Wine & Friends

...experiences, tastings and stories between friends with the same passion...

segunda-feira, 21 de março de 2011

quarta-feira, 18 de fevereiro de 2009

Awards of Revista de vinhos 2008

Last friday (Feb. 13th) was the most famous wine dinner of Portugal. We can find the best winemakers, producers... all persons with some connection with the wine industry. The most important wine magazine here reveals the awards of the Portuguese wine world. It's a very interesting dinner; we can talk and exchange some ideas with other professionals, taste a lot of good wines (some will be released to the market in 2008) and we can "see the bests" of 2008. The most important award is the best winemaker, won by Rui Reguinga, probably for his career, because this was not his best year as a winemaker, in my opinion. The best company was Herdade do Esporão... our neighbours and friends. I think these were the most important awards. At the dinner some of the best wine I tasted were: Valle Pradinhos White 2007, Redoma White Reserva 2007, Kompassus Private Collection Bairrada Red 2005 , Pintas Character Red 2006, Quinta Sant'Ana Sauvignon 2008, Bacalhoa Moscatel Roxo 1998,....
I'm already waiting for next year...

sábado, 31 de janeiro de 2009

First harvest in Alentejo

After a several months very busy, i decide make a post of my first harvest in Alentejo. Was a very short vintage, less then 2 months. The weather was not very hot, very good for a slow maturation of the grapes. In my opinion a excelent year for red wines. The syrah variety gave to us a complex wines, with a lot of fruit in the nose, with a good balance in the mouth, with good tanins, good struture, concentration.... we have a lot of expetations. Touriga Nacional was very good to. Less floral but very good fruit mixed with violets, very strong in the mouth, need some time to get more round. I think we can make very good 2008 wines. In the future i hope we are aloud to make better white wines, with more experience we can make a reserve one.


quinta-feira, 4 de setembro de 2008

C'mon guys... Save Miguel!

segunda-feira, 26 de maio de 2008

Tasting Montes Cabernet/ Carmenére Limited selection 2003

After a very interesting experience in Chile, for Harvest time, I am now finally back at home!

I promised to post some of the wines I tasted there but to be honest it was a very busy time, specially because of the huge amount of grapes processed ( something like 8-9 million kgs….) and so time to post wasn´t that much…

Well…but now I´m back and I brought some bottles with me (declared at the airport, of course….) and so I´ll try to redime myself and post as much as I can! (I hope my liver can hold on…..)

So…to start I opened a bottle of this wine at Almeida´s place ( it is always such a nice time that we spend there usually with his family and specially with his father that knows a lot of the wine business and always adds something interesting to the conversation) and if for me it wasn´t a surprise because I´ve tasted it in Chile, I think for my friends it was a nice one!

Made with 70% cabernet and 30% Carmenére ( a almost “dead” French grape variety that is now one of Chile´s most appreciated ones), was a excellent nose, with a lot of freshness, green peppers, spicy (a bit look-a-like Touriga Nacional I think) and in the mouth shows very round tannins, good attack , balanced, nice acidity, but being a “easy to drink” wine I think its´time to drink it showing now all his potencial.

Has a good mouthfeel with a spicy finale. A really nice wine to drink and with a very good QPR.

Drink it now. 88 points.

Tasting - Vale da Corça 2001

I told you I would be back... :)

One of the wines of the night... the 7th ou 8th I can't remember (and I wasn't drunk... honestly) was Vale da Corça 2001... the Brunheda top quality wine...

Vale da Corça is a family owned company (owned by the Mesquita family) and it's one of the Douro names that we mostly know from the Douro wines much more then for the Ports... I'm not sure but I think that they don´t even bottle Ports under this name (am I right?)... more less the same thing happens with names like Quinta do Crasto, Quinta do Vale Meao, Quinta do Portal among others...

