Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Monday, June 09, 2014

Portugal Invades Seattle

It was an invasion of the highest quality. Charming people brought charming wine for Seattle distributors and trade to taste. Never has there been such a refined and wine knowledgeable group of winemakers and reps,  and their English was a lot better than my Portuguese.  Never has there been so much good wine in the same room and they are all orphans looking for a home. The overall quality was amazing. Some wines were outstanding. Twenty-one wineries trying to place these great wines in a good home. Wine from most of Portugal's 25 DOCs were represented. From crisp and fresh whites such as Vino Verde and Alvarinho(AlbariƱo) to dry reds from Dao and the Douro, there was one delight after another.

I have fond memories of drinking Dao and Vino Verde with Ameijos con Carne in Cascais. They were simple wines, but delicious and cheap. Now they are bigger, cleaner and more complex. What a treat. I particularly liked the Quinta de Pedra  Alvarinho  2011 full bodied fruit and perfect counterbalancing acidity. Among the Douros,  I particularly liked the reds from Quinta Do Cume represented by  the charming Claudia Cudell. Marrying art and science resulted in a very appealing fruity, easy Red Selection and a more serious  and complex, but delicious Tinto. The dry Douros were an eye opener. All four Quinta Do S. Jose reds made by winemaker Joao Brito E Cunha were spectacular. The Principal Grande Reserva 2009 from the Bairrada DOC could be described as a SuperBairrada for its blend of  Touriga Nacional with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Alternatively, you could call it a Portuguese First Growth. Either way, it was GOOD!

The sweet wines were the real thing, none of the big six Neo- Post- Colonial Anglo deep red stuff, not some neo-post-colonial beverage to be served counterclockwise with cigars after the women adjourn to the parlor. Almost all of the sweet wines had both tawny character and color, even the whites. The sweet white Casa Do Conego Licoroso made from the Fernao Pires grape by Vidigal Wines was luscious like a very sweet Madeira. The Porto Messias Tawny and the Colheita 1985 were perfect examples of real Portuguese- style Porto. The highlight was a tasting of a dozen or so incredible red and white Portos from C. Da Silva. All of the Dalva wines were outstanding, but the 1971 white port was estupendo!

Portugal is where Spain was in the 1980s. Want to get in on the ground floor? Adopt these wonderful orphans looking for a home.


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