Quinta Do Encontro has bended the indigenous variety Baga grape with Merlot here. You get a sturdy wine that’s dense purple in colour with a toasty, spicy nose of blackberries and a floral grace note. Those flavours are replicated satisfyingly on the palate. Serve it with hearty winter casseroles.
One of my favourite LBVs. Great depth of colour; a nose of mulberries, dried figs and milk chocolate with vanilla-oak notes — flavours that enrich the palate. Perfect for blue cheeses or chocolate desserts.
Blend of 3 traditional Portuguese grapes. Medium-deep plum red. Nose is rustic with raspberry, smoke, plums and raisins. Lovely balance, a soft and fruity wine featuring red and black berry flavours. Easy-drinking now but will improve and develop more complexity over the next 2 years.
2011 was universal declaration in the Douro Valley. As always, Fonseca is always at the upper echelon of quality. Full-bodied, this absolute stunner oozes loads of blackberry, kirsch, fig, raisins, rhubarb, freshly cracked pepper, vanilla and hints of cocoa. It is medium-sweet with a fine acidity and flavours that carry for an exceedingly long time. The fine-grained tannins will ensure a long life ahead. Hold until 2025 and then drink until 2060.
The nose shows a profound and complex riot of violets, sweet tobacco leaf, crushed blackcurrants, stewed plums, fruitcake, spicy wild berries and blueberry pie. It is big and assertive on the palate with weight, density and complex fruits of sweet blackcurrants, dates, kirsch and blueberries in combination with myriad spices stitched neatly into the highly structured package. It is a super-rich, super-concentrated dark and flamboyant Port with a long, long finish. It will take years of patience to fully appreciate, but it will be worth every second of the wait.
The nose on this gorgeous Port is teeming with rich and concentrated cassis, espresso, blackberries, tar, black liquorice, oak spices and, among all that, there is a lovely floral note that brings a touch of poise to this massive, heady wine. It’s stunning on the palate with a core of sweet and fleshy dark fruits, lavish spices and layer after layer of pleasure. Though tightly wound, the sweet tannins are not aggressive at all, just silky smooth through an extended finish that seems to go on for a full minute.
Shows tropical, floral and stone fruit on the nose with ripe lemon, yellow pear and apricot, together with gravelly mineral and balancing acidity on the palate. Alvarinho, the star grape of the Vinho Verde region, does not show the same verve in the warmer Lisbon region, but nonetheless is an attractive buy.