PREVIOUS TASTING ARCHIVE – JUNE 2023
Portugal is an extraordinary wine producing country. The UK’s wine shelves hardly do justice to its 300 indigenous grape varieties, dozens of terroirs, or its historic regions and wine styles. In a country that hugs the Atlantic down its length, yet extends inland to the hot and mountainous Spanish border, the fabulous quality and diversity of its wines is there to be discovered.
This tasting focuses on indigenous grape varieties and spans five regions, from the cool and coastal Minho to Trás-os-Montes, the ‘Land Beyond the Mountains’ in the seldom visited inland northeast. We’ll taste wines rooted in history, but made by modern-thinking and ambitious young winemakers who are taking on the world.
Across the river Minho in Rias Baixas, the Albariño variety has taken the world by storm, but it is a celebrated local grape in Portugal too, where it is known as Alvarinho. One of the very best producers is Adega de Monção, and we’ll taste their delicious 2021 vintage. From the Alentejo comes another classic variety: Encruzado, described by Decanter magazine as “an exciting alternative if you can’t afford Chablis.” But perhaps even more astonishing is our superb sparkling wine, made a la Champagne, but from local varieties Gouveio, Rabigato and Viosinho. It comes from high vineyards in the Douro Valley, where 40% of the base wine is fermented in barrel before it spends 36 months on its lees before release.
From Trás-os-montes, our first red blends Touriga Nacional and Trincadeira. It comes from one of the region’s go-ahead young winemakers, Natascha Teixeira. Next up is the Douro, and a table wine from the home of Port’s vineyards. Made from a vines almost 100 years old, it’s a typical ‘field blend’ from ancient vineyards were varieties were co-planted, in this case Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Franca and Tinta Amarela. We explore the Alentejo Alta next, bordering the Dão region and using the same varieties. We’ll taste an Alfrochiero, aged for eight months in new and one-year-old French oak barrels.
How does it work?
The case of six high-quality wines is priced £68, which is a discount of £9.80, with delivery charged according to postcode. Available only to ticket holders for this tasting.
The tasting is split over two consecutive Thursday evenings. We’ll open three bottles per night, but they’ll drink well through the weekend, so nothing will be wasted. And remember: if you cannot join us live for any session, our ‘catch-up’ service allows you to taste along to the recordings at your leisure.
- Tasting tickets and wines are purchased separately
- The ticket price is per household, not per person
- The ticket covers both sessions
- After you purchase your ticket, you’ll see a link to buy the wines
- We’ll make a recording of each session in case you miss one
- You may attend without buying the wines.
- Vértice, Espumante Reserva Brut
- Adega de Monção, Alvarinho 2021
- Terra d’Alter, ENC Encruzado 2020
- Quinta do Sobreiró, Vinho Tinto 2021
- Tecedeiras, Flor das Tinto 2019
- Terra d’Alter Alfrocheiro 2019