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Tasting notes from The Peninsula de Setúbal

by Tom Cannavan, 11/10

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Setúbal and Palmela.



JP Azeitao Branco 2009
An easy-drinking blend of Moscatel and Fernão Pires, the 2010 was being bottled at my visit and this 2009 was not fabulously fresh, but had vestiges of quaffable fruit and good acidity. 81/100

Catarina 2009
According to Vasco, the first barrel-fermented white wine in Portugal and one of the oldest white wine brands from the 1980s. It is a blend of barrel-fermented Chardonnay with Fernão Pires and Arinto. Very nice nose, with honey and soft almond notes, and crisp, lemony fruit. Nice and fresh, with the crisp character extending the finish. 85/100


JP Aseitao, IGP
This is the top-selling bottled wine in Portugal according to Vasco, mainly through supermarkets. The majority of the blend is Castelão, with some Syrah, Alicante Bouschet and Aragonez. Crisp and fresh, it has a good fruit and nice balance. 85/100.

Meia Pipa 2008
Designed for the UK market, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Castelão is aged for 12 months in small French oak barrels. Very bright, focused fruit, a nice black fruit sheen, nice little hint of violet. The barrel adds a little creamy component. A touch short however, just faing quite rapidly on the finish. 84/100

Tinta da Anfora 2007
Aragonez, Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira, Alfrocheiro and Cabernet Sauvignon are aged 12 months in French and American oak. Very appealing, graphite and lightly cedary nose to crisp black fruit. The fruit is racy and fine, with very supple tannins and a nice spicy finish. Very good value at around £6.00. 86/100.

Quinta do Carmo 2007
Aragonez, Alicante Bouschet, Trincadeira, Touriga Nacional, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah aged in French oak. Lovely depth of blue/black fruit, with a schisty quality. Lots of solid, pure black fruit, with a lovely finish. 88/100.

So Touriga Nacional 2007
So means 'lonely', a play on it being a mono-varietal wine. Seventeen months in new Alliers and American oak. Lovely graphite and cedar over black cherry, it is very bold and has lots of juicy fruit quality. The palate has lovely pure fruit. 89/100.

Palacio da Bacalhoa 2007
A selection of grapes from the Quinta da Bacalhoa, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with 25% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. Aged 15 months in small, new French oak. Lovely balsamic note to this, with very good Bordeaux expression. Lots of smoky notes and a terrific core of fruit. Fine balance, the tight, grippy tannins and a little spice giving lots of structure. Very long. 91/100.

Tinta da Anfora Grande Escolha 2006
Aragonez, Touriga Nacional and Cabernet, aged 20 months in French oak, around 70% new. Lovely lifted nose, with a floral, geranium lift that is very fragrant. Absolutely lovely fruit and black chocolate palate, with a silkiness to this and a smooth, very supple fruit and tannin balance. 91/100.

Quinta da Bacalhôa Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, IGP
14.5%. Aged 11 months in new oak barrels, some Merlot in the blend. Blackcurrant fruit, a little plummy, almost chocolaty quality, quite deep and ripe and clean. The palate is dominated by very grippy tannins at this stage: a big, powerful and extracted style, this does have a juiciness to it, but perhaps needs a little time to soften. 89/100.


Moscatel de Setubal 2004
This wine macerates until after Christmas, then spends a minimum of three years in small oak barrels. Ruby hue to the tawny colour. Lovely sweet strawberry fruit to the toffee and deliciously raisiny charcter. The palate has delightful sweetness too, with a balanced, delicious acidity to offset the sweetness (167g/l) and a tang of marmalade richness. 17.5% alcohol. 89/100.

Bacalhôa, Moscatel de Setúbal Colheita 1999
182.20 g/l residual sugar. 18.5%. Deep golden colour. Intense, almost eau-de-vie like notes that are balsamic and rich, with raisin and walnut, but an intense, lifted aromatic too. On the palate the wine is marmalady and rich, but has immediate concentration and acidity that grips. There's a lovely glycerine richness, the palate rich and full with orange and nutty flavours, but fabulous acidity. 93/100.

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