PORTUGAL

Portuguese wine is the result of traditions introduced to the region by ancient civilizations, such as the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, and mostly the Romans. Portugal produces a wide variety of different wines with distinctive personality because they have a large array of native varietals.

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  1. ARCA NOVA 2017 VINHO VERDE

    Item #: i_377154
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Arca Nova Vino Verde is made by Quinta das Arcas, a small estate owned and operated by the Monteiro family. All of their grapes are estate grown between their 4 estates in the Vinho Verde and Alentejo regions. Their vines are trellised so the clusters are growing about 6 feet above the ground to allow the wind to remove the humidity. Vinho Verde means ‘Green Wine’ and is both the name of the wine and the name of the region. Stylistically, all Vinho Verdes are light, clean, fresh, and citrusy. Effervescence is added to Vinho Verde wines to increase their shelf life. The U.S. is currently the world’s largest importing country for Vinho Verde wines.

    Arca Nova Vinho Verde is a crisp, dry, slightly effervescent, light bodied white wine with a pale yellow color and youthful, floral, citrus aromas that are reminiscent of freshly cut grass. Moderately intense on the palate with lemon, green apple, and peach flavors and a medium finish.

    This wine is made from 50% Loureiro, 40% Arinto and 10% Treixadura using sustainable farming of vineyards ranging from 6 to 30 years old at elevations from 300 to 1000 feet. Residual Sugar: 6.0 grams per liter. Alcohol: 10.5%

    Enjoy Arca Nova Vinho Verde as the perfect summer apéritif wine and with oysters, filet of sole, grilled shrimp, sushi, and summer salads.
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  2. CHOCAPALHA 2013 TINTO

    Item #: i_378601
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    We've been fortunate lately to discover a fresh crop of striking and beautiful wines from Portugal. The appeal is immediate. When we tasted the Chocapalha line-up last month alongside the rest of winemaker Sandra Tavares's ventures we decided our "Wine of the Month 2" on the spot—and added white "Arinto" bottling as a companion, almost a "Wine of the Month 2.5." The wines are layered, aromatic, with balanced alcohols and enlivening acidity, but also show a depth of fruit that is immediately appealing. You probably won't recognize many of the grape varieties in these wines, but the discovery here is half the fun and the prices are amazing for the quality.

    This ancient estate is nestled in the sun-drenched hills near Alenquer, just northwest of Lisbon. The Tavares da Silva family has nurtured the vineyards over the years, and today their youngest daughter, Sandra, is making some of the most exciting wines in Portugal. Sandra has built a name for herself as a modern and mindful winemaker in the Duoro Region.

    Traditional Portuguese Red wines are rarely single-varietal bottlings, but instead are complex field blends-almost always 5-6 grapes at a minimum, but sometimes up to 25 or 30. Her Tinto is a luscious blend of Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Nacional, Castelao, complimented by small amounts of Syrah, and Alicante Bouschet. The family employs the traditional concrete lagares for fermentation, extracting just the right amount of flavor and color. Aromas of violets, ginger and fine-spices, and serious red fruit by fresh are followed wild berry fruit and a fine-bead of minerality on the palate. The wine is serious enough to be paired with the most elevated meals or age beautifully, but it's also fun enough for burgers on the barbeque this summer.
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  3. CHOCAPALHA 2017 ARINTO BLANCO

    Item #: i_378609
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    We've been fortunate lately to discover a fresh crop of striking and beautiful wines from Portugal. The appeal is immediate. When we tasted the Chocapalha line-up last month alongside the rest of winemaker Sandra Tavares's ventures we decided our "Wine of the Month 2" on the spot—and added white "Arinto" bottling as a companion, almost a "Wine of the Month 2.5." The wines are layered, aromatic, with balanced alcohols and enlivening acidity, but also show a depth of fruit that is immediately appealing. You probably won't recognize many of the grape varieties in these wines, but the discovery here is half the fun and the prices are amazing for the quality.

    This ancient estate is nestled in the sun-drenched hills near Alenquer, just northwest of Lisbon. The Tavares da Silva family has nurtured the vineyards over the years, and today their youngest daughter, Sandra, is making some of the most exciting wines in Portugal. Sandra has built a name for herself as a modern and mindful winemaker in the Duoro Region.

