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Comments on my notes

(63 comments on 45 notes)

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Red
2004 Finca Allende Rioja Calvario Tempranillo
2/10/2017 - Claw Dee Puss Likes this wine:
90 points
4 hour decant. 14%.
Deep purple with a hint of evil - grape and some heat in the nose - chubby legs - big in the mouth - grippy - nice balance - certainly more Wagner's Brunhilde than Puccini's Mimi, but that's OK - dark fruits - nice balance - fine wine, but, as a mostly Portuguese wine drinker, I don't think this is better than many Portuguese wines at 1/3 of the price.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    12/20/19, 1:04 AM - Excepting personal taste, of course, and that prices in Portugal have been going up over the last few years or so, these are the (still red) wines for which I paid 20€ or less and scored 90 points or more...
    https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp?table=Tag&iUserOverride=331290&List=90%2B+under+20%80
    Hopefully you can find some of them to have a whir.

Red - Fortified
2013 Vasques de Carvalho Porto Late Bottled Vintage Port Blend
9/28/2018 - AndrewSGHall wrote:
Spiced, based nose. Raw food texture with grapes and sweet veg. Has an umami element which drives both funk and sweetness. Vegan pussy.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    9/18/19, 5:16 AM - "Vegan pussy"
    Well - I understand both these words (one of them in several different ways) - perhaps you could explain what this means?

Red
2015 Rui Reguinga Tejo Tributo Red Blend
4/30/2018 - BillyT wrote:
91 points
At dinner in an Indian restaurant in Cascais PT. Across the street is the wine bar owned by the restaurant and our good friend Fabio recommended this 85% Syrah, 15% Grenache and 10% Viognier to go with our dinner of curried lamb and curried coconut shrimp. Mine spicy my wife's not so spicy.

This wine was a perfect compliment in that it was able to stand up to the curry and not lose its personal identity yet complemented the food nicely.

Unfortunately I can only say it was smooth, aromatic, structured and a good balance of tannins and acidity and while from Tejo it was very well reminiscent of a very good Rhone valley wine. Sorry I don't have more to say other than if you see it try and you tell me.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    3/20/19, 12:36 AM - A good curry wine is good to know - next time I'm in Cascais (sadly not that often) I'll try to give this a go.
    Your numbers are a little wrong (they add up to 110%) - this note - https://osvinhos.blogspot.com/2018/07/4833-tributo-2015-tinto.html - says 85%, 10%, 5%

Red
1999 Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT SuperTuscan Blend
11/24/2018 - Butzemann Likes this wine:
91 points
Claw Dee Puss and I shared this bottle and this is my take on it:
D+45min: purple red colour, smells of leather and a little bit of blackberry, smooth in the mouth, dry, but not in a tart way, in the mouth leather, acidity and a little bit of blackberry, in the aftertaste blackberry, leather and a little bit of acidity, good length (30 sec), good, liked it a lot
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    12/24/18, 10:58 PM - That was, to be sure, an unforgettable night - cheers!

Red
2011 Quinta das Bágeiras Bairrada Reserva Red Blend
7/15/2018 - RussK wrote:
87 points
Russk. Strangely, didn't like it very much this time. Dumped.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    7/16/18, 12:22 AM - From 91 to "dumped" - that's shame.
    Do you you think this was just a bad bottle, or that it's past its best?

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    7/16/18, 7:29 AM - Obviously the rest of the Bágeiras opus - the Garrafeira, with some bottle age, is a very fine wine.
    Actually - I'm just looking through my notes, which you ought to be able to do ...
    https://www.cellartracker.com/list.asp?O=Rating+DESC&ShowFilter=1&Table=Notes&iUserOverride=331290&Varietal=Baga

    Enjoy!

Red
1980 Marqués de Riscal Rioja Crianza Tempranillo
5/16/2018 - Claw Dee Puss wrote:
88 points
2 hour decant.
Significantly degraded label, but the contents here are still in fair shape for a wine of this age - gentle, smooth - cherries - fair finish.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    5/16/18, 3:08 PM - I bought mine at auction, so have no idea of the provenance - even so, I'd drink sooner rather than later.

Red
2011 Herdade do Mouchão Vinho Regional Alentejano Tonel 3-4 Alicante Bouschet
4/19/2018 - mxpbuy Likes this wine:
92 points
A very interesting wine. This took nearly 90 minutes to fully come around. Traditional Grenache elements up front, but then interesting sour and tangy black cherry elements started to dominate at mid palate. Little Oak. Long finish. Not sure it is worth the price of admission, but still worth tasting this unusual grape.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    4/21/18, 4:46 AM - One question and one comment...
    I have a bottle of this waiting in the wings (and have had quite a few of the 1996 which just on the downturn now) - do you think this is in a good spot right now, or more years required to show at its best?
    You talk about "Grenache" - but this is, as far as I'm aware and according to Mouchão's web site, "...the best parcels of Alicante Bouschet in the Carapetos vineyard"?

Red
2008 Paulo Laureano Alicante Bouschet Vinho Regional Alentejano
3/2/2018 - ThalesGaspar Likes this wine:
93 points
Same as previous bottle, just great!
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    3/17/18, 12:27 AM - I wonder if you've given the right score here - 56?

Red
2015 Herdade do Esporão Esporão Reserva Alentejo Red Blend
1/12/2018 - Christine Havens Likes this wine:
90 points
Another excellent vintage from Esporão, the 2014 Reserva Tinto is a blend of Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Trincadeira, and Cabernet Sauvignon aged in French and American oak for 12 months. The nose is poetic: anise, violets, cigarette pack foil (a very specific aroma, my mother was a heavy smoker) black raspberry, and black cherry. And while there’s no suggestion of the gamey-savory note on the nose that explodes on the palate like a caged tiger, it has lovely sueded tannins and a white pepper finish. 14.5% ABV | Sample
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    2/18/18, 8:26 AM - This is a review of the 2014? It's under the 2015 here on CT.

