50 Great Portuguese wines, 2011

Today was one of the most eagerly awaited tastings in the calendar (for me, at least) – the 50 Great Portuguese Wines tasting. Each year, a journalist is chosen to select their top 50 Portuguese wines, which are then shown in tastings in London, Manchester and Edinburgh (although this year there is no Manchester leg). Portugal is such an interesting wine country, that the tasting attracts a good crowd.

This year the selection was made by Tom Cannavan (pictured above). Tom did a very good job, with lots of really good wines. Selections like this are quite personal, of course – for example, some of the whites weren’t really my thing, and a couple of the Alentejo reds were so-so. Yet I came away, once again, enthused by the diverse and delicious wines that Portugal is making at the moment.

It seems invidious to pick out favourites from such a strong crowd. But I really enjoyed Julia Kemper’s wonderful Dao white (she’s pictured above), which has just a twist of nice reduction. I also liked the biodynamic Casa de Mouraz Dao white: Sara Dionisio who makes it is pictured below with Joao Roseira, whose Infantado Reserva 2008 Douro was one of the top reds on show.

Other mentions? Quinta de Lemos White Label 2007 Dao was really fresh and floral. Lovely. Poeira and Batuta from 2008 are both v serious wines, of course, as is Vale Meao. And I wouldn’t say no to Pintas 2008, either – nor Noval or Romaneira.

Here’s the full list of Tom’s excellent selections:

  • Julia Kemper Reserva White 2009 Dão
  • Casa de Mouraz  White 2009 Dão
  • Quintas de Melgaço Castrus White 2009 Vinho Verde
  • Quinta do Feital Alvarinho Dorado Superior 2008 Vinho Verde
  • Adega Regional de Colares Arenae Colares Malvasia 2006 Colares
  • Filipa Pato Nossa White 2009 Beiras
  • Fita Preta Palpite 2008 Alentejo
  • Herdade dos Grous Reserva White 2010 Alentejo
  • Esporao Private Selection White 2009 Alentejo
  • Quinta dos Carvalhais Colheita Seleccionada White 2006 Dão
  • Alves de Sousa Reserva Pessoal White 2005 Douro
  • Quinta Sant’ana Riesling 2009 Lisboa
  • Valle Pradinhos White 2009 Trás-os-Montes
  • Henrique Uva Vinhas da Ira Red 2006 Alentejo
  • Quinta Dona Maria Reserva Red 2006 Alentejo
  • Fundação Engénio de Almeida Pera Manca Red 2007 Alentejo
  • Terrenus Reserva Red 2007 Alentejo
  • Fundação Engénio de Almeida Scala Coelli 2007 Alentejo
  • Mouchão 2006 Alentejo
  • Silveira e Outro Solar dos Lobos Grande Escolha  Red 2008 Alentejo
  • Herdade da Malhadinha  Nova Marias da Malhadinha Red 2007 Alentejo
  • Quinta do Francês Red 2008 Algarve
  • Luís Pato BTT Red 2009 Beiras
  • Quinta das Bageiras Garrafeira Red 2001 Bairrada
  • Quinta dos Termos Selecção Red 2007 Beira Interior
  • Quinta dos Roques Touriga Nacional 2008 Dão
  • Quinta do Lemos White Label Red 2007 (Dão)
  • Fontes da Cunha Munda Touriga Nacional Red 2008 (Dão)
  • Quinta da Falorca Lagar Reserva Red 2004 Dão
  • Dão Sul Cabriz Reserva Red 2008 Dão
  • Quinta do Corujão Reserva Red 2007 Dão
  • Lavradores de Feitoria Meruge Red 2008 Douro
  • Quinta do Vallado Adelaide 2008 Douro
  • Poeira 2008 Douro
  • Niepoort Batuta 2008 Douro
  • Prats & Symington Chryseia 2008 Douro
  • Quinta do Portal Touriga Nacional 2009 Douro
  • Quinta do Noval 2008 Douro
  • Quinta da Romaneira Reserva Red 2008 Douro
  • Wine & Soul Pintas Red 2008 Douro
  • Quinta do Vale Meão 2008 Douro
  • Dão Sul Quinta de Tecedeiras Reserva Red 2008 Douro
  • Quinta do Infantado Reserva Red 2008 Douro
  • Afros Vinhão 2009 Vinho Verde
  • José Maria da Fonseca Hexagon Red 2007 Península de Setúbal
  • Vale da Mata Reserva Red 2007 Lisboa
  • Vale D’Algares Selection Red 2008 Tejo
  • António Saramago Vinhos, Lda Dúvida Red 2005 Península de Setúbal
  • Quinta do Ameal Special Harvest 2007 Minho
  • Horácio dos Reis Simões Moscatel de Setúbal Superior 10 Anos Península de Setúbal

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