Portuguese wine producers and their unusual wines this week on The Wine Sleuth podcast

Feb 24, 12 Portuguese wine producers and their unusual wines this week on The Wine Sleuth podcast

Posted by in Podcast, Portugal

Last week I was in Porto, Portugal for the annual wine show Essencia do Vinho put on by the eponymous magazine, one of the 2 major wine magazines of Portugal. There are over 3000 wines and more then 350 producers on show. The show is for trade during the day and consumers at night. As you can imagine, it does get crowded. They estimate that over 20,000 people attend the show held in the ornate Palacio do Bolsa. While I was wondering around, I met some great producers and they are the focus of this weeks podcast. The first producer Quanta Terra. We had one of their table wines at lunch and later at the fair, I met up with their assistant wine maker, Pedro Guedes on the floor of the show where he was pouring their sparkling wine. Sparkling wine from the Douro? Yes, indeed. And Pedro tells me how Quanta Terra came to be in the bastion of port wine production. Portugal is famous for it’s port and one of my favourites is tawny port. My eye was caught by the iconic labels of Ramos Pinto. Ana Rosas, wine maker and part of the family, tells me why she loves making tawny port. And finally, over a long lunch, I chatted with Carlos Campolargo, wine producer from the lesser known region, Barreida. Although the region is knows for it’s sparkling, Carlos believes blends are the way forward. So sit back and have a listen to the very charming Portuguese… The Wine Sleuth on iTunes If you can’t access itunes,here is the podcast on Podomatic Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

read more

Liquid dessert – Andresen 40 year old tawny port

After a huge Christmas feast you’d think I’d have no room for dessert and you’d be right. BUT I did have room for liquid dessert,  namely a glass or 3 of Andresen 40 year old Tawny port. Andresen is one of the few family owned port houses remaining. Andresen was originally founded in 1845 by the Dutchman JH Andresen and the house was run by his descendents until 1942 when they were forced to sell due to financial constraints. The Portuguese family of Albino Pereira dos Santos, well known port wine traders, took over the business and it’s been run by the same family since than. Currently, Carlos Flores dos Santos runs the company and the wines are made by a brother and sister wine making team. The grapes are harvested by hand, crushed by foot in the stone lagars and aged in the best oak barrels to deliver a premium wine. Tawny port, unlike LBV or vintage port,  is aged from 10 to 40 years in large wooden casks before being bottled and the age represents the average age of the tawny blend. Tawny is composed of  a blend of grapes, usually coming from different vintages but if it is designated Colheita Tawny, this signifies that all the grapes used are from a single vintage. After spending all that time in cask, the year that the tawny is bottled must be printed on either the front or back label. Tawny port gets it’s name from the colour and what a colour! Despite being 40 years old, the Andresen was a beautiful amber colour, reminiscent of light maple syrup. Maple syrup was also what I was getting on the nose, along with notes of marzipan and even clementines. A full, luscious wine with excellent balance between the sweet and the acidity. Again, notes of clementines on the palate, hazelnuts, turning into walnuts seguing into black coffee and a tantalizingly long finish. Even though I was as stuffed as the turkey had been, I managed...

read more

Just Chillin’ with Port

In the middle of summer the last thing I would want to drink is Port. Or so I thought until the most recent tasting put on by Bluebird wine shop. Penny, the manager, has done a great job of arranging interesting and plentiful wine tastings this summer. The trick in the summer is chillin’, not only you but the wine as well. Port may have a stuffy, stodgy reputation but it was a fabulous to drink once it’d been cooled down a bit. Henry Shotten, the winemaker was in attendance and he recommended slightly chilled port, not just for Tawney’s but Vintage Port as well. Purists are probably frothing at the mouth at the idea of slightly chilled Port but it does work. For the complete history of Port click here, fascinating and quite illustrious but I’d rather talk about what I drank. The Warres Otima 10 year old Tawny was served up nicely chilled. The Otima bottle and packaging was redesigned in 1999 to give it a more contemporary feel and appeal to younger consumers. It has proven to be very successful going from sales of 2000 cases in 1999 to over 28,0oo cases in 2007. The tawny style of port is not as heavy as vintage port, lighter in colour and feel. The wine is aged in small oak barrels allowing for controlled oxidation. The ports used in the blend are a minimum of 10 years old but can be older. Tawny is released ready to drink, no need to lay it down or wait decades to drink. As a matter of fact, a stopper is used instead of cork because the wine is not made to be laid down. The Otima was tawny pale amber with a reddish tinge and flecks of dark brown on the edges. Despite the fact that it was chilled, aromas of candied nuts, nutty orange peel and dried fruits wafted up and I felt like diving right into the glass. It had a delicate, honeyed palate...

read more
%d bloggers like this: