Best known for dense Ports and crisp whites, Portugal is also home to a bustling red table wine production. Today we sample three reds from Portugal, including selections from both the Douro and the Dao regions.
2013 Quinto do Passadouro Passa Douro Red Wine – A traditional blend of touriga franca, tinta roriz, and touriga nacional. Notes of dark cherry and licorice find a curious companion in some sweet almond character, with the wine lightening up on the palate as it evolves to show off strawberry, some cloves, and a bit of vanilla. Short on the finish, but lively and pleasant. B+ / $15
2013 Esporao Assobio Douro – Another blend of touriga franca (40%), tinta roriz (40%), and touriga nacional (20%). Fresh blueberry notes fade into a licorice and clove character, adding body to an otherwise quite fruity attack. It’s a relatively straightforward wine, all told, but a versatile one that works in a variety of dining scenarios. B+ / $15
2013 Caminhos Cruzdos Titular: Dao Red – This blend from the Dao region comprises touriga nacional (45%), tinta roriz (15%), jaen (10%), and alfrocheiro (30%). Youthful, heavy on blackberries and brambly notes, with heavy tobacco, leather, and licorice notes bursting forth on the rustic finish. B- / $9
- Reviewing Douro Wines: 2013 Vale do Bomfin and 2012 Prazo de Roriz
- Review: Douro Wines of Quinta de Roriz
- Review: Wines of Esporao, 2015 Releases
- Review: 2011 Pombal do Vesuvio Douro