Red - Fortified
N.V. Sandeman Porto Tawny Port Blend
1/5/2018 - Claw Dee Puss Likes this wine:
92 points
From a very old bottle (60s?)
This is a very lovely wine - crustal clear, pale amber - some honey in the nose - lush, smooth - hints of nuts, peel, citrus, some caramel - nice edges - huge finish.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    2/7/18, 11:04 PM - Of course, the Port Institute have complete records of exactly when every number on the selo (Portuguese for stamp - the paper wrapper over the cork) was issued - sadly, as a general rule, they won't divulge this information. The port house themselves almost certainly know but, again, they are unlikely to help.
    First stop is selo design, since this changed in the 70s - couple of interesting articles - http://www.theportforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=5086 and https://www.fortheloveofport.com/the-idvps-seal-of-guarantee/
    The type of capsule ought, one would think, be able to provide insight too - especially lead ones, but I've found no information about that.
    Beyond those somewhat "detective" methods, it's an educated guess based on design, style, and having seen very many bottles of port of various ages.

    In my view these (almost every port, in my experience) are best with at least 8 hours in a lightly stoppered decanter, many are best after 24 - the change (improvement) from pop time can be significant. Ours last 2 or 3 days - that's not because we think they'll fall over, but because they're simply so yummy and easy to drink - I'd have no hesitation is drinking a bottle over a week, quite possibly even a lot more.

Red
1984 Antonio Bernardino Paulo da Silva Colares Chitas Reserva Velho Ramisco
4/2/2015 - mychurch wrote:
87 points
Wierd Grapes 2nd Get Together (Leiden): This is clearly an old wine, with some bacon fat and cold tea. Fruit has gone, but its reached that age of an old interesting aunt who looks like death, but tells tall tales. The younger version was slightly better for most of us, but Mic, the sommelier, offered to take 3 bottles of Ramons hands.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    7/6/15, 11:55 AM - Lovely imagery in this note - I smiled a lot :-)

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    1/26/18, 2:19 AM - I've not had this particular vintage, but I've had others - Ramisco is a grape for the ages - I'm holding 1985s and older, and 18 months ago had a 1934 which was in great shape. But suspend expectations - these wines taste like no others.

Red
2012 Campolargo Bairrada Rol de Coisas Antigas Red Blend
.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    1/24/18, 4:12 AM - I'm not sure if you know, but you can "drink" a bottle without adding a tasting note - there's a radio button - a note with no score, no words, and no "like/dislike" seems a little redundant.

Red - Fortified
2008 Quinta do Noval Porto Late Bottled Vintage Port Blend
1/20/2018 - jhbehrens Likes this wine:
91 points
Best value ruby port I can think of. Unfiltered like a vintage but longer ripening in the cellar. Has the red fruit and depth of a Quinta do Noval port. Shows beautifully now.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    1/21/18, 3:04 PM - "...but a multi-vintage blend"
    Actually all the juice for this was from 2008 - Late Bottled Vintage must spend between 4 (the usual) and 6 years in the barrel before bottling, whereas Vintage must spend less than 2.

Red
2009 Herdade Monte do Outeiro Alentejo Monte Cruz Syrah
8/9/2017 - Claw Dee Puss Likes this wine:
89 points
4 hour decant.
No signs of age - deeply purple - tight nose - deep, full, rich, but not exactly classic Syrah - hints of sour - pretty good finish - nice wine.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    8/11/17, 1:37 AM - I bought the 2012 for 8.75€ one year ago at Mercearia do Largo - Évora
    I bought 4 of the 2009s at Dom Júlio in Portalegre in July 2014 for 10.95€ each.

Red - Fortified
2011 Quinta de Roriz Porto Vintage Port Blend
3/15/2016 - Claw Dee Puss wrote:
89 points
Sipped from D+0, polished off at D+24
Somewhat disappointed with this one - all a bit smooth - not much edge - a nice drink, yes, no argument, but not the wow factor of other 2011s I've had.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    6/17/17, 7:27 AM - My experience with Port (from memory, every port I've had, young or very old), is that they start to come into their own after at least 8 hours in the (lightly stoppered) decanter - four of us polished this particular bottle off in a single sitting after 22 hours in the decanter and it was then poured back into the bottle for taking to the restaurant.
    Your description sounds a little like many ports I've had at pop time - air time seems to thicken them up, smooth them off, and calm the heat My (admittedly small) experience of "closed" ports is just of dull-ness, tightness, of a drink in a prison that it simply can't escape.

Red
2012 Adega da Cartuxa Évora Cartuxa Reserva Red Blend
4 hour decant. 15%. Alicante Bouschet & Aragonez.
I was expecting a lot more from this - some finesse, perhaps, maybe even some class, but, sadly, I found neither - deepest darkest purple - forest and some heat in the nose - big and brash in the mouth - sourness at the edges - long finish which isn't always a good thing - thumbs down - I'll save my other bottle (why, oh why do I even have another bottle?) for a bunch of years.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    5/27/17, 9:36 AM - Hiyas --

    Well, I live in the Alentejo (albeit more or less in the North East corner), so I'm lucky that almost everyone is "just down the road", and Portugal is a very small country anyway.
    I have no idea what's available in your part of the world, but some of my personal favourites are...
    Syrahs (I'm a fan) from Herdade de Maroteira, Incógnito, Esporão.
    Alicante Bouschet (also a fan) does very well in my neck of the woods - those of Mouchão (especially older ones), Altas Quintas' Obsessão is a great wine.

