Portuguese red wines

I was hoping to spend some time with the Portuguese producers, as a publicity campaign for Portuguese wines was due to start in summer 2005, but unfortunately the PR company couldn't be bothered to reply to me regarding appointments with producers at the London Wine Fair and at the Fair itself, the stands of the IDVP, the Port and Douro Wine Institute were staffed by largely bored assistants, so I merely got to pour myself a number of samples and move on.  There were a couple of exceptions, but only when I got to the Vinho Verde producers did I find the traditional Portuguese welcome and friendliness.

 DFJ Vinhos, Valada, Portugal


A wine producer focussed on supplying a range of competitively priced wines from the Algarve, Alentejo, Estremadura, Ribatejo, Dão, Douro and Beiras.  Wine-maker José Neiva  Correia took me through a selection of his largely unimpressive wines.

2004 Ramada, Estremadura
Light, clean and fresh.  Very ordinary.  2/10

2004 Paxis
Light and very young.  Very much a ‘new' wine.  Not terribly impressive though.  3/10

2000 Patamar, Douro
Round, clean black fruits on the nose.  Decent palate.  OK.  4/10

2004 Segada Vinho Regional Ribatejano
As black as ink.  Good, dark fruit nose.  Excellent palate, laden with black fruits.  Powerful wine, yet only 12%.  Very Good.  7/10

2003 Alta Corte, Estremadura
Intense deep chocolatey fruit on the nose.  Good character.  Fairly full.  Nice depth.  Very Good Indeed.  7+/10

2004 Pedras do Monte, Vinho Regional Terras do Sado (south of Lisbon)
Poor nose.  Very confected.  Dreadful wine.   0/10

2000 Quinta do Infantado, Douro DOC
Very young, dark appearance.  Round, slightly green nose, but with decent fruit.  Very ripe blackcurrant fruit on the palate.  Tastes a bit un-made – a bit juicy.  4+/10

2001 Fuella, Douro DOC Tinto, Cockburn-Smithes
A bright garnet with a murky young core.  Concentrated black plummy fruit on the nose.  Quite light and fresh on the attack.  Seems to be made in a lighter style than many other Douro wines, yet it still has some strong tannic structure.  Very Good Indeed.   8/10

1999 Quinta da Trovisca, Douro DOC
A young darkish purple.  Weedy nose.  Possibly a little corked?  The young assistant on the stand says not.  So it must just be another dreadful wine.  0/10

2001 Romanisco Reserva
Round black fruit on the nose.  Elegant ripe fruit on the palate.  Very good balance.  Very tannic.  Needs time.  Though it's already four years old, so maybe it's unlikely to come round.  4/10

2002 Casa Burmester Reserva
A deep, powerful nose with big fruit.  Ripe with a gentle tannic structure.  Good body.  Very impressive.   7+/10

2001 Quinta de Ventozelo, Douro DOC
100% Touriga Nacional.  Quite an intense nose with lots of extraction.  Very powerful attack.  Very big and very ripe.  Very good, but being a single variety it lack the complexity that some of the blends have.  5/10

2000 Duas Quintas Reserva, Ramos Pinto
A much more restrained nose and more chocolatey.  Rounder and more integrated, but rather unsatisfying, especially on the finish.  5/10

2000 Quinta do Portal Reserva
Very deep, rather impenetrable black fruit nose.  Bit dull on the palate.  Huge tannins.  Unimpressive.     2/10

2001 Quinta de la Rosa Reserva, Douro DOC
Excellent nose – deep rich fruits.  Nice depth of flavours with very good complexity.  Interesting spice on the finish.  Very Good Indeed.  8/10

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Last updated: 15 December 2005