This is their top quality wine... the grapes come from old, south face vineyards planted mostly with Touriga Nacional, Tinto Cão and also Sousao... 6000 bottles were produced! I had 2... the first time I tasted it was a couple of months ago, with my father... and the second was last Friday with friends... Previous point... the first bottle showed much better than the second one... The second previous point... the wine we had Friday should/had to be decanted like the first bottle I had ... in the beggining it showed a mettalic aftertaste that, after a hour in the glass it started to disappear.... :) Dark red colour starting to show the evolution with some brown hints on the rim. Attractive sweet herby, caramelly aroma to the slightly porty style. Good concentration and interesting ripe herby notes. Good acidity, mouth volume, and domesticated tannins make it very pleasent drinking. Still it wasn´t a consensual wine... and imagine the discussion if we knew how much it is afford...something like 90€ a bottle... didn't pay for it... and so.... not knowing the price I would say that for the 2 bottles I had (one better the other less good) it worth... 89 Points... no comments on the price... really! Cheers!

Tasting - Soalheiro Alvarinho 1ª Vinhas 2006

Long time no see... :) I have been away for almost 3 months... work and some other stuff didn't allow me to post in this long... long period.... tasted some good things thow!

Last Friday the four of us (founders of this sharing space) joined Almeida's family, my girlfriend and a couple (Joana and Pedro) of friends of us and had a great dinner! Celebrating Almeida´s weekend in the north and mostly celebrating Ricardo being back from Chile (finally.... wellcome back my friend...) and tasted 8 (I think) different wines... Hope we can distribute from the 4 of us the different posts... at least some! I'm sure everyone remembers all the wines... (or maybe not!)

First one to be tasted was a Vinho Verde from Melgaço made of Alvarinho, a grape variety that I really appreciate, specially when coming from this area where it shows its best potential. It's a «joint venture» of Dirk Niepoort (known from his Douro and Port Wines) and Luis Cerdeira from Soalheiro! The Cerdeira family have been producing wines since the beginning of the 80's and most of their wines show a huge aging potential... It's said that Dirk and Luis were tasting all the grapes from Soalheiro and the oldest vine (1 ha with more than 25 years old) showed higher quality. So they decided to separate those grapes and fermented them the slower they could (it took 4 months) and at the lowest temperature... fermentation occured in stainless steel and aging too on the lees. The result is a citric coloured wine showing mineral, smoky (although the wine is not aged in the wood) notes and a very elegant aroma. In the mouth it has a big volume, very good citric acidity, orange peel and lime notes. Long aftertaste. It's a very very very good Alvarinho, one of those that I believe that can last for a long period (around 10 years old).... good thing for me... I have another 4 bottles still...:) 3000 were produced... I don´t know the price... can someone help??? 90 Points

PS - We should have a better picture... but they are on Almeida's camera... so I stole this from the Internet...

quarta-feira, 30 de abril de 2008

Tasting – Herdade dos Grous, Alentejo White 2007

To join a grilled wild sea bass, fished in the morning by a friend, I picked a white from the Alentejo. This region is like Portugal’s “new world”, with large states and modern wineries. The Herdade dos Grous 2007 is made from the grape varieties Arinto, Roupeiro and Antão Vaz. It presents a yellow citric colour leaving tiny bubbles on the glass. Very aromatic. Lemon, peach, pineapple and a bit of sweetness which I don’t dislike. Plenty of freshness on the palate, with citric components but without the exuberance of the nose. Is enjoying its youth. One proof that is possible to make fresh whites in the “hot” Alentejo. €7, 85 pts

sábado, 5 de abril de 2008

Tasting - Charme, Douro Red 2005

I had a big expectation with this wine. With a ruby colour, the nose shows a oak aroma at first impact. Passing a few minutes the wine shows a intense matured fruit (blackberrys, cherrys) . On palate i felt, another time, the balance betwen the oak flavours and the fruit mature. I found the right struture with soft tanins. Had a medium/long finnish. The wine didn't show a lot of concentraction ( as a normal douro wine), but, like the name says, is very elegant. A very good wine in a different style. 75€, 94 pts

P.S. The picture is from Charme ´04... :)

sábado, 29 de março de 2008

Tasting – Finca Flichman Misterio, Shiraz, Mendoza Red 2006

Finca Flichman from Argentina is one of the international brands of Sogrape, the biggest Portuguese wine group well known for producing the Mateus Rosé, which recently acquired Framingham, in New Zealand and Chateau los Boldos, in Chile.
I wasn’t expecting much for this bottle of Shiraz, but still I’m a bit disappointed. Quite simple nose, reductive aromas of rubber overlaying with earthy elements. Slight presence of fruit, which I’m always expecting from a new world wine. Very tight mouth feel, some lack of freshness and an unpleasant final full of bitterness. Well, not much to say about this rustic wine, just not a big “mistery” to find out… €6, 70 pts

sexta-feira, 7 de março de 2008

Busy times....

