Some pictures from the Douro

I’m busy filming in the Douro this weekend. It’s harvest time and looking as beautiful as ever. Just time to post a few pictures from yesterday at Quinta do Crasto, and then it’s time to drive to Vale Meao (we stayed overnight in the lovely hotel at Vallado).


Two lovely Douro reds at the Dirty Dozen tasting

Thoroughly enjoyed the Dirty Dozen tasting today. It’s the start of term for us wine writers this week. We’re back in the tasting and travelling season. Tomorrow is the Bunch tasting, which will also be really good, and then on Friday I am off to the Douro for the weekend.

It’s so hard (and seems a [...]

Two very nice affordable wines, from Portugal and Italy

It’s always good to stumble across wines that over-deliver for their price point. Here are two that I tried today and was impressed by.

Tenuta Roveglia Lugana 2011 Italy
From the shores of Lake Garda, this is a really fresh white, made from the Trebbiano (aka Ugni Blanc) grape variety. Crisp, tight and steely with lovely citrus/grapefruit [...]

Quinta de Sant'Ana Pinot Noir 2010

I’ve written before about this Pinot Noir. Its debut vintage, 2009, impressed me, and can be found online at a bargain price of £12. This follow-up is equally convincing. A really nice wine. I likened the 2009 to a Marlborough Pinot Noir; I notice that this time I’ve likened it to a Martinborough Pinot Noir.

Quinta [...]

Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas, a lovely Portuguese red

I’m a big fan of Baga, a Portuguese red grape variety. It’s the traditional grape of the Bairrada region, and to me it’s reminiscent of Nebbiolo: quite tannic and difficult, but capable of making ageworthy, perfumed wines.

Luis Pato is one of the top Bairrada growers, and yet he names his wine ‘Beiras’ rather than Bairrada. You [...]

Another lovely Portuguese red from Quinta do Noval

One of my favourite wine countries: Portugal. Some great terroirs, and some inspiring wine growers. And lots of progress over the last decade.

This red, the second wine from Quinta do Noval (see my review here), is brilliant value for money. It’s a really good wine in its own right – forget the fact that it’s [...]

A lovely Portuguese red: Quinta de Sant'Ana Tinto 2011

I have written about the wines from Lisboa estate Quinta de Sant’Ana before, here. This is the new release of their Tinto, and it’s just such a lovely, drinkable wine. A great example of the new Portugal.

Quinta de Sant’Ana Tinto 2011 Lisboa, Portugal
14% alcohol. A blend of Touriga Nacional and Aragonez. Such a lovely wine, with [...]

10 and 20 year old Tawny Ports from Taylor's

Regular readers will know that I am a fortified wine fan, and that I just love Tawny Port. here are a couple of good ones from Taylor’s. Both widely available in the UK. Don’t be afraid to serve Tawny chilled, or even straight from the fridge.

Taylor’s 10 Year Old Tawny NV, Douro, Portugal
20% alcohol. Warm, [...]

A brilliant resource for Douro fans: map of the Quintas

Really delighted to stumble across this superb online resource. It’s The Port Lovers’ Forum map of Douro Quintas.

For anyone like me who has been to the Douro a number of times, this is a brilliantly useful map. If you travel around the region by road, it’s really easy to be disoriented. Travelling by river is [...]

A dinner in honour of Paul Symington, with 1945 Graham

On Thursaday night, I attended the Decanter Man of the Year dinner held in honour of this year’s recipient, Paul Symington.

Right from the outset, when Paul was rung with the news of the award in December, he  maintained that this is a family award. Paul heads up the family business: they are the leading shipper [...]