In the Alentejo, Portugal, for just a day

I’m just on the way home from Lisbon. I’ve spent today consulting for a major Alentejo winery that changed hands a while back. The new owner is smart enough to seek outside opinions before making changes, and through his new winemaker made an approach to me.

So I visited, looked around the vineyards, had a look […]

Revisiting an Alentejo classic: Mouchão 2010

Caught up with David Ferreira of Portuguese winery Mouchão yesterday to taste through their wines. I remember visiting Mouchão back in 2005, and since then I’ve had a soft spot for them. This is one of the classic wine estates of the Alentejo, and I love the labels, too: understated and immediately recognizable. Mouchão introduced Alicante Bouschet into the […]

In Lisbon with the young winemakers of Portugal

So I was in Lisbon. For one night only. The occasion? The ‘Young Winemakers’ tasting. Vadio, Conceito, Hobby, Clip and Carmelao are five young-ish Portuguese producers (with six winemakers in the group – Hobby has a couple) who have collaborated together to market their wines jointly. It’s a really good idea.

Joint marketing efforts like […]

A rarity, a Portuguese Chenin Blanc

I enjoyed this: it’s the first time I’ve had a Portuguese Chenin Blanc.

Now Portugal is blessed with a wide array of its own varieties, so you might ask why any serious Portuguese wine grower would look elsewhere for foreign varieties to play with. But Chenin could be a worthy exception to this rule, because it […]

A few nice Portuguese bottles from The Wine Society

Ah, Portugal. One of my favourite wine countries. Here are three good bottles from The Wine Society that are affordable and tasty.

Campolargo Alvarelhão 2011 Bairrada, Portugal
This is brilliant. It’s from a variety that’s also grown in Galicia, where it is known as Brancellao (it was a component in this wine reviewed recently), and which makes medium/light […]

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 […]

Two Alentejo whites: Esporao and Torre de Frade

It’s not just Spain that is making some really impressive new-wave white wines. Portugal is also a happy hunting ground for fans of deliciously expressive whites. Here are a couple that have impressed of late.

Torre de Frade Viognier 2010 Alentejo, Portugal
12.5% alcohol. Paulo Laureano is the consultant winemaker here. Aromatic, varietally true nose with […]

Video: Malhadinha Nova in Portugal's Alentejo

Here’s a short film from last week’s visit to the wonderful wine estate, farm and country hotel of Malhadinha Nova in Portugal’s Alentejo.

In Portugal again

Delighted to be back in Portugal, this time for a bit of a break with Fiona, sans enfants. My plucky parents are looking after our teenage boys. Good luck to them!

We’re staying in the Alentejo, at Malhadinha Nova’s country house and spa. Yes, it’s attached to the vineyard and winery of the same name, and […]

A couple more Portuguese wine discoveries

The great thing about visiting Portugal is that there are always more wines to discover. Here are a couple from this week.

First, up, a couple of Dao wines from new producer Julia Kemper. These are organic, and delicious. The red is really fresh, intense and vivid – still youthful and showing a little oak, but […]