The cedar is the essence of Douro

I’ve enjoyed drinking this wine over the last two evenings. It’s the ‘second’ wine of Douro star property Quinta do Noval, and I think it’s a really good wine in its own right, offering the essence of Douro table wine in a relatively affordable bottle.

It’s named after the famous cedar tree at Noval, under which [...]

A brilliant, affordable Portuguese white wine

I really like this Portuguese white. It’s a blend of Arinto, Gouveio and Fernao Pires from the coastal bit of the Lisboa region, and from fossil-rich clay/limestone soils. The vineyard is in its second year of conversion to organics, and natural yeasts and no oak is used. It’s available from Asda’s new wine shop, and [...]

The fabulous Dow 1963 plus other special wines

Simon Staples of Berry Bros & Rudd is a top bloke. He treated a few of us to a lovely dinner in the boardroom after Thursday night’s screening of red obsession. We had some lovely Burgundy, a cracking sherry, a stunning English sparkler, and – most appropriately – a Chinese wine. But my heart was [...]

Tasting Noval Vintage Port and Nacional

A great tasting this morning: Christian Seely was in town showing off Noval Vintage Port and Noval Nacional, in paired vintages: 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2011.

The observant among you will have noticed the presence of 2004 Nacional. It’s the second time I’ve tried this ‘secret’ Nacional, which has not been released commercially, and the [...]

10, 20, 30 and 40 Year Old Tawnies from Graham's

Graham’s have recently released a series of aged Tawny Ports, which arrived here in small bottles packaged in an attractive box. Here are my notes on them. Aged tawnies (10 years and older) are just a small part of the market for Port (3%), but they are important wines, and I reckon that they are [...]

Some more great value Portuguese wines

Our holiday in the sunny Algarve draws to a close today. Just a few hours of pool action, then a drive back up to Lisbon. One of the highlights for me has been the wine:  every supermarket we have been to has had a great selection of Portuguese wines with plenty of fun to be [...]

More fun in Portugal and the Portuguese Cloudy Bay

We’ve had some fun this week. On Wednesday, all three families spent the afternoon on boats. The adults went out on a 53 ft Sunseeker, while the kids were on a speedboat. And when we moored up we had the speedboat tow us at extreme speed in rubber rings. There’s something so liberating about jumping [...]

Some more great, great value Portuguese wines

OK, promised yesterday, more notes on great Portuguese wines for under 10 Euros. I was delighted to find that two of my favourite Vinho Verdes fitted into this category. These are benchmark examples of how good the Alvarinho and Loureiro grape varieties can be. It’s such a shame that Vinho Verde has such a bad [...]

Some great, inexpensive Portuguese wines

I have been here in the Algarve for a few days now, and the great news is that you can buy superb Portuguese wines really inexpensively. With a budget of just 10 Euros a bottle, you can have a lot of fun. Here are a few, with more to follow.

Lavradores de Feitoria Tres Bagos Branco [...]

In Portugal

So, I am on holiday. In the Algarve, Portugal. It’s very hot and sunny, and we are in close proximity to water, which is a good start. I am with my family, and the families of Fiona’s siblings, Cliff and Sandra. Kids in the age range of 13-24, with a clustering in the late teens. [...]