So after a quick bit of bread and a glass of water, I’m on to the Portuguese table wines, as well as a couple of ports. This is the best showing of Portuguese wines I’ve seen in Australia and the quality here is unmistakable. Every wine here was high quality, showed great personality and I’d love to have all of them in my cellar.
Luis Pato Vinha Pan 2005 – A funky nose (in a good way) with cherry, blueberry and raspberry some bay leaf and pine/eucalyptus notes. Medium bodied with excellent balance but intense raspberry flavours, fine grained tannins and a very long finish. I rate this highly.
Luis Pato Vinha Barrosa 2005 – More spicy and less herby than the Pan, also a more meaty. Showing great raspberry fruit characters in the mouth but still very savoury. The balance here is superb, everything is just right.
Alvaro Castro Pepe 2005 -A great nose of red and blue fruits with a bit of funky barnyard, mocha and a touch of clove and cinnamon. Nice and clean in the mouth with tangy raspberry , a bit of smoke and minerals. Quite grippy.
Quinta do Crasto Reserva 2005 – Quite smoky on the nose with some typical rocky, sooty earth notes over the top of some plum, raspberry and blueberry fruit. Fleshy and spicy in the mouth, plenty of fruit here with big soft fruit tannins.
Quinta do Vallado Touriga Nacional 2005 – Perfumed nose of violets and christmas cake spices, a touch of mint for good measure over some plums, blueberries and cherries. Tannins are quite amazing. Very interesting wine.
Valle D. Maria Douro 2005 – This is a real step up, and that’s saying something in this line up. Mint, clove and quality small goods on the nose with some lovely fruit. Good acid level, some fleshy tannins giving plenty of texture and interest. Quite meaty and juicy. Goes on forever. Excellent stuff.
Meandro de Meao 2005 – Beautiful nose of sweet fruit: cherry, plum and currents with xmas cakes spice. Complex and inviting in the mouth with more of that great fruit and spice with some added liquorice and earthy/mineraly rocks notes.
Meao Douro 2005 – The big daddy of the Portuguese wines at this tasting. The nose is intense and complex: menthol, clove, soot, brambly undergrowth, plum, cherry, blueberry. The palate is All class too, intense and complex but open business. Quality tannins and super balance. Looks like it will live for ever too.
Quinta do Valle D. Maria LBV 2003 - Excellent QPR here, subtle raisin and prune with clove and rosella jam. Very smooth and balanced, good integration of spirit and fruit.
Quinta do Valle D. Maria VP 2005 – This makes those big blockbuster Aussie table wines look even more porty. Elegant and so highly drinkable. The nose offers up ripe fruit (my notes say pomegranate and rosella, but not sure on those) with subtle clove and other spices. Its quite minerally too. Smooth as a baby’s….
Niepoort VP 2005 – This is a step up in complexity and depth from the last one. Intensely flavoured and structured. Its a bit more aggressive in structure, but shows really well right now. One to put in the cellar by the case if you’re a port fan.