My friends, its been quite a busy time for me last month! to be honest, I havent´t been tasting that much (apart from my work, where tasting is a part of the day...) due to the fact that I´m leaving for Chile for 2008 harvest and a lot of things to do before departure!
Well.... I will try to make up by posting some Chilean wines that for sure I will taste....looking forward to do it!

terça-feira, 4 de março de 2008

Tasting- João Portugal Ramos, Syrah, Alentejo Red 2003

From one of the best portuguese winemakers, Joao Portugal Ramos, is a wine with a dark and deep colour. Intense and concentrated nose, with a lot of mature black fruit, very tipical from a good syrah. In the mouth the wine is full bodied with complexity and black fruit very concentrated, the oak flavours has a good balance, a long finish. It's a very good wine. 17 €. 92 pts

Tasting- ASF, Palmela D.O.C. Red 2005

This winehouse is situated in peninsula de Setubal wine region, south of Lisbon. The winemaker used Cabernet Sauvignon and Castelão to make the blend. The wine had a lagar/inox vat fermentation with a 6 months aging in american oak barrels and another 6 months aging in bottle. The colour is dark and the nose shows a good complexity of aromas. A intense red fruit, typical from Castelão, some aromas from cabernet very mature and some barrel notes. On the palate the wine had fruit flavours with a strong mark of mature cabernet. The oak has a good balance in the wine. The finish is medium. The wine has a good relation Quality/Price. 5 €. 88 pts

segunda-feira, 18 de fevereiro de 2008

Tasting- Quinta da Alorna Chardonnay Reserva 2004, Ribatejo White

Last thursday was saint valentine´s day and I decided to make a surprise dinner to my wife. Perch on fire, with some vegetables, and to drink Quinta da Alorna Reserva 2004 Chardonnay. I already tasted this wine, two years ago, and in that time I had the idea that it was a good wine but missing something to be a outstanding one. The colour is yellow, with a exotic nose (mango and pineapple) very intense. On the palate we have sweet fruit with vanilla well balanced. Not a very long finish. Probably missing some acidity. I´m surprised with the wine shape passing 3 years from the bottling date. 5€. 88Pts

terça-feira, 12 de fevereiro de 2008

Tasting - Esporão, Reserva Branco 2006

To celebrate a very special day for me and my girlfriend nothing better than a special dinner for 2... in Santa Maria de Lamas there´s a very interesting restaurant called «Aquarela» with a very nice selection of Portuguese and Italian food and a not so very interesting selection of Portuguese and Italian wines to match :) it still (and for sure) deserves a visit.... We choose Esporão Reserva Branco 2006 to celebrate and we haven't regret the 14.0 € we paid for it... Made with the typical Alentejo white grape, Antao Vaz and blended with Arinto and Roupeiro with an avarage age of 15 years old, it aged for 6 months in american oak barrels following a stainless steel fermentation... The colour is gold, light gold... in the nose shows a rich tropical fruit character enhancing mostly pinnapple but also passionfruit. Vannilla and some mineral hints were noticed too.... in the mouth shows balance, good acidity, good wood integration and freshness! Long and pleasent finnish...
Nice way to celebrate... next year we'll be back.... for the wine, food, restaurant - 88 Points

segunda-feira, 11 de fevereiro de 2008

Tasting- Pesquera Reserve 2003, Ribera Del Duero red wine

Last saturday I had a dinner in my brother´s house. To join the duck rice I choosed a Pesquera reserva 2003. The wine has a ruby colour. The nose shows red fruit, strawberrys, flowers and a good toast from the oak aging. On the palate the wine is very ellegant. Good acidity, fruit, good structure and good vanilla ending. A very good balanced wine. Has a long finish. In the end, I had a surprise, my brother showing interest in wine tasting. With the scale we posted he said "I give 85-89 points. It's a very good wine". 30€. 91 pts