    Blends would include...
    Marquês de Borba Reserva (I've had most of these from the first in '97, all very fine), Avó Sabica, upper end Pêra-Grave (way cheaper than their neighbours - Pêra-Manca and, at least in my opinion, just as good), Casa de Santa Vitória Inevitável, Terras d'Alter Outeiro

    (Note that I basically drink only red brews)

    Hopefully you can find some of these, or maybe some other Alentejo wines I haven't yet had.

    Cheers

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    5/28/17, 11:36 PM - My pleasure - I look forward to reading some (hopefully praising) notes on any that you manage to find.
    Cheers.

Red
2011 Casa da Passarella Dão Villa Oliveira Touriga Nacional
5/15/2017 - Gargantua wrote:
Portuguese Masterclass: Red Varietals (Lisbon, Portugal): Grape: Touriga Nacional
Wine: Villa Oliveira 2011 Region: Dão
Main features:
 Spread all over Dão before Phylloxera but then almost died
 New beginning in the nineties
 Now planted all over the country
 “Married with Mourisco, Touriga Nacional originated several other grapes such as Touriga Franca and Tinta da Barca in Portugal.
 This grapes were harvested in a vineyard with several varieties.
 Granitic Soil. Perfect acidity level
 Floral aromas (Earl Grey tea)
 Like all Dão reds this is a wine for the cellar, for decades

Nose shows a great deal of old butter: thus old wood, possibly American oak. Palate offers big plum, a nice bite, a bit of tobacco--all as is proper to Touriga Nacional. The cross of Mourisco and Touriga Nacional yielded Touriga Franca, the most planted varietal in the Douro (ca. 20%)
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    5/27/17, 5:01 AM - Interesting - although I'm not sure all of that is true...
    "The cross of Mourisco and Touriga Nacional yielded Touriga Franca, the most planted varietal in the Dão (ca. 20%)"
    The official web site of Dão wines doesn't even list Touria Franca as a permitted grape - http://www.cvrdao.pt/castas.asp

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    5/27/17, 6:54 AM - Fair Enough :-)
    Your note caught my eye because I was in the Dão recently, visited the Casa da Passarella, and bought a case of these - a week before it was pronounced "wine of the year" - http://www.concursovinhosdeportugal.pt/premiados.
    I'm very much looking forward to popping one to see where it is even though, as you say, these Dão Tourigas can improve for decades.
    Just looked at your wine list "Portuguese Masterclass: Red Varietals" - some fine wines in there although, as seems so often the case in Portugal, many of them seem so so very young right now.

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    5/27/17, 9:18 AM - I spent quite lot of money that day at Passarella - I'm putting one of the "Fugitivo"s on Death Row right now!

Red
2010 Quinta do Noval Cedro do Noval Vinho Regional Duriense Red Blend
5/19/2017 - Claw Dee Puss wrote:
87 points
4 hour decant.
This seems just a little sour today - decent enough, but certainly not something I'd dig out to impress friends.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    5/20/17, 2:12 AM - I'm not sure I'm really qualified to comment on whether this may, or may not, be on the downslide. My change in comment may just be that I've drunk a lot of better wine since then, or that this doesn't have the "yum" flavour I'm liking more recently. Of course it may just have been my mood, or the planets, as you suggest. I'm personally not in a hurry to drink it up - the next bottle (I have 2 left) is scheduled for a year hence.
    As for the decant time - my wife popped this one since I was out, and said it wasn't very nice at that point - but, in fairness, she almost never likes wines at pop time.
    I've just put a 2011 of this on DeathRow - I'll see how that one is shortly (although, of course, 2011 was an epic year in the Douro, so I'm not sure that will necessarily prove useful)
    It's a complex thing this wine drinking :-)

Red
2005 Adega Cooperativa do Cartaxo Tejo Xairel Red Blend
4/14/2009 - CaliCab wrote:
60 points
Purchased on a QPR hunt - went to the LWS and grabbed a case of under $8 wines. I had high hopes, at $3.99 if this was even passable, it might have been a winner.

As it turns out, this was brutally bad. So, so brutally bad. This was so brutally bad, that after I dumped my glass, it literally made me not want any wine for the rest of the evening. My palate was shocked into submission, as if it had been hit square in the face with a tear gas canister and beaten with a baton, then dragged through the streets behind a gaseous Clydesdale. This was shockingly bad. High acid, intense tannins, and an after taste that literally has no description - this is now 4 days later, and I am only now able to confront my painful memories of this wine, and yet my soul aches with longing to erase it from my psyche. I am getting chills - please, make it stop. I need to go take a shower - this wine has robbed me of my will to live.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    4/24/17, 9:22 AM - I was in Cartaxo a couple of days ago - "Capital of Wine" it says everywhere, so I went searching on CT for the wines that might make it so - and ran across this - great note - I'm almost tempted to try it!

Red
N.V. Antonio Bernardino Paulo da Silva Vinho Regional Lisboa Garrafeira Reserva Particular Red Blend
3/23/2017 - Claw Dee Puss Likes this wine:
90 points
3 hour decant. 12.5% other wise no information at all. Strange tall bottle. Stinky moldy cork, but the wine is OK.
Some hints of coffee at the rim - pretty sure this is Ramisco - some cherry in the nose - quite lightweight in the mouth - more cherries - nice edges - goof finish - nice wine.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    3/27/17, 3:26 AM - I acquired this, in a mixed lot of 3, at a recent auction.

    I took the picture with the vertical label "Reserva Particular".
    The other, the 1989, is clearly (I guess) a different wine. My bottle had only the labels you see - nothing on the back. There's a somewhat similar looking label and bottle under the 1974 - one which seems to have a date, and the other not.

