Portugal’s undervalued dry red wines – Amazing values!

Perhaps the best known export from Portugal, the sweet red dessert wines of the Douro Valley are world renowned.

Every wine lover has encountered Port. Here in North America, however, Portugese dry red wines are seriously undervalued and usually offer amazing quality at very affordable prices.

There are more than 250 indigenous Iberian grape varieties, many shared with Spain.  Led by the sturdy Touriga Nacional, Castelão, Touriga Franca and Baga. When added to the blends Tinta Roriz – aka Aragonês – known as Tempranillo in Spain and Trincadeira – aka Tinta Amarela – add supple, bright strawberry and raspberry notes.

The Castelão grape is known in the Setúbal Peninsula region as “Periquita”, a name that originated from the vineyard property Cova da Periquita, located in Azeitão, where winemaker José Maria da Fonseca first planted the varietal back in 1830.

José Maria da Fonseca Perequita Azeitão Setubal (25262) $8.60 was also the first Portugese wine to be bottled for commercial sale.  A blend of 46 per cent Castelão, 40 per cent Trincadeira and 14 per cent Aragones, it  is a dry red aged 6 months new and used French and American oak with dark and dusty aromas and flavours of cherries, blackberries, plum and blackcurrant.

The Douro is a Portuguese wine region centered on the Douro River in the Trás-os-Montes Alto Douro region located upstream from Porto, sheltered by mountain ranges from coastal influence. Entirely owned by the Roquette family since 1989, Esporão is a story about family told every day by a team of people who work together for a common good.

A blend of Castelão, Moreto and Trincadeira, Alandra Esporão Tinto (254516) $10.35 opens with a aromas of black cherry, blueberry, raspberry and just a hint of anise. A touch on the rustic side, this is a very traditional Portugese red, well suited to meat and tomato-based dishes.

Bacalhôa Vinhos de Portugal, S.A. takes pride in its range of wines, dimension and autonomy in production, fed by a constant bet on innovation and on the recruitment of an experienced team. We work with determination and passion to serve an international clientele in expansion, taking Portugal to the World – one wine glass at a time.

Bacalhôa JP Azeitao Setúbal (292979) $12.00 blends 47 per cent Castelão, 40 per cent Aragonez and 13 per cent  Syrah into a Vibrant color, dominantly fruity aromas with nuances specifically of wild berries, strawberries and wild cherries. On the palate the flavors are identical, integrated with a soft tannic structure.

Dão DOC is home to numerous indigenous grapes, with the majority of wine production being made from Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Jaen, Alfrocheiro Preto and Encruzado. 80 per cent of the region’s production is in red wines, with DOC regulations stipulating that at least 20 per cent of the production must be from Touriga Nacional.

In Spain and Portugal ‘Quinta’ means ‘farm’ or estate’.  Many wineries in both countries are called ‘Quintas’.  Since 1989, Quinta de Cabriz has been developing the wines of the Dão region. Primarily Touriga Nacional, Cabriz Colheita Seleccionada Dão (623918) $14.25 is a deep and sturdy red, underpinned by notes of Cumin and Coriander with dark plum and dried raspberry flavors.

Bairrada is a Portuguese wine region located in the Beira province located close to the Atlantic where ocean currents have a moderating effect on the climate. The region is bordered to the north by Lafões and to the east by the Dão and is known for its deep colored tannic red wines that often have green pepper and blackcurrant flavors adding complexity

Quinta do Encontro Bairrada (576975) $15.20 is actually half Merlot and half Baga. Intense ruby color with reddish-brown. mixed jam aroma of red fruits, cocoa products, spices and light roasted notes. It seduces with a soft taste, intriguing structure and an elegant and well balanced peppery finish.

As the prices creep closer to $20, Portugese red wines become remarkably rich and seriously earthy. Niepoort Douro Dialogo Tinto (411488) $17.75 is produced from vineyards located in the Cima Corgo sub-region of the Douro and incorporates Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Amarela and Tinta Barroca.  Dusky blue and black berry fruit aromas and flavours predominate over a spicy twist of earthy white and black pepper in this gem!


Reach WineWise by emailing douglas_sloan@yahoo.com.

Just Posted

SRD sets it budget for next five years, taxes to increase for most

Check out the breakdown of where taxes will be increasing, and by how much

Inuit artist visits Campbell River

Annie Aculiak learned stitching from her mother

Campbell River Rotary hands out its highest honour

Paul Harris Fellows awarded to those who are trying to make the world a better place

Campbell River School Board asking for better implementation of internet safety teachings

Trustee John Kerr is worried about students safely using social media. He… Continue reading

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

A frustrated Trump lashes out at special counsel Mueller

In a series of weekend tweets naming Mueller for the first time, Trump criticized the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election

B.C. teachers’ union to ask for higher salaries to help with shortages

B.C. starting teacher salaries are $10,000 to $15,000 lower than Ontario or Alberta says B.C. Teachers’ Federation president.

Few political staffers on Parliament Hill report sexual misconduct: survey

Sixty-five of the 266 survey respondents said they had personally experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment.

Experimental pot lab sprouting cannabis-infused drinks, new edibles

Nestled inside Canopy Growth Corp.’s sprawling marijuana facility outside Ottawa is a special laboratory

Federal committee to examine human trafficking in Canada

The Commons committee plans on holding hearings in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Most Read