quarta-feira, 6 de fevereiro de 2008

Tasting – Quinta do Côa, Douro White 2006

Yesterday was the Carnaval and I took this day to go to the Douro Superior for pruning some vines there, spring is coming fast. After a hard working morning, lunch and time to choose the wine…
The Quinta de Côa belongs to CARM, a wine company which is also known for producing top quality olive oils. Their vineyards are located around the village of Almendra, within the finest area of the Douro Superior. This 06 white is made from the grape varieties, Côdega de Larinho, Rabigato and Gouveio and aged in new French oak barrels.
Light straw yellow colour. Mineral nose, lemon, tropical with hints of pineapple and passion fruit. Attractive mouth feel, citrus, minerality again, freshness, lots of fruit combined with toasty flavours from new oak. Nice acidity with medium finish. Not profound but nice enough and a versatile food wine.
I really liked it, so much so that I drank the full bottle by myself.
Unfortunately, I’ll not buy this wine again. It’s bottled with synthetic corks. I’m Portuguese and proudly protect what is ours. A bottle of wine has to be bottled with corks. Simple as that! For me, Wine is culture, tradition and identity.
Bottom line, no pruning in the afternoon and three hours sleeping before return back to Porto with legal alcohol limit to drive… €8, 90 pts

sábado, 2 de fevereiro de 2008

100 point rating system

It's not our aim to rate wines and to say this is better than that one, but a tasting note without rating is like a flat wine. Thus, this is the 100 point rating system that we follow:
  • 99-100 Points: A jaw-dropping, heart-stopping effort—not just everything you’d expect, but MORE than you could reasonably expect from a wine.
  • 96-98 Points: Overwhelming. A rare level of greatness for wines that knock your socks off with their massiveness or make your hair stand on end with their elegance.
  • 92-95 Points: Rocking wines that achieve something special within what they try to be. Occasionally wines in this range are a bit one-dimensional, but that one dimension will blow you away.
  • 90-91 Points: High quality wines that make you go back to the glass looking for (and usually finding) something more. Wines that are not just enjoyable but pique one’s curiosity.
  • 85-89 Points: Above average wines that perhaps lack that little something extra that makes them worthy of a 90-point score. Satisfactory. Drinkable and unobjectionable.
  • 80-84 Points: Something about the wine just rubs you the wrong way, but it has some redeeming features.
  • 70-79 Points: Very average wines capable of quenching thirst but little else. Straightforward and unremarkable.
  • 60-69 Points: Flawed wines to avoid at all costs. Practically undrinkable.
  • 50-59 Points: So poor that the 60-69 range is insufficient to describe their inadequacy. Undrinkable.

quarta-feira, 30 de janeiro de 2008

Tasting - Muxagat, Douro Branco 2004

Well...Saturday night and time to go out for dinner with some friends!
Once again, a typical Portuguese dish...Codfish. :)
For me, Codfish can be appreciated both with red and white wine, so this time we decided to taste a white wine called Muxagat 2004.
This wine, Douro Superior, made with rabigato, codêga and viosinho, 13% vol, with a nice yellow-straw, golden colour, excelent nose, very aromatic with lemon, honey, also some smoked notes and with a elegant cask background also. Once on the mouth, very fresh, balanced, nice acidity and again elegant and well integrated wood, showing a nice barrel work.
With a persistent and equilibrated finale, makes a very nice set!
Drink now or wait a while. 84 pts.

segunda-feira, 21 de janeiro de 2008

Tasting - Quinta da Castaínça, Grande Escolha Douro Red 2003

It's a blend wine, Touriga Nacional 60%, Touriga Franca 30% and Sousão 10%, fermented in Lagar and aged 12 months in French oak. With dark colour, this wine shows a intense floral aroma, very typical from Touriga, with some red fruit. In the mouth has a light fruit and a intense mark from oak. Not a well balanced wine and missing some concentration/structure typical from a reserve wine. Medium finish. € 14. 78 pts