Red
1967 José Maria da Fonseca Vinho Regional Península de Setúbal Pasmados Red Blend
8/13/2015 - FransS wrote:
93 points
Amazing, yes, there is a certain age in this wine, but also a concrete backbone. The syrah gives power and fresness, even fruit, no brown in the colour and only a small rim; a very good finish without the acidity of an old wine. As I started: amazing. 92 points for the wine and 1 for challanging time.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    3/21/17, 11:24 AM - Your Syrah comment interested me (I have a 1964 Pasmados in the glass right now), and I wonder if you have a source for that?
    I did some research to try to find the first Syrah plantings in Portugal - Cortes de Cima planted in 1991 when, apparently, Syrah was still illegal in the Alentejo. Quinta do Monte D’Oiro planted, I think, a little later than that.

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    3/22/17, 3:21 AM - Update: I wrote to Fonseca, who replied...
    "As for the Syrah Mr Domingos Soares Franco confirms that it is true. We have had that grape variety, and a lot more, for many, many years. We have a collection of native Portuguese and foreign varieties (560 altogether) that was started back in 1920's. We have been studying and using most of those varieties for decades."

White
N.V. Constantino Dão Douro Escolha White Blend
10/15/2011 - drwine2001 wrote:
Pilgrimage to a Wine Mecca: Our very creative and somewhat playful sommelier tasted us blind on this wine to kick off the line up of wines we'd selected. Light tulip yellow. Some high, mature tones. What the heck is this anyway-mature Riesling? Nope, its waxy texture and weight are more like Chenin or Semillon. Excellent acidity, earthy finish with a bit of funk. Nothing in the way of definable fruit character, just essence of mature white wine. Well, it turned out to be just your basic 38 year old Portuguese white (per the label on the neck of the bottle which noted its 1973 bottling date). Incredible. Who was buying much less cellaring this stuff way back then? By the way, the sommelier has tested the tasting acumen of multiple professionals with this wine and "Nobody has ever gotten close". Sadly, we were not the first, but we did hazard a collective guess about it being from the '70s, mostly because we figured that it had to be older than we honestly thought! As much as we enjoyed the classic great wines that followed, getting a chance to taste an odd rarity like this was equally fantastic.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    3/14/17, 2:44 AM - Well I ran across your note when I recently acquired, at auction, 3 bottles of a very similar looking red.
    Your comment "Well, it turned out to be just your basic 38 year old Portuguese white (per the label on the neck of the bottle which noted its 1973 bottling date)" intrigued me, since I could see no vintage on the bottle.
    My bottles have labels saying "Portaria Nº 847/73 de 4/12/73" which I'm pretty sure would be what you saw on your bottle. "Portaria" is an ordinance or law, and the number and date serve to specify exactly which law.
    Some research led me to this...
    https://dre.tretas.org/dre/27256/portaria-847-73-de-4-de-dezembro
    which refers to the label you mentioned (well, to be sure the label on my bottles).
    That's all in Portuguese, of course, but, the summary says "Define the characteristics of the label ... utilized on bottled wine products" - it's an early labeling law, covering sizes and even how much they cost to buy (I should point out that the $ symbol there is escudos, not US dollars!).

    So that "1973" isn't actually a bottling date. Of course, the wine could not have been bottled BEFORE that date.

    Just as the Port "selo" (seal) regulations changed, allowing one to date "older" ports (http://www.theportforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=1876), the key to dating this wine is probably when the regulations were CHANGED to something else. Alas, so far, I have been unable to find out exactly when, or even if, that has happened - I have a couple of 2003s with a similar looking label.

    One final point - in CT your wine is shown as "Douro". To be sure it was bottled there, but my selo says Dão, the name says "Dão", and my bottle, which is entirely in Portuguese (yours was obviously an import), says it was made in the demarcated Dão region.

Red
2001 Alves de Sousa Touriga Nacional Douro Vale da Raposa
3/15/2012 - Oh Dae-su wrote:
92 points
Surprisingly the colour wasn’t brown’ish-red. It actually looked pretty energetic. Only on the rime there were some discolorations to the brown side the rest was very blue-red without sparkles. The nose was very typical for Touriga Nacional. I spotted tons of fresh dark olives, plenty of dark cherries, some thyme, some violets, some impressions of pizza with anchovies, black pepper, well roasted nuts, mocha, gentle but precise smoke, hints of noodle water and here and there some brambles and cassis. After some hours the first minor impressions of beastly dark Brazilian cigars gained more and more power. Altogether a very intense, complex and somehow gentle or rugged aristocratic or country gentry’ish nose. The impressive aristo-complexity continued. The first sips appeared to me unusually fruitful with straight forward flavours of bright berries. Maybe a bit kitsch’y and sweet’y, too. This impression did not last too long. Maybe it just happened in my head anyway Who knows!?!. These one-sided and admittedly awkward impressions eased pretty quickly. They somehow melded with the appearing masculine and unbound animal-like flavours I dearly love so much. I got flavours of dark overripe-cherries, mixed ethereal features, tons of mineral features (pure slate juice), dark olives, ebony, uncanny strong smoke (beautiful one + the already mentioned Brazilian tobacco) and quite a lot of not very fruitful brambles + cassis flavours. Tannin, after 10 years, was still amazingly present – but a lot of silk anyway, the acid strong, but appropriate, the concentration WOW (not overpowered) and the finish simply extraterrestrially magnífico fantástico. I will let you, if it will finish someday ;-). Well, what conclusion can I state: elegance, masculinity, smoke, hard, slate stone pit, austere, fruit etc. … belo!
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    2/17/17, 5:09 AM - What a great note!
    Although I wasn't sure whether "...beastly dark Brazilian cigars..." was/is a good thing, or not "beastly" seems to imply not, but later on you say "...uncanny strong smoke (beautiful one + the already mentioned Brazilian tobacco)...".

