Wine, Wine Reviews

2015 Annual Portuguese Tasting – Toronto

Portuguese Tasting
Portuguese Tasting

For a number of years the Portuguese Trade commission organized annual tastings of their wines featuring wineries willing to participate. This tradition was abandoned for the past four years, but authorities in Lisbon decided to re-establish this much appreciated tradition.

The wine market in Ontario evolved and any wine producing country cannot afford to ignore marketing, if it wants to expand exports to Ontario or Canada.
This year’s tasting was much smaller than those in the past, and attracted hundreds trade people and the wine media.

Overall, the food was meagre (quantity and quality).
The wines – overall white wines tasted fine, though not memorable, except those one winery in Dao ( Mondeo).

Reds sampled tasted much better, but those that stood out cost more than
$ 50.00 some approaching $ 100.00.

The 2007 and 2009 vintage ports and LBVs (Late Bottled Vintage Port) tasted fine.
A few roses listed below are well worth looking for. Not long ago two Portuguese brands of rose (Mateus and Lancers) were best sellers, but now have diminished to obscurity.
Portugal’s grape varieties surpass even those of Italy in numbers.

Recently, several wineries planted internationally recognized French varities ( i.e chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, syrah, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc) and blend with indigenous grape wines for variety,and often to improve flavour and mouth feel. Occasionally a winery may even make a varietal wine using a French grape.
The most popular Portuguese grape are: Alvarinho (albarino in Spain), arinto, encruzado, and fernao pires for whites, and touriga nacional, baga, castelao, trincadeira, aragonez (tempranillo in Spain), and touriga franca for reds.

Entry-level wines are well priced and offer good value. Many of those are general list brands and available all the time.

High end wines are either special imports ( eight weeks minimum), and consignment (available within three days). 34 wineries participated with more than 200 wines, and I managed to taste 63 in all.

Here are my recommendations

Whites wines

Private Selection White, 21014, Esporao
88+/100
Branco Reserva, 2013, Herdade do Grous
89+/100
Loureiro, 2014, Joao Portugal Ramos
89+/100
Branco 2014, Mondeco
90/100
Munda, 2013, Mundeco
90+/100
Catarina, 2014, Bacalhoa
89+/100

Dessert wines

Alhambre 20 year old Jose Maria da Fonseca Vinhos
91/100
Alhambra Moscatel de Setubal 2010
90+/100

Rose wines

JP Azeitao, 21014, Bacalhoa
89/100
Cabriz Rose, 2014, Dao Sul
88+/100

Red wines

Foral, 2013, Alianca
88/100
Terra Boa, 2013, Alianca
88/100
Colheita Seleccionado, 2013, Herdade San Miguel
88/100
Grande Escolha, 2012, Quinta da Fronteira
89/ 100
Cortes de Cima Reserva, 2011
88+/100
Nature Organic, 2012, Paco dos Cunhas de Santar
90+/100
Grand Arte Touriga Nacional, 2012, DFJ Vinhos
88+/100
Vegha, 2011, DFJ Vinhos
89/100
Reserva, 2010, Quinta dos Murcas
89/100
Tinto Reserva, 2011, Herdade dos Grous
88+/100
Doda, 2011, Niepoort
90+/100
Telhas Tinto, 2011, Terra d’Alter
88+/100
Reserva Vinas Velhas, 2012, Quinta do Crasto
89/100
Red, 2012, Quinta Vale D.Maria
88+/100
Red, 2010, 2010, Quinta de Mondego
89+/100
Red, 2012, Quitna da Foz
90/100
Olho de Mocho, 2011, Herdade Rocim
92/100

Port wines

10 Year Old , Niepoort,
91/100
LBV, 2009, Niepoort
89/100
LBV, 2009, Quinta de Pacheca
89+/100Vintage Port 2007, Quevedo
90+/100

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