domingo, 20 de janeiro de 2008

Tasting – Meandro, Douro Red 2005

This wine, the second brand of the famous Quinta do Vale Meão in the Douro Superior, reached the 64th on the 2007’s top 100 Wine Spectator with 91 pts. Made from 5 grape varieties, 40% Tinta Roriz, 25% Touriga Nacional, 25% Touriga Franca, 5% Tinta Barroca & 5% Tinta Amarela. The crush was done in lagar and the fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Aged in oak barrels of 2 and 3 years until the bottling in June 2007.
Dark and concentrated colour. Very lovely nose, floral, rosemary, black berries, resin with some hints of smoke and tobacco. Shows all of its youth on the palate, full bodied, powerful flavours of cassis, mint and ripe fruit. The tannins still aggressive, but the good acidity with a pleasing structure backup, gives it a promising future. Medium/Long finish with layers of dark chocolate and spice. Superb QPR! I’ll buy some more of these for sure. €10, 90 pts

quinta-feira, 10 de janeiro de 2008

Tasting – Domaine des Epinaudières, Coteaux du Layon 2002

Yesterday, to combine with one of my favourite dishes, cod fish with potatoes, I was looking for a white wine. As I don’t have much white wine at the cellar, I caught the first that appeared. When dropped it in the glass, said to myself... “damn it’s gone! It showed a golden colour… Tasted, “humm… but…this is a sweet wine!!!” Then, I picked the lap top and googled “Coteaux du Layon”…I didn’t know that “Coteaux du Layon” is an appellation of the Loire Valley, known for producing sweet wine, kind Sauternes but using 100% grapes from Chenin Blanc. Not very expressive on the nose, freshness, orange, peach with a slight sensation of vanilla. Much more complex and intense mouth feel, very sweet, tropical, apricot, honey, and caramel with elegance. Interesting wine! Well... an unexpected surprise but not good with cod fish:) My father told me later that this wine was offered by the owner, when he visited Portugal to see how corks are made...91 pts

Tasting – Churchill’s, Douro Red 2000

Tonight, with a home-made chicken in the hoven, I decided to taste one of Churchill Graham´s first table red wine, the Churchill´s 2000. Made from Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional, with 12% of alcohol content.
This wine said hello to me showing a clean colour with some brown shades, a little bit oxidated and not very deep but slowly sliding down through the side of the glass...
On the nose, mineral notes, also some oak and well rippen fruit making a elegant and complex aroma even if not too expressive. On the mouth I could find a surprising freshness, probably due to the good acidity and firm tanins, but well matured with a good atack and finishing with some bitterness without being unpleasant. A nice wine to drink, but not one of those to save for a special ocasion. Drink it now. 75 pts

quarta-feira, 9 de janeiro de 2008

Tasting - Alvarinho Deu la Deu 2006

Tasted this wine with my parents... it's always a nice experience to taste with them... my father, working in the Port wine blending for 45 years has a lot to teach... and my mother, who insists knowing nothing about wines, has always something funny to say :) This is one of my favourite Alvarinho... a variety that nowadays is spread all over Portugal but that used to exclusive of a sub-region of the Vinho Verde wine region called Monçao & Melgaço. And that's where this Deu la Deu is made. 2006 harvest... showing very well right now but I must get a couple of bottles to save and retaste in a few years from now... It has a good yellow citric colour with some gold hints. Fantastic the intensity in the nose where we find citric fruis, lime and apple mostly, some tropical aromas (passion fruit, pear), balanced with a sublime vegetal and floral character... The mouth shows us a very well structured wine but not heavy... it has a delicious acidity making it fresh, really fresh. It ends with some hints of minerality a lot of fruit. The aftertaste is pleasent being not to long.... Another very good sample of this kind of wines... very good with codfish... and in a cold, rainy, winter night... Isn't that a surprise? 86 Points

segunda-feira, 7 de janeiro de 2008

Tasting - Redoma, Reserva Douro White 2005

Made by Niepoort, a house with good quality in Douro and Port wines, from very old vineyards, fermented and aged in french oaks, it's a wine with a light gold colour. The nose is intense, with mineral notes and well matured fruit. The palate is complete: good acidity, fruit, mineral notes and a strong cream flavour. Has a very long finish. Excellent wine. €35, 95 Pts