Red
1985 Antonio Bernardino Paulo da Silva Vinho Regional Lisboa Casal de Azenha Reserva Velho Ramisco
11/15/1996 - Xavier Auerbach wrote:
92 points
A private tasting: Lovely warm garnet; plummy fruit, young and very lively at 11 years old; traditional, firm, powerfully structured, lively, sève; excellent length. Long-lived, will easily last another 20 years.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    7/21/16, 12:00 PM - Back in 1996 you wrote "...will easily last another 20 years" - so, within the window, I just bought 3 of these at an auction - I'm looking forward to trying a young Ramisco :-)

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    7/29/16, 11:25 AM - Spot on, Senhor Auerbach - at least 10 years left in this, probably more - do these Ramiscos ever get old? A very nice wine I'm so pleased, thanks to your 1996 note, that I bought.

Red - Fortified
2008 Monte Seis Reis Alentejo Vinho Licoroso Red Blend
6/22/2016 - Claw Dee Puss wrote:
88 points
20%. Syrah and Touriga Nacional.
I visited these people recently, and basically bought one of everything (red) - and this sounded particularly interesting - and not just because the labels says "Fortificated". For 24 hours this was almost too hot to drink, but it calmed down - rich and flavoursome - somewhat simple, but slides easily down the throat with a decent finish - I'd expected something at least a little similar to Port, but this really isn't, well, it is, but it isn't. Next time I'm there I'll probably buy another couple of bottles to see how this develops.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    6/27/16, 12:09 AM - Certainly towards the slightly sweeter brands like Warre, but in no sense sickly.

White
2013 Terras d'Alter Alvarinho Terra d'Alter Vinho Regional Alentejano
(Wine testing with B&A)
I don't drink whites, so I have no baseline on which to rate them - not nasty.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    6/21/16, 12:32 PM - Now it's "almost all my notes"! lol
    I don't think this note adds much to the body of knowledge for this wine :-)

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    6/21/16, 3:13 PM - I'm not sure "aversion" is the right word.
    Sometimes I go to small tastings (6 or so wines), and I always try the whites, and then the reds. The whites just don't seem to move me - hot day, very cold white, dash of fizzy water - ok. But for the earth to move, for me, I've simply not found a white scoring over about 1.3 on the Richter scale.
    Maybe I've just not been offered the right white...?

Red
2008 Terras d'Alter Outeiro Vinho Regional Alentejano Red Blend
10/4/2012 - dching wrote:
92 points
Deep ruby in colour.

Lots of intense black fruit and eucalyptus and minty herbaceous notes on the nose, jumping out of the glass. Must be the Petit Verdot here. Very inticing and welcoming.

The palate does not disappoint. Full bodied and packed with intense, ripe black and red fruits. But this is no fruit bomb. Despite the ripeness and 15% alcohol, there is excellent acidity which makes this wine sing. There is a lovely soft, delicate tannic backbone providing structure. The oaking is very subtle adding subtle cedar wood and liquorice components. Medium plus length and good complexity with chocolate, coffee and herbaceous.

Will improve still for another 2-3 years given the acidity. Very good for the price point, c. £17. A must buy and a great vin de contemplation for those upcoming autumnal nights.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    6/6/16, 12:59 PM - Great note!
    I've not had the 2008, but I just bought a magnum of the 2007, and I've had later vintages.
    "...which makes this wine sing" - nice way of describing what I, I think, call "yummy".

Red
2013 Herdade da Maroteira Alentejo Mil Reis Grande Reserva Syrah
5/29/2016 - MQuentel wrote:
95 points
Wow - This beautiful Syrah is a special selection of grapes in a perfect year. Only 3652 bottles were produced by Herdade da Maroteira. This Anglo-Portuguese family runned estate (in the 5th generation) has a great historiy in the cork forestry and livestock business, in our days they have been been diversified into wine production.
After the big success of the "normal" Reserve Cem Reis Syrah Reserve (roundabout €20) the owner family decided to produce a Grande Reserva and this 2013 is the first vintage.
This Mil Reis has a very deep and dark color. The style is more Australia than Cote Rotie. It combines an expressive and complex fruit with dense, but soft tannins and a perfect use of wood.

Lots of dark fruit, covered with a veil of fine chocolate. On the palate amazingly cool for its 15.5 percent alcohol; soft-touch surface, big body, but behind there is a perfect structure with lush aromas of wild berries, figs, cedar wood and beautiful, fine-grained tannins. Fine, light Oriental spices complete the picture. The noble wood gives the wine elegance and charm. The wine is dense, has big body, but even that it's not heavy fruit bomb. For sure you will but drink more than a glass of it. The perfect partner to red meat or as a soloist to a good book.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    5/30/16, 12:18 AM - Great wines deserve great notes - such as this one - saúde!

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    5/31/16, 12:55 AM - Consider one of these set aside, Soteriologist :-)

Red
2010 Quinta do Noval Cedro do Noval Vinho Regional Duriense Red Blend
5/7/2016 - Claw Dee Puss wrote:
88 points
6 hour decant. Birthday wine.
Pretty decent, but not as impressive as I remember.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    5/12/16, 9:01 AM - Hiya Mr S!
    Well - the 6 hours was based on my previous experience with this wine. I tasted it at D+3 and it was fine, and I suspect, hadn't changed much at D+6. I popped this as bottle 2 for my wife's birthday dinner since one of the (2) guests doesn't like "big" wines - and we'd had a Pêra Velha which is many many things including big so I think my slight disappointment stems partly from the "downstep" this was - previous tastings had been with slow lunches where the gentle class of this shines more.
    I have 3 of these left (and some 2011) - I'm in no hurry to drink them.

