RKS 2023 Wine: Porto Memories: Sagrado Reserva

I have a boatload of Porto memories all good and many lighthearted. I have been somewhat of a regular visitor there since 2014.

One very pleasant memory is attending Port Wine Day in Porto pre COVID and having a memorable lunch with José Maria Cálem proprietor of Quinta Sagrado in the Douro region of Portugal. On a brilliant September afternoon in the Ribeira District of Porto we sat looking at Vila Nova de Gaia across the river eating many a seafood dish and trying several Sagrado wines. After lunch we moved to his home on the river for a tasting of some Sagrado field blend wines which were of impeccable quality and impossible to find in Canada.

We do receive a Sagrado wine now and then in the shelves of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. The Sagrado Reserva is a wine that deserves some ageing most of which has taken place upon its release as in this case we have a 2015 Reserva.

Aroma: Even at 8 years from bottling the wine is a bit tight and cloistered. It has Douro written all over it being a blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz. It has a rich nose almost verging on Port and it is foot trodden in lagares! Old school. Loads of blackberry, cassis and black cherry. An almost Portish red wine!

Palate: Still tight and firm despite so much time in the bottle. One might say this is a Douro wine from years past as it has taken some time to form and is not one of those modern “easily accessible wines” manipulated by “flying winemakers”. Black cherry and cassis reluctantly hide in the formality of this wine.

Personality: José Maria Cálem, my boss, is a fifth-generation winemaker and this foot trodden in lagares wine shows my heritage of a wine that takes time to reach its peak. I am rich yet somewhat withdrawn and will need a couple more years to reach my peak. I am an old school wine and have no regrets.

Cellarbility: Drinkable now but give it until 2025 to really reward the palate. And I wouldn’t be surprised if this can cruise into 2028.

Food Match: Azorean cheese from St. George Island topped with some Azorean pumpkin jam. Roast baby goat and some Azorean Holy Ghost soup too! It would also suit a Douro duck casserole!

In a nutshell: An old school Douro red taking its time to delight you.

In a nutshell: Michel Rolland go home!

Price: $27. (Ontario)

RKS 2023 Wine Rating: 92/100. Roger Voss 94.

(Sagrado Reserva 2015 Douro DOC, Nova Quinta do Sagrado, Porto, Portugal, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 568774, 750 mL, 14%).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" 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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