Review: 2011 Pombal do Vesuvio Douro

Portugal’s dry red wines come in a distant third place when ranking the wine varieties the country is known for, and even at Pombal do Vesuvio, it’s better known for Port than it is for table wines.

It’s easy to overlook the standard reds of the Duoro region, but this blend of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, and Tinta Amarela is an interesting and unusual — yet highly drinkable — wine.

The nose offers sour cherries, black pepper, and rhubarb. The slightly sour body features more cherry and lingonberry notes, with a light balsamic character atop it. Secondary notes of black tea, cola, and dried spices take this to a bit of a weird place on the palate, with a tawny port edge overtaking the finish.

Strange stuff, but it’s enchanting in its own way and demands revisiting to explore its quirky, rustic charms.

B+ / $27 / quintadovesuvio.com

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