Red
1985 António Augusto Nunes Maia Bairrada Quinta Nunes Maia Garrafeira Red Blend
11/11/2015 - Claw Dee Puss Likes this wine:
89 points
2 hour decant. 11.5% - Bairrada. Bottle 4384.
Once in a while I see these lonely, old, barely labelled bottles in the corner of a shop, so I buy them to put them out of their misery - and you never know.
Red with a little bricking - thin, elegant legs - not much in the nose, maybe some blackcurrant - thin and light and lively - surprisingly youthful - somewhat acid, but a nice background note of cherries - edgy - long finish.
On the back above the signature of Snr Maia there's talk (I translate) of "making a wine of which we can be proud for its authenticity and quality" - mission accomplished!
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    11/12/15, 12:26 AM - Actually no - I got this from a small shop on a backstreet in Albufeira old town the day before it all got submerged.

Red
2003 Álvaro Castro Dão Pelada Red Blend
Taste at Pedro Lemos. label which presents with a modern "painting" of a naked lady, thus speaking to my keen interest. No, seriously, well, yes, it always is an "interest"...but the wine is excellent.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    10/21/15, 11:08 AM - It took a couple of glasses, but now I'm starting to see the naked lady too!

White - Fortified
N.V. Henriques & Henriques Madeira Malvasia 20 Years Old
5/7/2013 - igaf wrote:
Shiny, brown with greenish-yellow rim. Needs time to open. Nuts, milk chocolate, coffee on the nose, not too sweet. The palate is sweet, complex and very spicy, with sharp acidity. Brown sugar, orange, ginger, almonds. Peppery finish. Very long, sweet coffee aftertaste. Very positive.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    8/25/15, 4:10 AM - Your comment says "Needs time to open" - I'm interested in knowing how much time you'd recommend - an hour, 8 hours, a day, more... etc?
    Any idea, once open and decanted, how long you think it would last?
    Thanks.

White - Fortified
N.V. Henriques & Henriques Madeira Malvasia 20 Years Old
1/19/2013 - Henman wrote:
91 points
Vibrant nose of rancio, minerals and some toffee. Full bodied and sweet on the palate, delivering rancio and mineral flavors, dried fruit, toffee, nutty notes with lenient and firm acidity. Solid and good stuff.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    7/15/15, 9:45 AM - "Rancio". The first time I read it I thought it might be a spelling mistake. The second time made me look it up - not a word I've ever heard before...
    "Definition of RANCIO. : of, relating to, or constituting the nutty flavor peculiar to some fortified wines (as sherry and Madeira)"

    Thanks - I've learned a new word (if I can but remember it).

Red
2011 Casa Ferreirinha Douro Quinta da Leda Red Blend
4/27/2015 - xScottx wrote:
45% Touriga Franca, 40% Touriga Nacional , 15% Tinta Roriz

Robert Parker/Mark Squires 95 points seems a excessive.

This is a good, concentrated Douro blend, I was expecting much more complexity. Kinda feels like the Touriga Nacional is dominating at the moment, will probably gain complexity with age.
High acid, med+ tannin, black fruits, spice, ripe fruits, floral, plum, chocolate, vanilla, oak, licorice. Stiff tannins, could age for some years yet.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    6/24/15, 5:30 AM - The drinking window here on CT says "2016 and 2020 (Based on 5 user opinions)" - but I have no idea who those 5 people are - to be sure, at least 4 of them have made no comment or score.
    But you've had it - when do YOU think this might start to become the great wine it's supposed to be?
    Thanks in advance.

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    6/24/15, 11:24 AM - Thanks for the comments - I think I'll try and hold this - I see 2001s, 2003s, and 2005s for a somewhat similar price so if I pass one of those I might try an "older" one.
    I'm just being constantly disappointed by these "more expensive" (for me, that's > 25 euros retail) wines - quite often they seem to simply fail to live up to their reputation, or provide value for money.

    But research goes on :-)

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    6/29/15, 2:24 AM - Perhaps my expectations are too high?

    I drink a lot of Port - 18 months ago I spent 100 euros on a bottle of Graham's 1985 Vintage - an amazing drink and well worth the money - and I think that's what I'm really looking for in a wine - that first sniff, sip and swallow to be a "wow" experience. But to date that doesn't seem to have happened - sure, I've had some very nice wines, but they seem to be in the 15->25 euros range - when I spend much more than that I usually get a decent wine, but I just don't seem to get much, if any, added delight for those extra euros.
    Once in a while I go for a splash-out down in the cave at El Corte Ingles and I ask the guy there for something that will blow my socks off - so far he has failed.

    So I've sorted my tasting notes by descending score - my score - whilst I'm pretty sure I'm not that consistent in my scoring, it seems to me the results are telling...
    Scores above 90 are, with a couple of exceptions, wines under 25 euros (I'm taking retail prices - if I pay 45 in a restaurant but it's 22 in a shop, I think of it as 22)
    And then I sort my "wines over 25 euros" by score, and there's but a single wine over 90 points.

    Of course, in the final analysis, it's all about my personal taste - I like Guinness, other people don't - and of course I'm sure my palate isn't up to the same snuff as the "experts" - if they say a certain 200 euro wine is worth 95 points I'm not going to argue - but I may well disagree.
    I am becoming increasingly wary of "Big Brands" - at the last show in Lisbon I tasted most of the Niepoort offerings (although for some reason I had trouble getting served) - their Ports - yes, very nice - their more expensive wines, well, not so much. Which sounds like a similar situation to the Sogrape Legado.
    But being a "cheap date" has pluses - I can be made very happy with a 24 euro Diga? or a 23 euro Inevitável and the Font d'Avis 2007 Reserva at 7 euros (direct from Nuno) is gorgeous :-)

    But you asked which wines I'd been disappointed by...
    The 2008 Pêra-Manca, obviously.
    1987 Viuva José Gomes da Silva & Filhos Colares Reserva Tinto - these Colares things are supposed to be amazing - I've had a couple and they simply weren't - I guess the 3 people who scored it over 94 tasted something in there I simply didn't.
    2007 Alexandre D'Almeida Buçaco Reserva - see above - perhaps too young? But I'm not sure I saw this getting much better.

