In Porto (4) Dinner at O Gaveto

Gaveto has had a refit since I was here last. It was a memorable meal last time, so it was good to be back. Hosting us were Vitor and Teresa Bento and their son and daughter, Alfonso and Mafalda. I can’t speak highly enough of Gaveto: the seafood here is so pure and delicious, and served in an uncomplicated but expert fashion. And it has a great wine list, although we mostly drank wines from Vitor’s cellar. And we drank very well.

Vitor Bento with his Nat Cool T-shirt

We began with grower Champagne, with bolinho de bacalhau. We’d found this at Prova – it’s actually quite tough finding serious grower Champagne in Porto.

Champagne Tarlant Zero Brut Nature NV France
One third of each of the main varieties, based on 2008 with some reserve wines, bottled 2009 and disgorged October 2015. Tight, lemony and pristine with focused citrus fruits and some hints of honey and a bit of spice. Linear and precise with lovely complexity, as well as some structure. 93/100

Octavin Pamina Alice Bouvot 2015 Vin de France
This is 100% Chardonnay from the Jura. So detailed and mineral with hints of apple and pear, alongside a core of lemony fruit. This is so fine and expressive with a nice delicate grainy structure in the mouth. Some volatile acidity here but it integrates quite beautifully. A precise, joyful wine. 95/100

Percebes (goose barnacles) and prawns

Ruth Lewandoski Wine Feints Cuvée Zero 2017
From the Fox Hill Vineyard, this is a blend of 36% Arneis, 32% Dolcetto, 16% Barbera and 14% Nebbiolo, weighing in at 11.5% alcohol. Juicy with sweet cherries, plums and citrus fruit. Linear with a hint of red apple, too. Light, bright and focused. 94/100

The freshest sea bass you can imagine

Domaine Valette Pouilly-Fuissé Tradition 2013 Burgundy, France
Complex, mineral and powerful with pear and apple fruit as well as some honeyed richness. Finely spiced. Lovely intensity and complexity with lemons, pears and spice. Great concentration here, and it keeps developing in the glass. Amazing stuff. 96/100

Shrimp omelette

Jean-Pierre Guyon Savigny-Les-Beaune ‘Les Planchots’ 2015 Burgundy
This was vinified by Dirk Niepoort. Very refined with fine-grained sweet cherry fruit. This has texture, elegance and incredible purity and focus. Such an elegant, poised Pinot showing purity and restraint. 94/100

Château d’Arlay Vin Jaune 2006 Jura, France
Nutty and intense with a salty edge to the apple and pear notes. Fine and spicy with good intensity. A good, but not spectacular Vin Jaune. 92/100

MBV Mario (Barbeito Vasconcelos) Boal 1863 Madeira
This is named after Ricardo Diogo’s grandfather who founded Barbeito. This 1863 was taken from barrel and put into demijohns, and then put into bottles. For this bottling Ricardo opened all the bottles, tasted them, and then rebottled the sound ones and recorked them. This is quite remarkable, with great density and notes of raisins, minerals, spice, iodine and treacle, showing amazing acidity. This has incredible complexity and focus. 98/100

Quinta do Baraio Carcavelos Ultima Reserva NV Portugal
This is one of the last bottles of an extinct wine, Carcavelos, a fortified wine from near Lisbon. Now buildings occupy the vineyard site. Deep brown in colour with savoury, spicy, treacly fruit and notes of raisins and nuts. Very expressive with old furniture notes. Has sweetness but also savouriness. 95/100

 

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