I had the pleasure of visiting the Dão in 2018 with some members of the international wine media. The wines, the vineyards, the topography the people and the food were memorable although the schedule was rough. Fly into Porto overnight from Toronto. Meet at the Porto Sheraton and relax with a tea which I never had as it was on the media bus to the Montebello Hotel perched on a hill in the town of Viseu, unpack then off to a dinner of superb local food and countless wines to try. No rest for the wicked.
One of the wineries visited was Boas Quintas. Modern with relatively large production. So it was with a bit of fond memories I saw a Dão wine at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario 21January2023 Vintages Release. A Gandarada it is called and is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Alfrochiero and Tinta Roriz.
Aromatics: Black cherry, blackberry, Bulgarian raspberry jam and cactus pear.
Palate: Gentle tannins but broad based. A discrete yet light coating of strawberry and raspberry on the entry palate. Black plum, hazelnut wafers, black cherry with a slender sliver of red beet. Deceptively rich because you must think about it and let in settle in. It is tight and compact and would benefit from some decanting. Built for food. Moderately long finish. This young wine is a classic Dão red. Why? Because what a classic Dão wine is in stored in my memory bank.
Personality: I am wound up tight now but I show my fruit discretely and with pride. Give me a couple more years to really show my stuff. I am also “tight” because I resent all the attention Douro wines get. Why aren’t Dão wines distributed more widely throughout the world!
Cellarbility: It is not often at this price point one can discuss ageability but in this case two years to mature and two more to enjoy.
Food Match: Tomahawk steak. Vegetarians would enjoy with Eggplant Parmesan.
Personality: A youthful wine that will not complain with immediate consumption. It does not flaunt its good characteristics. An excellent example of a Dão red wine.
Price: $14.95 (Ontario)
RKS 2023 Wine Rating: 91/100. Decanter World Wine Awards Best in Show 97/100.
(Gandarada 2019 D.O.C. Dão, Boas Quintas, Mortágua, Portugal, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 25447, 750 mL, 13%).