Portugal Proves Itself Again and Again

A perennial invite on the shelves of The Liquor Control Board of Ontario is the Esporão label from the Alentejo Appellation in Portugal. The label says a “blend of a traditional Alentejo varieties”. Not exactly helpful nor expected from a Portuguese producer.

On the aromatics we get a solid an intense wave of blackberry, black cherry, cooked rhubarb with some toasty vanilla. Moderate tannins and strong presence of black fruits tamed by the oak. Moderate finish. I think this is more of a foodie wine and I think it would go with Beef or Mushroom Wellington. I just finished making a Port reduction sauce to top the Mushroom Wellington with. All in all it took three hours of prep time so I would say save for a rainy day Sunday.

I think this wine will improve in the bottle up to 2026. A dry wine for sure but there is but a little twist of sweetness on the finish.

You can find equally good wines from the Alentejo for less than the price of this wine but sometimes you might not have the time to experiment. This wine is an easy choice and an introduction to the great potential of Alentejo.

(Esporão Tinto Reserva 2017, DOC Alentejo, Esporão, Reguengos de Monsaraz, Portugal, $26.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 606590, 750 mL, 14.5%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 92/100).

We end up in the Douro with a Quadrus 2019 white with a label that simply says this is a blend of indigenous grapes. Isn’t that helpful!  The LCBO Vintages Catalogue advises us the blend is Viosinho, Rabigato (which I am familiar with) and Côdega de Larinho. Light golden coloured. On the nose aromas of peach, tangerine and guava. On the palate tangerine, sweet white Texas grapefruit and subtle minerality from the schist soils. Beautiful integration of oak giving the wine character without oakiness. Moderate finish. Grilled chicken with piri piri sauce please. A good sipper too!

Drink before 2025.

(Quadrus Vinho Branco Douro 2019, DOC Douro, Miravino, Porto, Portugal, $19.75, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 667162, 750 mL, 12.5%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 92/100).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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