    It's easy to picture Lisbon as sunny and blessed with great beaches, but there is also quite a bit of wind and maritime coolness in the climate here that sharpens the aromatics and acidity. The Arinto grape is not known widely, but Sandra Tavares made something special and undeniable here. Look for scents of ripe yellow plum and summer stone fruits mixing with a citrusy core of ruby grape-fruit citrus, lemon, and kumquat in a mineral style. There is an electric zip to this wine that reminds us of Chablis or the best New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs. Mostly, the wine press is just starting to look seriously at Portuguese wines, but Robert Parker's Wine Advocate recently awarded this wine 91 points.
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  4. CHRYSEIA 2016 POST SCRIPTUM

    Item #: i_380431
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    The 2016 Post Scriptum de Chryseia is principally a Touriga Nacional / Touriga Franca blend. Not overly concentrated, it does have beautiful, lifted fruit and an enticing fresh feel to it. In its own subtle way, this is focused and very appealing and a complete charmer. Perfumed and almost Margaux-like! Bone dry and rather refined.
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  5. CONFIDENCIAL 2014 RED RESERVE

    Item #: i_383545
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Casa Santos Lima is a family owned and operated company dedicated to the production, bottling and selling of Portuguese wines from around 400 hectares of vineyards. Most of Casa Santos Lima’s estates are located in Alenquer, 45km north of Lisbon, in a region where wine production is centuries old and the typical rural landscapes are gifted with enormous beauty. The vineyards are planted on gentle slopes with altitudes between 100 and 220 meters benefiting from an excellent sun exposition and a climate slightly tempered by the nearby Atlantic Ocean, only 25 km away from the property. Casa Santos Lima is the largest producer of “Vinho Regional Lisboa” and is one of the most awarded Portuguese wineries in both major national and international wine competitions. A maritime influence provides fresh summer nights along with gentle winters that are key to the production of quality grapes in this region. This climate helps produce wines with great acidity and a youthful freshness.
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  6. DO VALE MEAO 2014 MEANDRO; DOURO

    Item #: i_383258
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Advocate: 91
    WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2014 Meandro do Vale Meão is a 40/30 blend of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca, with 20% Tinta Roriz and small dollops of other grapes. It was aged in well-used French oak (six years) for 13 months and comes in 14.5% alcohol. If you read my accompanying article this issue, you read the forecasts from many (including Meão's winemaker) that Douro Superior was generally one of the best regions in this tough vintage. Here's an example. This Meandro is pretty fine, particularly for a second label. Rather concentrated, tight and surprisingly powerful in its youth, this also shows some flavor underneath, once past the tannins, but it is mostly dry and serious. It looks like a terrific Meandro, focused, intense and elegant. I suspect the tannins will fall off fairly quickly here--how it evolves at that point is my only question mark--and this will drink well on the younger side. It seems able to acquire complexity with time, but I'd like to see it prove that it will hold its concentration level. It could use a year or so to settle down. In a vintage where there aren't many wines to chase after, this one, particularly considering its price point, is a good option."
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  7. DUORUM 2014 COLHEITA DOURO

    Item #: i_383637
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE & SPIRITS MAGAZINE 91 POINTS - "From a partnership between João Portugal Ramos and José Maria Soares Franco, this is a bright and powerful Douro red that glistens with freshness. The tannins are firm and stony, buoying the fruit in scents of red plum and pomegranate. Best Buy."

    Every now and then we get something great tossed in our lap-- in this case, it's an under-the-radar, delicious Portuguese wine at a steep discount. Normally retailing at $19.95, we are passing the savings on to you and offering it on sale at $13.95.

    While more well known for their fortified eponymous wines, Portugal's 'regular' still wines give great insight to how their fortified cousins have fared so well over the centuries: the base wines are flat-out delicious. The potential for greatness is there: the terroir, the passion, the history; the components are available to make world-class wines. That this wine is as good as it is for such a reasonable price is a great sign for the future of Portuguese (non-Port) wines.

    This Tinto (red wine) is comprised of 40% Touriga Nacional, 40% Touriga Franca and 20% Tinto Roriz from the Douro region. The grapes are de-stemmed and gently crushed in stainless steel lagares (troughs) by robotized treading where the pre-fermentative maceration takes place at low temperature. Fermentation in stainless steel tanks at the controlled temperature of 28ºC (82.4ºF). Maturation/Elevage occurs in 225 and 300 liter French oak barrels (2nd and 3rd year use) for 12 months.

    The nose gives off scents of dark, spicy fruits, black plum, persimmon and pomegranate, violets and cedar. In the mouth the dark blue and red fruits continue with notes of black raspberry, cherry and black cherry. The tannins and overall structure are excellent and keep the wine buoyant and fresh. Touches of bramble, Earl Grey tea and a reiteration of the dark fruits make for a tasty, layered finish that lasts and lasts on the palate.
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  8. ESPORAO 2014 RESERVE RED

    Item #: i_380591
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Spectator: 90
    Wine Enthusiast: 92 Points
    WINE ENTHUSIAST 92 POINTS - "From the heart of this large estate, this wine is powerful, structured and firm, with dense black plum and damson fruit. With the perfume of Aragonez and the structure of Alicante Bouschet, this fine wine still needs time to develop. Drink from 2019." Editors' Choice.

    WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "Focused and graceful, with concentration to the blackberry, anise, plum and mocha flavors. Spice and herb accents mingle with minerally details on the long, moderately tannic finish. Aragonez, Trincadeira, Alicante Bouschet and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2022."
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  9. LUIS PATO 2013 VINHAS VELHAS RED

    Item #: i_383700
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    The Pato family has been producing wine at Quinta do Ribeirinho since, at least, the eighteen century. João Pato started to bottle the wine from his vineyards in 1970, becoming the first winegrower in Bairrada region after its demarcation. His son Luis Pato inherited this nonconformist and pioneer spirit and in 1980 produces his first wine, a pure Baga from an exceptional quality and absolute rareness that is sought by appreciators as a treasure. In 1985 begins 2 revolutions at Bairrada: destems Baga grapes and matures the wine in new French oak casks. In 1988 he plants Baga from ungrafted vines to understand pre-phyloxera wines and produces the first Vinhas Velhas’ wine from Portugal. In 1990 participates, for the first time, as a judge at International Wine Challenge, a contest that he assumes as a tasting school and a guidance that shows him new wines and the volatility of the consumers’ taste. In the 60 hectares of vineyards there are planted the grapes Baga, Touriga Nacional e Tinto Cão in red varieties, in white varieties there are Maria Gomes, Bical, Cercial da Bairrada e Sercialinho nas variedades brancas.
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  10. PRATS & SYMINGTON CHRYSEIA 2012 DOURO

    Item #: i_377243
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ENTHUSIAST 95 POINTS - "This markes the 17th vintage of this wine, a joint venture between the Symington family and Bordeaux consultant Bruno Pratts (Cos Estournel former owner). Based entirely on fruit from Quintas de Roriz and Perdiz, this smooth structured wine has many of the characteristics of Bordeaux with its new wood and elegant texture."

    WINE ADVOCATE - "The 2012 Post Scriptum de Chryseia is principally a Touriga Nacional / Touriga Franca blend, with tiny quantities of other grapes, aged for 13 months 400-liter French oak. It is a fresh and elegant PS this year. Not overly concentrated, it does have beautiful, lifted fruit and an enticing fresh feel to it. In its own subtle way, this focused and very appealing PS should be a complete charmer. If it evolves well, it may yet be entitled to an uptick, but it won't disappoint at its typically nice price."
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  11. QUINTA DE SOALHEIRO 2017 "ALLO" ALVARINHO/LOUREIRO

    Item #: i_383648
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Advocate: 91
    WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "This is another punch-above-your-weight wine from Vinho Verde in general and Soalheiro in particular. It's not quite as deep as the monovarietal Alvarinho, but it has fine concentration for an inexpensive blend nonetheless. Plus, there's that little bit extra in those other areas—flavor and aromatics. Then, there's the acidity. The tension on the finish and the grapefruit-nuanced edge are remarkable in its youth. For some, it may even be a bit too much. It's still not entirely clear where this new brand goes as the wines evolve, but overall it looks like a terrific new label in the lineup so far. Acidity preserves, so I expect this to age well. It may well be better this time next year, when it pulls in the sharp elbows a little."
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  12. QUINTA DO AMEAL 2017 LOUREIRO

    Item #: i_381008
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    Wine Advocate: 91
    WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2017 Loureiro is the winery's classic version—meaning "unoaked." Of course, it is dry and without fizz—which is true for all the winery's wines. It comes in at 11.5% alcohol. This is a rather dense Loureiro that, it seems to me (noting that they are not side by side), has a somewhat different personality than the 2015 or 2016. It just seems a little fruitier. It is a bit less nervy and precise. The concentration is exceptional for this bottling, however, and the tasty fruit lingers on the finish beautifully. If the perceptible balance is perhaps a bit different this year, it still maintains its balance well and has enough acidity. Overall, I think this is going to be just fine. As it sheds the baby fat, the underlying structure may become more obvious. Indeed, it seemed exceptional when retasted the next day. For the moment, let's be a little conservative in both score and drinking windows, but it should age very well—and likely better than anticipated."
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  13. QUINTA DO CRASTO 2015 RESERVA

