This is an archive of tasting notes from participants in the UK wine forum, with notes from before 2005








UK Wine Forum - Portugal

Port and Madeira wines are listed separately under Fortified wines.

Portugal

01/04 1999 Quinta Do Vale D.Maria (Douro)
This modestly priced Portuguese red wine is made from 28 different grape varieties planted in field blends. I had drunk all of my 75cl bottles and this was my final magnum. Decanted about 30 minutes in advance, the bright cherry red then led me to the herby and earthy nose with a modest level of complexity. The slick mouthfeel builds power and included bitter cherry, then persisted nicely. Although ready to drink, I suspect this wine will hold and maybe improve over the next couple of years. 86/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

11/03 Redoma 1999, Niepoort
Very volatile, inky, some red fruit. Entry is quite soupy, but has a high acidity finish. Very tannic. Quite butch. Big and tough, but not really balanced or complex. Good, but too weird, man. (David Strange, UK)

08/03 2000 Quinta do Vale Dona Mario Rio Torto Vinho Tinto Douro
14.5% abv (Bibendum). Young dark purple. Very good, concentrated fruity nose - dark fruit, plums and leather, with a touch of aniseed. Very smooth and mouthfilling on the palate. Big and rather concentrated with a richness not just from the high alcohol content, but also from lovely ripe fruit. Soft tannins. A sort of chocolatey chewiness on the finish. Huge length. Should improve with a few years' age. Excellent. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

04/03 2001 Cortes de Cima, Chaminé
The grapes are aragonez (tempranillo) and trincadeira but sees no oak. Quite deep cherry red. The nose is predominantly of black fruits. Good acidity, forward, furry tannins and lovely plummy fruit. I like this even before I see the price of under 10€. (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

04/03 2000 Cortes de Cima
Cepage as the previous wine plus some syrah, touriga nacional - also some barrel ageing. Deeper colour. Dried red and black fruit notes. Soft entry, but a very bright fruit profile with well-done oak, excellent acidity and nice length. Mouth coating tannins. Definitely a good wine. ~15€ (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

04/03 1999 Cortes de Cima, Aragonez
100% tempranillo plus 8 months in a combination of French and American oak. Colour is deeper still. There's a touch of cedar on the nose which does a pretty good job of obscuring faint black fruit. Very smooth, excellent acidity again coupled with strong furry tannin. Very long and very good. ~23€ (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

04/03 2001 Cortes de Cima, Incógnito
100% Syrah. Called incógnito as the local rules don't cater for Syrah as a 'Vinho Regional' grape variety - they find a way around this though! Again a combination of French (25%) and American oak. Medium-plus colour, still with lots of purple. A very earthy syrah nose. Soft entry with very fine tannins and good acidity. Intense fruit and for my palate just a little too much vanilla right now - if this should reduce with time I'd say there's excellent potential. ~23€ (Bill Nanson, Switzerland)

11/02 Quinta do Vale Dona Maria Rio Torte Red 2000 - £9.60 (US$15)
I had drunk a bottle of the 1999 vintage a few weeks ago and I had been impressed, especially at this price level. This wine, made from a blend of native Portuguese grapes, was from the 2000 vintage which was very successful for port as it was a declared vintage. A deep plum red gave way to a nose of tight blackcurrant fruit with oak in evidence. It tasted still quite tight, ripe tannins, earthy and still coming together. I would leave this at least 6 months before tasting again and I think it will provide pleasure in 3-5 years. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

11/02 Quinta do Vale D. Maria 1999 – 14%
A deep cherry red, opaque, bright at the rim. The tarry and red fruits nose, with some alcohol, gives way to a more earthy smell after several swirls of the glass. Soft and ripe, this wine is velvet with barely noticeable tannins beneath the well extracted fruit. Over the course of ½ hour this gave way to a dry port like taste. Well enjoyed by all who tasted, this is a well made wine. 88/100. (Nicos Neocleous, UK)

10/02 Quinta da Pachega Sauvignon Blanc 2000
Little nose. Light, fresh. Unexceptional. Nice and pleasant here, but I can quite imagine that buying a botle and trying it back home would make you wonder why on earth you'd bought it. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

10/02 Encostas de Paerne Alvarinho 1998
Interesting fruity nose with depth. Nice attack - interesting and really quite complex flavours. V clean and still crisp with really quite good length. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

10/02 Muralhas de Moncao 2001, Adega Cooperativo de Moncao
Light & fresh nose. V clean and fresh on attack. Not great power or depths to it, but very pleasant. crisp and fresh. (Andrew Stevenson, UK)

06/01 Niepoort Redoma 1995
I found it very enjoyable. Profound whiff of fruits and that indescribable "this is a quality wine" aroma. Colour reminded me of shiraz. Chewy, savoury mouth - filling palate. Good length of finish with ripe tannins and the wood unobtrusive. A tad of volatile acidity. Like all the best dry red wines this one finishes sweet. 13.5% alcohol by volume. £13.99 Villeneuve. (Daron Fincham, UK)