    Experiments continue - I have a few waiting in the wings - a Scala Coeli, Colinas Grande Reserva, the Leda, of course, and even a couple of Nebbiolo - perhaps one of those will be "worth the extra". But every day when I pop the cork I'm grateful to live in Portugal, where even expensive wine really isn't very expensive!

Red
2012 Quinta do Vale Meão Douro Meandro Red Blend
6/16/2015 - huse wrote:
90 points
Pleasantly surprised by the quality of this wine. The name “Meandro” refers to the big meander the Douro river takes around the estates vineyards. Varietal composition: 38 % Touriga Nacional, 30 % Touriga Franca, 20 % Tinta Roriz, 12 % other varieties. Maturation: the wine was aged for twelve months in French Allier barriques (second and third use). Decanted: two hours in advance. Color: deep ruby-red color with tinges of violet. Bouquet: intense aromas of blueberry, kirsch liqueur, sweet spices, dark chocolate and a touch of cedar. On the palate: a wine with a solid structure and a nice concentration, revealing plenty of juicy plum and berry fruit and supported by noticeable but already quite rounded tannins. Finish: complex, prolonged aftertaste. Wine with a great QPR that will develop excellently for the next 3-5 years.

Bijzonder aangenaam verrast door de kwaliteit van deze wijn. De naam "Meandro" is een verwijzing naar de grote meander van de Douro rondom de wijngaarden van dit domein. Samenstelling: 38 % Touriga Nacional, 30 % Touriga Franca, 20 % Tinta Roriz en 12 % andere soorten. Rijping: de wijn verbleef twaalf maanden in Franse Allier-barriques (tweede en derde gebruik). Gedecanteerd: twee uur op voorhand. Kleur: diep robijnrode kleur met schakeringen van violet. Bouquet: intense aroma's van bosbessen, kirsch, zachte specerijen, zwarte chocolade en ook een vleugje cederhout. In de mond: een wijn met een soliede structuur en een degelijke concentratie, gedomineerd door weelderig pruimen- en bessenfruit en geschraagd door presente maar al fraai afgeronde tannines. Finale: complexe, lang aanhoudende afdronk. Wijn met een prima prijskwaliteitverhouding, die zich in de volgende 3-5 jaren nog uitstekend verder zal ontwikkelen.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    6/17/15, 5:08 AM - What an excellent note!

Red
1987 Viuva José Gomes da Silva & Filhos Colares Reserva Tinto Ramisco
12/6/2014 - mdefreitas wrote:
95 points
Wines @ Mike's (Coventry, CT): Such a pity that Colares (especially mature ones) are so hard to find in the US. A truly under appreciated appellation. A glorious nose that combines the secondary notes of maturity with a fresh core of bright red fruits. The fine structure (seems more acidic than tannic) keeps this refreshing and light. So many flavors emerged throughout the night... dried cherries, stones, iron, leather, dried flowers, autumnal spices. An elegant and delicate wine, with a memorable and persistent flavor profile.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    5/19/15, 2:14 AM - I have a bottle of this on death row right now - what would you recommend as the optimum decant time? Thanks in advance for any insight.

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    5/19/15, 6:00 AM - Excellent recommendation - thanks.

Red - Fortified
1997 Poças Porto Vintage Port Blend
7/11/2014 - Xavier Auerbach wrote:
90 points
Half bottle. Cedar, black cherries, milk chocolate, delicately sweet, fresh, good tannic grip, relatively light weight, true to type 1997, good length. Not a great VP, but it delivers in a relatively modest way.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    4/10/15, 11:06 AM - An excellent set of notes, as always.
    I have a single full bottle, do you think this is at or near its peak now, or do you think this would benefit from a few more years of patience?

Red - Fortified
N.V. Quinta do Noval Porto Noval Black Port Blend
3/7/2015 - hesnctrl wrote:
PnD. Medium crimson in color. Hardly any leg action. I don't get it. I see the scores by 100+ people and my experience doesn't even come close. No nose. Cherry cough syrup on the palate. I've heard of bottle variation, but this is ridiculous. I'd give it an 84 to be generous.

Tasted in a Riedel Vinum Port glass at 58F.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    3/9/15, 2:58 AM - Well, it's not the greatest of ports, nor would you expect that at the price - I pay just shy of 14 euros.
    And i know that Noval themselves say "...no decanting necessary", and "...simply drunk chilled".

    I've had several bottles of this - it's an easy drinker - but, in my experience, it's a lot better nearer 18°C (64F) - "normal" port temperatures - and after a few hours in a decanter.

Red - Fortified
2010 Filipa Pato Espirito De Baga Beira Atlântico
2/13/2015 - Xavier Auerbach wrote:
91 points
A private lunch (Restaurant Gordon Ramsay ***, London, UK): Only one pipe produced (the barrel came from Dirk van der Niepoort). Fresh style, cherries and a hint of dark chocolate, floral rather than spicy, aromatic and pure, ripe tannins provide backbone, lovely pure Baga spirit on the finish, silky and floral (roses) and only very slightly hot.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    3/3/15, 10:37 AM - I very much appreciate all your notes which are obviously learned and informed.
    I have a few of these - last year I thought it was excellent. What do you think of the potential it has for aging over 5, 10, 20 years?

