Portugal’s dry red wines remain undersung, but they’re growing in popularity and distribution in the U.S. Symington’s Quinta do Vesuvio and Dow are best known as Port producers, but both offer a few dry table wines as well. Today we look at a pair currently on the market.
2015 Quinta do Vesuvio Pombal do Vesuvio Douro DOC – A blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Nacional, and Tinta Amarela. Though a mere 4 years old, this wine is already tasting well-aged, with an aggressively meaty character and some oxidation showing. The end result is on the pruny side, with lots of licorice and a heavy vegetal character underpinning it. With air some notes of cherry and blackberry come to the fore, but it’s a bit of a slog to get there. B- / $28
2016 Vale do Bomfim Douro DOC – This wine uses the same fruit used for Dow’s vintage Port (though the Dow name is rather buried on the label). 40% is a field blend of mystery grapes, with Touriga Franca (40%) and Touriga Nacional (20%) making up the balance. A simplistic but rather tough wine, the green edges don’t exactly plump up a somewhat bitter wine that is reminiscent of fruit that’s been harvested too early. Thin on the finish, as well. C / $13