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The wines of Sogrape, Portugal

Rua 5 de Outubro 558, Aldeia Nova, 4400 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
Tel: +351 22 783 8104
E-mail: sogrape@maganet.pt

Portugal’s largest wine company has reinvented itself over the last few years and now makes a range of modern wines from just about every main wine region. When it comes to wine quality size is usually a disadvantage, but Sogrape’s range is pretty good, offering the best wines possible at the generally low price points they are aiming at. The new Reserva range is worth checking out: modern-styled wines that still have appreciable regional character. The two Carvalhais wines are fairly serious, but a little pricey. [See also: a more recent (May 2003) review of Sogrape's wines and a review of Sogrape's wines from May 2001]

Villa Régia Branco 2001, Douro
Clean modern white wine with good acidity and a nice fresh fruity character. Good/very good (£4.49)

Quinta de Azevedo 2001, Vinho Verde
Clean, fresh crisp nose with a slightly lemony edge. Firm, high acid palate with a little bit of greenness on the edge. Very attractive and a good food wine. Very good (£4.99)

Duque de Viseu Branco 2001, Dão
Lemony, herby edge to the nose. Good density of lemony fruit on the palate. Fruity and modern. Good/very good (£4.95)

Vila Régia 1999 Douro
Impressive for a cheapie. Quite a pale colour with an attractive nose of lifted cherry fruit and spice. Nice fruity, herby, slightly peppery palate with lots of character. Satisfying. Very good+ (£4.45 Safeway)

Vinha do Monte 2000, Alentejo
Modern bright cherry fruit with a herby twist. Nice midweight fruity palate, with an attractive herb and spice edge that adds character. Touch of caramel. Very good (£4.99)

Duque de Viseu 1999, Dão
Forward fruity nose shows cherry fruit with a slightly herby edge. Tasty, chunky palate with good fruit, some tannins and lots of herby character. Quite complex for a £5 wine. Very good+ (£4.99)

Reserva Douro 1999, Douro
Deep purple coloured. Herb tinged, slightly spicy fruit on the nose. Quite closed at the moment. Rich savoury palate is quite modern with a herby edge and quite firm tannins. Good density and some regional character here. Very good/excellent (£7.99)

Reserva Alentejo 1999, Alentejo
Very deep coloured. Remarkably rich, enticing nose with sweet fruit and notes of herbs and caramel. The palate is rich and soft with lush, forward, bold fruit and a raisiny edge. Low acid, modern style and quite delicious. Very good/excellent (£7.45)

Reserva Dão 1999, Dão
Very attractive herby fruit on the nose. Mid weight palate shows expressive herby, cherry fruit with a nice spicy edge. Lots of regional character here. Interesting stuff. Very good+

Quinta dos Carvalhais Tinta Roriz 1998, Dão
Quite a rich, lush edge to the fairly serious menthol and herb-tinged nose, with some liquoricey fruit. Modern palate with lush fruit, fine-grained tannins and good acidity. The oak isn’t overdone. High quality. Very good/excellent (£15.95)

Quinta dos Carvalhais Touriga Nacional 1998, Dão
Complex herby nose with rich caramel and spice notes. Very classy. Palate is expressive with firm tannins, good acidity and spicy herby wine. Complex wine with lots of character. Very good/excellent (£15.95)

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wines tasted April 2002; article posted September 2002