Set The Bar
Lifestyle in Style

A Couple of Portugal Buddies: Uncorked

It is interesting to note as a fan of Portuguese wine the Douro is getting some fierce competition at the LCBO. It is getting to the point that on Vintages releases Douro wines are no longer ruling the roost. Alentejo and Lisboa wines are mounting a challenge particularly as red wines are concerned. Dão is way in the background undeservedly so.

This is a bit awful to say but Douro red wine excellence might be getting a bit boring? This is an odd thing to say but it leads one to look for another Portuguese wine making region of excellence. Too much of a good thing?

At this point in time my hand is up for the Dão for both reds and whites and Alentejo and Lisboa for reds. Portugal has plenty of gas in its tank! But you as the Canadian consumer must help drive it.

In the August 31st Vintages release there are three Portuguese wines and only one from the Douro.

One from Alentejo is the Herdade Grande Gerações Colheita Seleccionada 2013.

In colour black plum.

On the nose black plum, blackberry, black cherry and blueberry pie.

On the palate moderately tannic. This is a dry red. Black fruits in a very “The Singing Nun Frame”. A bit austere and cloistered. Even the Alicante Bouschet in the blend can’t quite create a buzz.

Can this wine develop? I think not as it seems to have hit a Berlin Wall of stubbornness. In addition some brettanomyces seems to have affected the wine.

This strikes me as a dead wine with no vibrancy.

A blend of Alicante Bouschet, Syrah and Touriga Nacional which has been aged for two months in 4 different types of oak and a further 12 months in the bottle. This wine is about as exciting as “Night of the Living Dead’ . In fact perhaps the vineyard has been so chemicalized and sprayed it has lost its soul.

(Herdade Grande Gerações Colheita Seleccionada 2013, Vinho Regional Alentejano, Hedade Grande, António Manuel Lança, Vidigueira, Portugal,$22.95, LCBO # 379883, 13.5%, 750 mL, Set The Bar Rating 86/100).

Well then back to the Douro with a Dalva Douro Branco 2017 which is a blend of Vioshino, Malvasia Fina and Códega the latter grape being entirely new to me.

It has a pale gold colour.

On the nose caneloupe, pear, apricot and mango.

On the palate loads of schist, peach, granite and slate. For a Douro white it shows a great deal of tropicality! Give me grilled chicken or lamb with mango chutney sauce. Is it the Códega that gives this a bit a scractchy back throat charm of an Encruzado from the limestone soils of the Dão?

(Dalva Douro Branco 2017, DOC Douro, C. Da Silva, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, $12.95, 750 mL, LCBO # 646091, Set The Bar Rating 92/100).

A real charmer! Considering the price a masterpiece.

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