Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2015

Quinta do Noval have lately become known for what the English wine trade describe quaintly as ‘eccentric’ declarations. They released a vintage Port in 2013, for example. Now they’ve released 2015. It’s not a surprise, because 2015 was a really good vintage, and I’m surprised more people haven’t declared it. Of course, these days there’s [...]

Sidecar Tinto NV Portugal: a bi-regional, amphora-aged beauty

This is a lovely wine. It’s a collaboration between Susana Esteban (who works in the Alentejo), and Filipa Pato and William Wouters (who work in Bairrada). Half of the wine comes from Portalegre in the Alentejo, and half is Baga from Bairrada. It’s made in amphora.

Susana created the Sidecar brand with a view to working [...]

Quinta do Monte d'Oiro, Lisboa, Portugal

Monte d’Oiro translates as mountain of gold, and it refers to the golden colour taken in early evening by the hill on which many of the vineyards are planted. The vineyard is in the Alenquer sub region, with the Atlantic 20 km to the west and Lisbon 50 km to the south. Climate is Mediterranean [...]

Two lovely naturally made reds from Portuguese winemaker Tiago Teles

A while back, Ben Henshaw of Indigo Wine sent me some samples to have a look at. Ben and I agree pretty much in terms of our palate preferences, I’ve found, and so it’s always good to taste things that he’s unearthed. He seems to have an amazing talent for finding great producers, and sometimes [...]

Lisbon Family Vineyards: visiting three ambitious producers from Portugal's Lisboa region

The wine region of Lisboa is a large, diverse one. It runs up north from Lisbon, bounded by the Atlantic coast on one side and the Tejo river to the east. Until 2009, this region was known as Estremadura.

Quinta de Sant’Ana

It’s a region with a slightly downmarket image, because of its past emphasis on [...]

Rui Falcao on Madeira, at MUST 2017

Rui Falcao’s presentation at MUST was on Madeira. He began by showing a picture of a bottle of Madeira from 1795, and revealed that most of his great old wine experiences have been with wines from this remarkable island. ‘The oldest wine I’ve had was from 1715,’ he says, which he thinks is the oldest [...]

Three interesting whites: Luis Pato, Cape Point and De Wetshof

Grabbed these three interesting whites from the rack for a bit of comparative tasting. The Luis Pato is amazingly fresh at 8 years of age, and will be good for another decade on this showing. The Cape Point is brilliant, and is testament to the skill of winemaker Duncan Savage, who is now concentrating on [...]

Eight decades of Kopke Colheita ports

After judging at the IWC on Thursday there was a chance to try some more wine. Normally after a busy day tasting hungreds of wines, the last thing I feel like is more wine. But these wines were different: eight Kopke Colheita Ports from 2007 back until 1937.

A Colheita is a tawny port from a [...]

Niepoort's Clos de Crappe: an unusual, remarkable wine

You can’t put Dirk Niepoort in a box. He’s not your standard winemaker. Who releases a wine called ‘Clos de Crappe’ with the description ‘technically a disaster’? (See above from the Niepoort website.) As Dirk explains in the film below, Clos de Crappe was originally a wine made with a view to producing a slightly [...]

Wines of the year (3) Portuguese highlights

I visited Portugal four times last year, and that probably wasn’t enough. It’s such a great country, and the wine scene has never been better. I will be back in 2017 for sure. These are some of the absolute highlights from last year.

Niepoort Bical Maria Gomes Vinhas Velhas Branco 2013 Bairrada, Portugal
Had several times, with [...]