01/01 Niepoort Redoma 1994, Douro
Displays an exotic, herbal nose with a full, complex palate with high acidity and firm tannins, which combine to make this an intensely savoury wine. The dark, herby fruit is underpinned by a core of well-balanced oak. Superb and quite individual, but perhaps a bit much for those not used to the combination of acidity and tannin found in many Portuguese wines (Jamie Goode, UK)

11/00 Quinta do Côtto Grande Escolha1987
Tasted right after the other Quinta do Côtto, it had a more exuberant and sweeter nose. Also a great balance in mouth, nice body, low but sufficient acidity, something milky. Long hot finish, with firm and slightly aggressive tannins. 17/20 (Luis Antunes - Portugal)

11/00 Sandeman Quinta do Confradeiro 1988
Bad luck. Badly mouldy, its nose still revealed some pepper, small fruits, dust, and high alcohol content. In mouth it was dead, with a lot of mould in the finish, and high acidity. A previous bottle I had some years ago was far more interesting. 9/20 (Luis Antunes - Portugal)

11/00 Casa Ferreirinha, Reserva 1989
Restrained aroma, with a lot of balance. A touch of mould in mouth didn't damage the wine. Lots of tannins in a wine that is still young. 16.5/20 (My notes don't go further than this, but I remember this wine, as most wines from Ferreira I've had -- Barca Velha and Reserva -- as a difficult wine. Full of small nuances, these wines are made for the long haul, and reveal very little of themselves, a real challenge for the taster. Always very balanced, they are serious, austere wines, but never give much, and are not up-front appealing wines. The following day I opened a Reserva 1990 (17/20) and confirmed this opinion, although three years ago, when it was released, this wine had shown as fruity, chocolatey, and wonderful. I guess it lost that character, and will gain other attributes, but this makes one wonder about the timings Casa Ferreirinha chooses for the release of these wines: approx. 8 years after harvest.) (Luis Antunes - Portugal)

11/00 Quinta do Côtto Grande Escolha 1990
My wine of the night. Nose with a toasted flavour, leather, aromatic herbs, some caramel, some chocolate. In mouth a great balance, lacks a little body, low acidity, still astringent, medium long finish, but very harmonious. 17/20 (Luis Antunes - Portugal)

11/00 Duas Quintas Reserva 1991
This started out with some brett, rubber, cabbage, a very penetrating nose. Later it cleaned out a little. In mouth it had a good body, and a surprisingly low acidity. Medium interest. 13/20 (after being revealed, I was really surprised with this and also the other Duas Quintas, that I had in high praise, and showed far better in the past. At the same time, the price tag went from eur10-15 to eur25-30 in more recent releases. Makes you think…) (Luis Antunes - Portugal)

11/00 Duas Quintas Reserva 1992
Nose with caramel, very very sweet and unidimensional. Medium bodied, with gentle elegant tannins, again too sweet in mouth. Long, harmonious finish. 15/20 (Luis Antunes - Portugal)

08/00 Quinta Dos Roques, Dão Reserva 1997
A single-vineyard wine from this superstar producer. Dense, rich and tannic, with a nose of licqourice and caramel. Has a complex sweetly fruited, baked quality to it. This is a fascinating, complex wine with real potential. Very good + (La Vigneronne £13.99) (Jamie Goode, UK)

08/00 Vila Santa, João Portugal Ramos, Alentejo 1998
This is a blend of Aragones, Trincadeira, Cabernet Sauvignon and Alicante Bouschet, given the full new oak treatment. A remarkably dense purple/black colour, this is an intruiguing, inky wine. On the nose there is sweet fruit with a seconary herbal quality. On the palate there is an appetizing blend of blackberries, black cherries, blackcurrant and creamy vanilla. My only criticism is that there is something missing from the midpalate - the overall flavour is a little flat right in the centre of the flavour spectrum. Otherwise, it is an unusual and appealing wine. (Jamie Goode, UK)

02/00 Luis Pato 'Vinhas Velhas' Bairrada 1995
Made from 60 year-old vines, and spends 10 months in new oak barrels. This is an opaque red-black colour, showing a touch of fading around the rim. Subdued, gently leafy nose, slowly opening out but not giving too much away. On the palate this wine is sternly tannic: it is not fruit-driven, but instead shows notes of herbs, tea, chalk and minerals, with the effect of the Portuguese oak apparent. Very structured and dry, but a good food match and a steal at £4 (Majestic), for what is quite a serious, if stern, wine. (Jamie Goode - UK)

02/00 Dom Ferraz Dão 1998
A blend of Touriga Nacional and Jaen grapes. On the heels of the very successfull 1997, this co-op wine is a real disappointment: it is clearly not in the same league as the previous vintage, even though the same oenologist Jose Nevia, is behind it. Muted nose of damp stones. Moderate tannic structure, with some cherry fruit and not much else. Lacks the seductive nose and rich texture of the previous vintage. Could this be down to poor oaking? It is not a bad wine, it is just very ordinary and rather unappealing. (£4.99 Tesco) (Jamie Goode - UK)