Today’s New Douro tasting was remarkable. Five new producers have joined the ND fold, so the tasting expanded to take in two rooms at the Portuguese Ambassador’s residence in Belgrave Square. It meant there was no lunch, which upset some trade people, but I’m of the opinion that if you put a tasting on, you [...]
As you all know by now, I am a big fan of Portuguese wines, and particularly of the Douro region. It is such a cool place. Of late, I have neglected Portugal a bit. I’m not sure why. Maybe it is because so many other journos are focusing their attention there it has made it [...]
This is a new wine from Douro property Quinta Nova, which I visited back in March 2010. It’s made from old vines (interestingly, not Touriga Nacional, the celebrity grape, which used to be quite rare in old vineyards), and has an unusual bottle shape – short and squat like an 18th century bottle.
What do [...]
I’ve enjoyed drinking this wine over the last two evenings. It’s the ‘second’ wine of Douro star property Quinta do Noval, and I think it’s a really good wine in its own right, offering the essence of Douro table wine in a relatively affordable bottle.
It’s named after the famous cedar tree at Noval, under which [...]
I really like this Portuguese white. It’s a blend of Arinto, Gouveio and Fernao Pires from the coastal bit of the Lisboa region, and from fossil-rich clay/limestone soils. The vineyard is in its second year of conversion to organics, and natural yeasts and no oak is used. It’s available from Asda’s new wine shop, and [...]
Simon Staples of Berry Bros & Rudd is a top bloke. He treated a few of us to a lovely dinner in the boardroom after Thursday night’s screening of red obsession. We had some lovely Burgundy, a cracking sherry, a stunning English sparkler, and – most appropriately – a Chinese wine. But my heart was [...]
A great tasting this morning: Christian Seely was in town showing off Noval Vintage Port and Noval Nacional, in paired vintages: 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2011.
The observant among you will have noticed the presence of 2004 Nacional. It’s the second time I’ve tried this ‘secret’ Nacional, which has not been released commercially, and the [...]
Graham’s have recently released a series of aged Tawny Ports, which arrived here in small bottles packaged in an attractive box. Here are my notes on them. Aged tawnies (10 years and older) are just a small part of the market for Port (3%), but they are important wines, and I reckon that they are [...]
Our holiday in the sunny Algarve draws to a close today. Just a few hours of pool action, then a drive back up to Lisbon. One of the highlights for me has been the wine: every supermarket we have been to has had a great selection of Portuguese wines with plenty of fun to be [...]
We’ve had some fun this week. On Wednesday, all three families spent the afternoon on boats. The adults went out on a 53 ft Sunseeker, while the kids were on a speedboat. And when we moored up we had the speedboat tow us at extreme speed in rubber rings. There’s something so liberating about jumping [...]