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    3/3/15, 11:58 PM - @Xavier Auerbach: Thanks for the opinion - I'd suspected (?hoped) it would last - I was going to pop one next week, but perhaps it will be best to wait another few years before trying another one - they are, as you say, somewhat hard to come by.

Red
2012 Herdade da Maroteira Alentejo Cem Reis Reserva Syrah
1/28/2015 - xScottx wrote:
Modern syrah, fairly concentrated, but not super complex. Notes of ripe black fruits, black and white pepper. 15% alcohol is a bit hot.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    1/29/15, 4:07 AM - I see you bought this from my local wine shop!
    The 2008 of this, which I had at a restaurant last year, is one of my all time favourite wines, with the 2010 not far behind.
    I have a couple of these 2012s, and a couple of cases of the 2013 in order (this herdade is just down the road from me).
    I was intending to hold mine for a few more years - how do you think this might develop over the next few years?

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    1/29/15, 8:48 AM - Last weekend, if memory serves, the weather was fine - to be sure Marvão, Castelo de Vide and Portalegre are interesting towns and it's all very pretty around here. And Dom Júlio have a lot of "interesting" wines you don't really see in more "normal" wine shops. I've tried the Portalegre DOC 2005 but found it a bit sour for my taste - perhaps that, too, needed more time.

    I'm going to try to hold the Cem Reis 2012 until 2017, but that won't be easy - every time I pass it on the shelves it seems to be calling to me - hopefully when it's buried under some 2013 it will quite down.

Red
2013 Quinta das Arcas Vinho Verde Arca Nova Vinhão
3/21/2014 - Claw Dee Puss wrote:
79 points
I only drink reds, and I've been on the lookout for a red Vinho Verde for a while, so when I spied this I snapped it up. It's fizzy! Is it supposed to be fizzy? The technical sheet from the winery says it should be served exclusively during a meal - I'd love this one at a garden party on a hot summer day - it's a bit like wine flavoured champagne! Strange, but fun to drink.
I wrote to the producer asking about the fizz - no response.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    1/25/15, 5:47 AM - Indeed Hanz - thanks for the wikiquote.
    I've since learned a lot more about wine, including this "slightly fizzy" nature of the Vinho Verdes. Not my style, so now I avoid them.

Red - Fortified
1985 Warre Porto Vintage Port Blend
12/25/2014 - Claw Dee Puss wrote:
90 points
Well. I can't help but say I was somewhat disappointing with this. Of course, it's a decent enough drink, but I was expecting more - more style, more finesse, more panache, more finish. For 30 years old, intellectually, it's amazing how red and fruity it still is, but I get a lot more enjoyment from what happens in my nose and mouth than in my brain. I don't regret having it, and it's not a bad price, but 3 bottles of crusted are better value than this.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    12/26/14, 10:39 AM - Interesting. I'd never considered such a long decant for a bottle of, well, anything, let alone port - I'd supplied the "beverages" for this event, so, in this case, it wasn't an option. But perhaps I'll give that a go one day, if I find a bottle that I think is "under-performing".

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    1/22/15, 10:20 AM - Interesting. Interesting. In the cause of scientific investigation I may have to give this a try. I've just cracked a super-cheapo ruby so that will be experiment one.

Red
2010 Campolargo Bairrada Rol de Coisas Antigas Red Blend
1/9/2015 - xScottx wrote:
Ok wine. I was expecting something much more austere and tannic, but this is relatively easy drinking. Lacking serious complexity and concentration. Shows some nice red fruits.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    1/10/15, 9:56 AM - I too was surprised by how "easy" this was.

Red
1934 Viuva José Gomes da Silva & Filhos Colares Reserva Velho Ramisco
12/18/2013 - mdefreitas wrote:
97 points
Colares @ Aldea (NYC): Just like the 1931, this was deep red in color with a slight rust rim. A bit more pure than the 1931 (no rubber note). Dried, tart red fruits, but lots of secondary notes of chestnut, iodine, antique wood and spice. Layered, complex and very lengthy. The tannins were fine and filigree. So much going on in this wine. It almost sounds crazy, but this could probably age more, given the deep color, quantity of fruit and still-clinging structure. My wine of the night.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    11/2/14, 10:27 AM - I wonder if you could give some idea as to how long you'd recommend this be decanted before serving? I'd like to drink it at its best.

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    11/3/14, 4:33 AM - Thanks for the help - I'm looking forward to it.

Red
1990 Fundação Abreu Callado Vinho Regional Alentejano Red Blend
9/27/2014 - Claw Dee Puss Likes this wine:
89 points
A deep, full wine still youthful after 24 years - cherries with the odd blackcurrant.
  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    9/30/14, 10:46 AM - I bought a pair of these (it was a "buy one, get one free" situation) 18 months ago from my local Garrrafeira in Portalegre (their web site is here, but it's pretty broken - http://www.garrafeiradomjulio.com ). I was writing them an email when your comment came in - I'll ask if they still have any in stock.

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    10/1/14, 10:07 AM - She does, in fact, still have it in stock - as well as a long list of other pre-2000 Portuguese wines.

  • Claw Dee Puss commented:

    10/2/14, 9:23 AM - If you do find yourself in Portalegre, you can do a lot worse than to have lunch or dinner at "A Gruta" (closed Thursdays) - TripAdvisor has the details and a couple of pics. A very unassuming entrance-way opens, Tardis-like, to a decent-sized restaurant where, as well as very good food, they have the most amazing selection of wines. Their list is out of date so it's a "point and shoot" situation - you pick a bottle from the 100s on view and the wife of the chef (waitress) shouts out to the chef (owner) who says how much it is.

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