Tag Archives: Portugal

Weekly Wine – Vila Regia

19 Jul

Sogrape Vila Regia Douro
2015
Portugal
750ml
12.5% ABV
$8.30 (LCBO)

This wine comes with a cork.
This alone sets it apart – especially for those without a corkscrew.
But I have many that are stashed in and around the house – so this was not a problem nor an obstacle for me. Out popped the corked and the wine started to flow.
This is Portuguese wine – so the first impression is an earthy flavour. It is like biting into a fertile field. There is a melange of flavours – berries, apples, pears even a hint of vanilla.
This is not an idle wine that one drinks and casually forgets it. You take a sip and you instinctively look at the glass if just to see if the wine is looking back at you.
I like this wine even though I know it is not for everyone. Some will comment that the earthiness is a sign of a cheap and unrefined wine. But so what – this is a great hones wine that is a bit different.
I reviewed this wine over two years ago. It was a 2013 vintage. I liked it then and I like it now.

Weekly Wine – Portuguese white

14 Dec

11200loioswLoios White, Alentrjo
2015
Portugal
750ml
12.5% ABV
$9.00 (LCBO)

I wasn’t expecting much from this wine.
The concept of an inexpensive white Portuguese wine somehow does not inspire much oenological confidence.
Yet this wine is fine. It has that distinct Portuguese earthy flavour that I find many wines for Portugal have. It hits you on the initial swig of the wine – and actually sticks in there till the bottle is finished – but you do get used to it because it really does not interfere with the flavour.
Once beyond the earth you realise that are lots of pears here. Many times, wines with a predominantly pearish taste have a mushy and uncomfortable flavour as a whole. Like eating an over-ripe pear. This wine ain’t that – this is a crisp pear, and a rather nice crisp wine.
Granted – this wine will not win too many, if any awards. But well chilled – it is fine for a casual evening with or without food.

Weekly Wine – Red plonk

26 Oct

1026loiosrLoios Red
2015
Portugal
750ml
14% ABV
$9.20 (LCBO)

Perhaps the title is not fair.
But that’s the mood I’m in.
I was looking for some plonk and I have it.
This is not the least expensive Portuguese wine in Ontario and it is quite good in its way. It has a nice presentable label that is classy and funky at the same time.
This wine has that earthy flavour that many Portuguese wines have. This flavour is distinctive and while some people don’t like it, it has grown on me and I don’t mind it.
This wine is spicy and the body is not heavy, although it is not a light either. There is a hint of cherry and some other fruit that I can`t quite make out. The balance of this wine is really nice – the earthiness combined with the fruit and spice works very well.
This wine is inexpensive plonk but it is very good plonk. It is definitely worth a taste.

Weekly Wine – Alianca

27 Jul

AlliancaAlianca Vinho Verde
2014
Portugal
750ml
10% ABV
$9.05 (LCBO)

Here is a nice typical vinho verde wine. It is light, tart, refreshing and quite pleasant. It is very good chilled and even quite passable when the temperature of the wine goes down.
It is fantastic to drink on a hot day – but be wary – you will be able to put this down quickly without realising it has a robust ten percent alcohol content. You can down a bottle of this like you would a beer – but should you…
No.
It is a good repast – perfect for sipping in the shade on a hot day. Great with a light snack of bread, cheese and well cured meat. A proper lunch on the field.
The slight gaseous nature of this wine adds to the taste experience. It blends the tartness with a light crispy sensation on the palate. There is a light fruity citrus ambiance in the taste but it is not overpowering and it, importantly, does not taste artificial.
It is very well balanced.
I love vinho verde wines in the summers. This one is great.

Weekly Wine – Gazela

29 Jun

gazRosGazela Vinho Verde Rose
Year:N/A
Portugal
750ml
9.5% ABV
$9.50 (LCBO)

I’ve had the white wine version of this wine way back when –August, 2013.
This rose is just as nice as the white one.
It is tart.
It is crisp.
It is fruity – but not too much.
What makes this wine better than a spritzer, some wine with club soda usually, is that here the carbonation is very mild. Occasionally referred to as effervescent wine, the slight carbonation is not the result of a shot of carbon dioxide before bottling, but from a secondary fermentation.
This gives the wine a nice round flavour and makes for a very pleasant refreshing drink on a hot day, or evening.
It is a bit dangerous as it does have nine per cent alcohol. On a hot day, it is very conceivable that one can down a bottle or two of this quite easily. Think of two bottles as three pints of beer – in terms of volume. If you are putting down a proper IPA with 6 to 7 per cent alcohol, you will feel it – the heaviness, the hops, the alcohol. This wine has more alcohol yet is light and refreshing.
Dangerous, but good, stuff.
The bottle photographed is empty because I neglected to take a picture before drinking the bottle. It was a hot evening. The wine has a nice pink colour.

Weekly Wine – Foral

9 Sep

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Alianca Foral Douro
2012
Portugal
750ml
13.5% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

I’m sitting here, drinking this wine, writing a review of an album and taking care of some other stuff. About half of the bottle slipped by before I noticed that I was also to write a review of the wine.
It was only then that I decided to concentrate my full attention on the taste and the experience of the wine. I looked at it. Peered into its soul. Had an exploratory sip, and another.
My first absentminded impression of this wine were the best indication of this wine’s quality. It is good. It is unspectacular. But you will pay about 25 bucks for it at a restaurant because it is one of the least expensive wines on the list – and it will be fine.
It will compliment your meat dishes.
It will do OK with the fishes.
The pastas, the burgers, the pizzas – all delicious.
It is a good wine at a reasonable price.
I like that very much.

 

 

Weekly Wine – Grao Vasco

1 Jul

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Grao Vasco Dao
2011
Portugal
750ml
13% ABV
$7.95 (LCBO)

I will never claim to have a palate of a sommelier.
I will never be able to distinguish the various hints of blueberries, chokeberries, apricots or elderberries in wine.
I will not be able to comment on the nose of any wine as I am bereft of the sense of smell.
I will not be able to distinguish vintages of a certain wine growing region with any accuracy.
Yet,..
Blindfolded…
I would be able to tell that this wine is from Portugal.
It has that earthiness (?) that envelops most Portuguese wines.
It is there in the first taste and lasts until the last droplet of wine leaves the taste buds.
I find this wine a bit heavy. A bit earthy, yet it is a good wine for colder evenings – when a light wine will just not do. My problem with this wine is that this distinctive Portugueseness of this wine might affect its acceptance to people that think they know wine. It is what it is – a good solid wine that is a bit unrefined, that contains the character of the soil that it was born out of.
It is rough, wild and satisfying.