Tasting Report: Wines of Portugal 2010

Tasting Report: Wines of Portugal 2010

Portuguese table wines are always a mixed bag, with rough-hewn whites and a wild variety of reds to contend with. This year’s Portugal grand tasting event was familiar (see 2008’s event report here), with lesser-known Port vendors vying for attention among makers of vinho verde and other wines amongst a crowded group of wine enthusiasts muscling their way around the room.

This year I found a soft spot in my heart for aragones, a variety of grenache grown here and in Spain, which produced some much more complicated wines than Portugal is typically known for. Several producers had good aragoneses (aragoni?) on tap, with some equally compelling wines made from touriga nacional grapes — a grape usually used to make Port. Would love to experience top producer Esporao’s wines again.

Ratings and a few notes on tasted wines (and one brandy) follow.

Wines of Portugal 2010 Complete Report

2008 Casa de Santar Reserva DOC Dao / A- / pineapple-like, charming

2009 Grilos DOC Dao / B+ / perfumy white

2008 Palestra DOC Douro / B+ / thin red

2005 Dona Maria Amantis VR Alentejano / B  / coffee notes

2005 Dona Maria Reserva VR Alentejano / B / tight

2007 CARM Reserva DOC Douro / B  / tight, vegetal

2008 Carmim Aragones VR Alentejano / A- / licorice, leather notes

2007 Charamba DOC Douro / B- / an oddity, like children’s juice

2008 Esporao Reserva White DOC Alentejo / B+ / perfumed

2007 Esporao Reserva Red DOC Alentejo / B / herbal

2007 Esporao Aragones VR Alentejano / A / great balance, 100% aragones grapes

2007 Esporao Touriga Nacional VR Alentejano / A- / deep, dark chocolate and menthol character

NV Krohn Porto 20 Year Old DOC Porto / A- / woody and good tawny character

NV Krohn Porto 30 Year Old DOC Porto / A  / a slight improvement

1968 Krohn Colheita DOC Porto / B+ / somewhat medicinal

1998 Krohn Colheita DOC Porto / B+ / dusty but lighter in style

NV Ferreira Dona Antonia Reserve Tawny Porto DOC Porto / B / 3.5 years aged, simplistic

NV Ferreira Duque de Braganca 20 Years Old Tawny Porto / B+ / vanilla character

NV Ferreira Quinta do Borto 10 Years Old Tawny / B+ / Cognac notes

2000 Ferreira Late Bottled Vintage Porto / B+ / fresh

2007 Ferreira Vintage Porto / B- / very fruity, jellybean like

NV Sandeman 30 Years Old Tawny Porto / A- / nutty with cocoa notes

2007 Sandeman Vintage Porto / B / not near ready for drinking

2000 Quinta do Pego Porto Vintage / B+ / oddly tannic

2007 Quinta do Pego Porto Vintage / B+ / easygoing

2007 Cartuxa DOC Alentejo / A- / very curious, fresh figs and cherry

2006 Cartuxa Reserva DOC Alentejo / A- / more balanced, like the standard bottling

NV Caldas Porto Fine White / A- / nutty with fig notes

2004 Quinta da Gaivosa Late Bottled Vintage Porto / A- / nice balance here

NV Quinta Tamariz VSOP Brandy DOC Vinho Verde / B- / harsh

2008 Patrimonio DOC Torres Vedras / A- / thinner, lighter style

2008 Casa Santos Lima LX VR Lisboa / B- / fruity finish but rough

2005 Brutalis VR Estremadura / B+ / not so brutal

2005 Dona Belmire Beiras VR Beiras / B

1994 Barros Colheita DOC Porto / B / green

1989 Burmester Colheita DOC Porto / B+

1989 Kopke Colheita DOC Porto / A- / good, mellow and muted

1975 Barros Colheita DOC Porto / B

2000 Calem Vintage Porto / B+ / feels young

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

1 Comment

  1. Edoc on April 22, 2010 at 8:51 am

    I’m hoping Portugal becomes the hot new country for wine (much like Spain 10 years ago).

    In terms of regions, I like the Dão and the Douro rivers (same one as Ribera del Duero in Spain). Alentejo is also rising in popularity. As for grapes, I also like aragones, and touriga nacional and tinto cão (red dog) make a great blend.

    Favorite producers: Brites Aguiar, Quinta do Vale Meão Douro, and Vallado. I don’t follow white wines as much, but Quinta de Ameal has a good reputation.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.