted 

In the past Portuguese wines haven't been taken terribly seriously outside Portugal, but this is now changing. Regular readers of this site will know that I've taken a special interest in Portugal, and in particular the Douro and Alentejo, two quite different regions that are increasingly making some serious wines. Here are tasting notes on a selection of wines chosen by Tim Atkin as his top 50 Portuguese wines for 2006.


Herdade de Mouchão Tonel 3–4 2001 Alentejo
A fantastic wine: expressive, complex and spicy. It has a dark, intense sweet nose with liqueur-like red fruits. Quite complex and alluring. The palate shows lovely concentration of sweet, ripe fruit with lovely spicy complexity and fine-grained tannins. Very good/excellent 94/100

Malhadinha Nova ‘Malhadinha’ 2003 Alentejo
Lovely forward nose of complex, ripe, spicy fruit is just wonderful. The palate is concentrated and structured with lovely purity of fruit and nice spicy structure. Very good/excellent 93/100

Sogrape Callabriga Alentejo Reserva 2003 Alentejo
Lovely elegant sweet forward fruit on the nose. It’s liqueur-like, open and supple. The palate is sweet and soft with nice elegance to the pure forward fruit. It’s a lovely wine. Very good/excellent 92/100 (UK retail: £14.99)

Dolium Reserva 2003 Alentejo
(Eborae Vitis e Vinis is the producer). The nose is sweet and intense with forward dark fruit and some spiciness. Quite modern. The palate is forward and rich, and is appealing despite the rather heavy oak imprint. Very good+ 89/100

Herdade de Grous Reserva 2004 Alentejo
Sweet open ripe nose with a creamy, oaky edge to the ripe red and black fruits. The palate is concentrated and open with lots of forward fruit and nice structure. Perhaps a little oaky at present. Very good+ 89/100

Herdade de Perdigão Reserva 2003 Alentejo
Massive blast of sweet vanilla oak on the nose, with a bit of coconut, too. Lots of ripe, spicy fruit on the palate. Great concentration but lots of oak. A bit overpowering. Very good+ 86/100


Dão Sul Encontro 1 2003 Bairrada
Amazing packaging, and the wine lives up to it. Quite a perfumed, ripe, spicy nose with a savoury, roasted edge. The palate is concentrated and open with elegant, spicy structure underlying the ripe fruit. Finishes a little tannic. Very good/excellent 91/100

Filipa Pato LOKAL Calcárip 2003 Bairrada
Nicely packaged. Sweet, forward, ripe spicy nose with a roasted edge. Good concentration on the palate which is nicely structured and shows savoury, almost earthy tannins. A structured wine that should repay ageing. Very good/excellent 90/100


Quinta da Pellada Carrossel 2003 Dão
One of the best Dão wines I've tried. A varietal Touriga Nacional.
Fantastic perfumed, open nose which is beautifully forward and elegant with some spicy, meaty notes. The palate is nicely balanced, showing spicy, earthy tannic structure. Quite beautiful. Very good/excellent 94/100

Quinta da Pellada 2003 Dão
Vivid, deep colour.
Lovely dark, spicy, chocolatey nose is quite complex with some meatiness. The palate is open and elegant with nice spicy structure to the red fruits. Brilliant stuff. Very good/excellent 93/100

Dão Sul Quinta de Cabriz FOUR C 2003 Dão
Sweet, ripe red fruits nose is quite full. Nice weight on the palate. This is a bold, fairly structured wine with a spicy, tannic finish. Lovely fruit quality. Very good/excellent 92/100


Chryseia 2003 Douro
Very forward, intense smooth liqueur-like dark fruits on the nose, with a distinctive blackberry jam character. The palate is ripe and vivid with some spiciness and a bit of roasted oak in the backgroud. Nicely structured. A very modern-styled wine, but tasty with it. Very good/excellent 92/100 (UK retail £30)

Duas Quintas Reserva Especial 2003 Douro
Nice, dark, complex spicy nose with smooth, elegant fruit. The palate is concentrated and smooth with fine tannins. A delightfully expressive wine. Very good/excellent 93/100

Quinta do Tedo Escada d’Oro 2003 Douro
Sweet, supple dark fruits nose is quite forward. Nice, vivid dark fruits palate is modern and fruity but not overdone. Nice fruit here, and really good value for money. Very good/excellent 90/100 (UK retail £8.99)

Poeira 2003 Douro
A lovely wine with sweet, intense red and black fruits backed up by firm but elegant structure. There’s a nice purity here and lovely structure. Balance is the key. Very good/excellent 94/100

Quinta do Vale Meão 2003 Douro  
Supple, lush and intense, with lovely smooth liqueur-like fruit, hiding some tannic structure. Really nice in a modern style. Very good/excellent 92/100

Niepoort Redoma Tinto 2002 Douro
A good effort from a difficult year. Smooth, savoury, ripe nose is quite elegant. The palate is structured and subtly earthy, with nice tannins. Very good/excellent 92/100


Quinta do Monte d’Oiro Aurius 2002 Estremadura
A blend of Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz with Syrah and Petit Verdot. Smooth, supple fruity nose leads to an elegant palate with nice fruit. Very good/excellent 91/100

Quint do Monte d’Oiro Reserva 2001 Estremadura
96% Syrah, 4% Viognier.
Smooth liqueur-like red fruit nose leads to an open, brightly fruited palate that has a spicy edge. Quite expressive. Very good/excellent 90/100


Alvarinho Soalheiro 2005 Minho
Lovely rich, fresh limey nose with a bit of spiciness. The palate is fresh and zippy with citrus fruit and herb notes. Nice weight. Very god/excellent 90/100

Quinta do Ameal Loureiro 2004 Minho
Really beautifully perfumed nose: it’s herby and a bit grapey. The palate shows fresh lemony fruit and good acidity. Very good/excellent 90/100


Leo d’Honor 2003 Palmela
Huge concentration of sweet red fruits bolstered by sweet spicy oak. A big, fruity, forward style. Very fruity. Very good/excellent 90/100  

See also:

The New Douro series; Dao series; Alentejo series

Wines tasted 02/06
Find these wines with wine-searcher.com

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