PREVIOUS TASTINGS ARCHIVE – SEPTEMBER 2020
Port and Madeira, two fortified wines that for many people define this extraordinary wine producing country. And yet these wines are just a tiny proportion of what is produced throughout this long country that hugs the Atlantic, with its fabulous armory of 300 indigenous grape varieties and dozens of historic regions and wine styles.
Former Portuguese Wine Journalist of the Year, Tom will lead this two-part exploration of a truly fascinating wine country, from the crisp, refreshing whites of the far north, just across the border from Spain’s Rias Baixas, through to the powerful reds of the Dão, Douro and Alentejo. Six wines have been sourced from independent specialist Portuguese merchant, The Wineline, and will cost £70 delivered to UK mainland postcodes.
Did you know that in the 1950s in France, the 20 most planted grapes accounted for 50% of all vineyards. Today, the top 20 varieties account for 91% of all French vineyards, and all French wines. There’s no doubt that with the dominance of certain ‘global’ varieties, diversity is being lost across the world. That is, except in Portugal.
The indigenous varieties are a massive strength for Portugal, and each region boasts its specialities. We’ll taste an unusual rosé Vinho Verde made from Vinhão, a seldom-seen Douro Verde white made from Avesso, and another fascinating crisp white from the heat of the Douro Valley, this one blending Viosinho, Codega de Larinho, Malvasia and Rabigato – a mouthful in more ways than one! Moving on to our reds, the traditional Jaen, Touriga Nacional and Rufete is the blend for our wine from Dão, and please note this 2008 wine is a rare chance to taste a beautifully mature example. Another trio of local heroes, Aragonês, Trincadeira and Alicante Bouschet is our Alentejo blend. Finally, from the rarely seen Tras-os-montes – the land beyond the mountains – an ‘international’ variety finally appears in the shape of Cabernet Sauvignon, but it’s the minor player in a blend with traditional Touriga Nacional and Trincadeira.
Right: Tom is awarded Wine Journalist of the Year by the Portuguese wine industry, the award presented by the Portuguese Ambassador, Antonio Santana Carlos, at the Portuguese Embassy in London.
Join Tom in this fascinating journey through the spectacular vineyards of Portugal, as he explains the culture, history and geography that makes this such a special wine country, makes each area so distinctive, and helps explain why the wines are such great value and so appealing. There will be plenty of time for discussion and questions too.
Adega ponte de Lima, Vinho Verde Rosé 2018. £9.90
Covela, Avesso Douro Verde 2018.£12.90
Boango, Douro Branco 2017. £12.00
Visconde da Borba, Alentejo Tinto 2018. £9.90
Sobreiro de Cima, Tras-os-montes 2018. £10.90
Torre de Tavares, Dão Tinto 2008. £17.00