This past weekend I happened to stop into Wine Society to pick up a couple bottles. Wine Society has a nice selection and offers labels that are not readily available anywhere in the area. While meandering around the racks, looking for a Spanish wine, I spotted a bottle of Portuguese wine. At $12 a bottle I figured it was worth a try.
The bottle selected was from Douro, a world famous wine region, but not for the typical wine that most are accustomed. Douro is the home of Port, which is a heavily aged and fortified wine. For many years, Port dominated the grape demand in this region (mainly Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Barroca and Tempranillo, known in Portugal as Tinta Roriz). This left only leftover grapes for the unfortified wines. Times and tastes have changed. With the recent influx of capital, many Port producing wineries have given unfortified wines a more prominent place in their portfolios. This move has proved beneficial, as Portuguese wines are an ever improving value offering in foreign markets.
Picking a bottle at random can be a rewarding or awful experience. So where does this experience fall?
2007, Castello D’Alba Colheita, Red Blend, Douro, Portugal - $12
The Colheita was a medium-full bodied wine that exhibited a very clean, almost shimmering, ruby red complexion. The aroma was of earthy dark berries with an undertone of oak. The palate was fresh and lively with plum and cherries dominating with very good acidity. The wine possessed very pleasant warmth towards the end.
It is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca. There is very little information about this wine available, but I was happy with the selection and would rate it at 87 points. It is a very pleasant sipping wine and would go well with pasta or leaner cuts of meat.
If you are ever in the area, stop by Wine Society (Amherst St in Nashua, NH) for a unique bottle of wine. Being random is a great way to learn new things about different regions and your tastes!
- Johnson, Hugh; Jancis Robinson. The World Atlas of Wine: Sixth Edition. Mitchell Beazley. Pgs. 216-218.