quarta-feira, 2 de janeiro de 2008

Tasting – Chateau du Coy, Sauternes 2002

To start the year in style, beside a heavy headache, I decided to open a bottle of Sauternes, bought in Bordeaux in 2006, to join a little piece of fois gras. I really enjoy this kind of wines and like some Ports, I think they’re more than just simple “dessert wines”. The 2002’s vintage was not one of the best of Sauternes and the Chateau du Coy is not one of the top labels in the region, however it gave me a great pleasure to drink it. Made from 80% Sémillon, 10% Muscadelle and 10% Sauvignon Blanc aged 18 months in oak. Yellow golden colour, very nice nose, loads of honey, lemon peel, pineapple, mango, caramel. Less complexity on the palate but very smooth. Medium bodied, viscous, banana and mango again. Short/medium finish. Nice stuff for the price range. Happy 2008! €18, 88 pts

Reveillon 2007/2008

I don't think anyone can make a decent evaluation in a night like the one we had last Monday (until Tuesday morning almost) in Quinta do Rio. A very nice place with something like 150 persons willing to welcome the New Year with fun, nice music, good environment... About the wines there was nothing really special but the Planalto Reserva 2005 was very well with the codfish. However, the biggest surprise for me was the Esteva 2003 (i'm not a particular found of this Douro famouse wine) witch showed very very well... and that was a surprise for me...
They were the beginning of a tremendous party.... but well... Ballantine's 12Y and JB 15Y don't allow me to publish anything more about the night.... the thing that I know is that I really enjoyed it :)
Have a good 2008.... to the Quinta do Rio reveillon... 100 Points :)

Quinta da Alorna Colheita Tardia 2001

This was the last wine served on a very nice dinner, well, sort of dinner, the 4 of us had last Sunday... and it was general the idea of disapointment...
Made with Fernao Pires white grapes, a portuguese typical variety and aged for 12 months in french oak barrels. It showed nice gold colour. The aroma was quite simple and sweet, with lack of fruit and excess of wood. In the mouth I felt it a bit plane with lack of freshness and acidity... it looks much more a usual sweet wine than a late harvest. Maybe the right time has already gone...
Portuguese late harvest aren't still very usual and this example shows that we have a long way to make if we want to do them as the best do.... 67 pts

segunda-feira, 31 de dezembro de 2007

Tasting - Scala Coeli. Alentejo Red 2005

This wine is a new creation of Fundação Eugénio de Almeida.
Made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, aged 19 months in new french oak barrels.
With a dark colour, the wine shows a mix of red fruits and floral aromas (this last one, very tipical from Cabernet).
In the mouth, starts with a very strong beginning, showing a good balance between fruit and oak. At the end, some green notes with not a very long finish.
Probably this wine deserves a new taste in next 2 years. €30, 86 pts

domingo, 30 de dezembro de 2007

Tasting - René Barbier Cabernet Sauvignon Cosecha 1996

I must confess it was a nice surprise because I wasn´t expecting that much from this wine…
With almost 12 years of age, this Spanish Cabernet Sauvignon produced by René Barbier, presented a almost brown colour, oxidated and clean.
On the beginning it was closed on the nose but after a few minutes it lost all the shyness and showed the fruit, very matured with also some spicy notes.
Once on the mouth, it was balanced and round showing elegancy and also fine tanins but maybe lacking a longer end.
Even so, a very nice wine, elegant and smooth, making a nice final set. 83 pts

Tasting – Gouvyas Vinhas Velhas, Douro Red 2001

This wine done by Bago de Touriga, a “join-venture” between Luís Soares Duarte and João Roseira, is made from old vineyards in the Douro Superior. The fermentation occurred in lagar and the malolatic in tanks. The wine aged 21 months in new french oak and were produced 3500 bottles without filtration.
Intense colour, nice and concentrated chemical and ripe fruit aromas, mushrooms and blackberries. Good mouth feel, strong fruit well balanced with oak, dark plums, strawberry jam, medium finish. Ready to drink. €30, 90 pts

sábado, 29 de dezembro de 2007


The aim of this blog is to share experiences, tastings and stories between friends with the same passion: Wine. This blog intends to be also a wine space where everybody is welcome to comment. In Vino Veritas!...