I’m off to Portugal this evening. Back to the Douro, for some quality time with the Douro Boys.
I remember my first visit to the Douro. It was back in May 2002. I’d been to a wine dinner and met this Portuguese winemaker. A bloke called Dirk Niepoort. I sat next to him, and at the [...]
Had a chance to try four vintages of Noval side by side. Sadly, this was tasting not drinking – and usually, tasting notes made in the act of drinking have more value than those made from just tasting – but it was nice to revisit these wines. Some comments. First, the Silval 2005! This is [...]
Yesterday’s lunch was at the much talked about Taberna do Mercado, in Old Spitafields Market, a short walk from Liverpool Street Station. This is Nuno Mendes’ relatively new venture, so I was expecting great things. This is not a grand restaurant: the dining room is simple, plain and modern. But the food is extraordinary.
Some Portuguese whites, tasted with lunch on the Lisbon coast. All impressive, and not too expensive.
Soalheiro Vinho Verde 2014 Portugal
This is benchmark Alvarinho from one of the top producers in the region. Lively precise pear and grapefruit flavours, showing nice focus with some spiciness. Precise with a lemony finish. 91/100
Redoma Branco 2013 Douro, Portugal
This is [...]
A brief film showing an Arinto vineyard being planted in Vinho Verde, Portugal. It’s from Casal de Ventozela, which is one of the properties I visited in April when I was looking at the concept of single-variety Vinho Verde. This is old school vineyard planting: effective, but time consuming. You can get laser-guided machines to [...]
Don’t you just love eccentric declarations? We’re talking Vintage Port here. It used to be so solemn and predictable: three declarations a decade, from the very best years, agreed in a gentlemanly fashion over a long lunch at the Factory House (or, at least, that’s how it seems from the outside). Now Quinta do Noval [...]
Here’s a film from the recent Cockburn’s Port Bicentenary tasting, held in London. It involved a range of Ports from Cockburn’s glory days to the present day, including a couple of rare pre-phylloxera bottles. The Symingtons purchased Cockburn’s in 2006 and their aim is to restore this Port house – which for a long time [...]
This is super cool. O-Port-Unidade is a charity Port, organized by Axel Probst, German fighter pilot and Port lover (his website is World of Port). 24 Port producers (with one famous absentee, I guessed correctly who this was) joined in, donating old vine grapes (average age 35 years) to the project from the 2013 vintage. [...]
Dirk Niepoort is in town, so yesterday we arranged to have lunch at Kitchen W8. It’s been a while since I caught up with Mr Niepoort, who is one of my top wine heroes. He brought along his new Bairrada wine, Poeirinho, and also a small bottle containing a mystery wine: it turned out to [...]
These three lovely wines were brought round by guests. The best sort of guests. The Leflaive Pucelles was served blind, and in a stroke of lucky intuition, I guessed it as very fine white Burgundy, a Leflaive, and Pucelles. But I got the vintage wrong: I called it 2002. This sort of guesswork looks great [...]