    Item #: i_383633
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Advocate: 94
    Wine Spectator: 94
    WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2015 Reserva Old Vines is a field blend from old vines (average age: 70 years) aged for 16 to 18 months in 65% new oak (85% French, the rest American), depending on the lots. It comes in at 14.5% alcohol. This year, Crasto eliminated two southern-exposure plots in the vineyard because they were not fresh enough, and Maria Teresa and Vinha da Ponte lots were eliminated because both produced separate wines this year. This may not be the biggest or most powerful or deepest Old Vines, but it will certainly be considered one of the best. Like the Crasto Superior this issue, it has all the hallmarks of the 2015 vintage—elegance, freshness and big, vivid fruit flavor. Here too, and as with most 2015s, the fruit is never jammy but always well-defined by acidity. This then adds a layer of concentration to the Superior and more caressing texture as well. The finish is longer too. This is a beauty that will be approachable young, but it will hold well—20 years should not be a problem, while more is easily possible. This still has some upside potential, by the way. You can certainly plunge in now, but it may yet develop more. If it does, it might even be entitled to an uptick."

    WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "This powerful red is rich in steeped cherry, red plum and currant flavors that are matched to herb, graphite and olive elements, aided by aromas of tea and anise that dovetail into the tangy finish."
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  14. QUINTA DO CRASTO 2015 SUPERIOR

    Item #: i_378485
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Situated on the right bank of the Douro River, between the towns of Régua and Pinhão, Quinta do Crasto has a privileged location in the Demarcated Region of the Douro. Quinta do Crasto has belonged to the family of Leonor and Jorge Roquette for over a century. Their passion for wine making has contributed to Quinta do Crasto´s growing national and international reputation.

    Deep violet in color. Expressive aromas of vibrant berry fruits combined with subtle hints of fresh spices. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and displays nice concentration with ripe red fruit including raspberry and cherry, along with notions of cocoa. With time in the glass, the wine becomes more complex and darker fruits, including blueberries emerge. Velvety tannins make the wine accessible now, but also capable of aging for the next 5-7 years. The finish is very long, showing excellent concentration and perfect balance. Simply Delicious! A blend of 50% Touriga Nacional, 25% Touriga Franca, 20% Tinta Roriz and 5% Sousao.
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  15. SOALHEIRO 2017 ALVARINHO

    Item #: i_380863
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    Region: Vinho Verde sub-region of Monção and Melgaço 100% Alvarinho (The superstar white grape of the Vinho Verde region aka Albariño across the border in Spain. It can make rich, full-bodied and fragrant whites and in Portugal they tend to have a more mineral based structure)Nose of jasmine flower, citrus, and pear. The palate is intense with steely minerality, and lush tropical fruit notes. Dry, medium bodied, with lively acidity, and a long finish. This wine is lean and mineral driven with a focused intensity when young but transforms with gorgeous smoky citrus nuances with a bit of age which it can do for many years to come!
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  16. WINE AND SOUL 2014 PINTAS CHARACTER

    Item #: i_382166
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Advocate: 92
    Wine Spectator: 91
    Wine Enthusiast: 93 Points
    WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2014 Pintas is a field blend sourced from old vines (84 years) and aged for 20 months in French oak (30% new and 70% second-year wood). Like so many 2014s, this is a little stern and dry, a little lacking in expression. That said, it is beautifully built and often gorgeous. It shows fine concentration for the vintage, focus and precision. The texture is pure velvet. The finish lingers. Tightly wound, it is nonetheless approachable, although a year or two in the cellar wouldn't hurt. Not quite as sunny and as expressive as the Manoella, this dense Tinto is more closed, drier and a bit sterner. At first, weighing pros and cons, I couldn't decide whether this or the Manoella Old Vines was a better achievement this year. Neither may be completely representative of the properties in the very best years, but they both are very good off-vintage performances, a tribute to the winemaking skill. I'd tend to pick this. Its mouth-filling demeanor is impressive at the moment, as is its structure. It simply grips the palate. As with the Manoella, the remaining question will be whether this develops and improves with time, or begins to lose focus. I do have some doubts there. It certainly seems likely to be early-maturing. This still looks like one of the best bets for an upper-level 2014 red. After a couple of hours open, it was still impressive, if more elegant. We'll see what the future has to say when it gets here, but this has some upside potential.

    WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS, WINE ENTHUSIAST 93 POINTS, WINE & SPIRITS 95 POINTS
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  17. WINE AND SOUL 2016 GURU BIANCO

    Item #: i_382145
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Wine Advocate: 93
    WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - The 2016 Guru is a roughly equal blend of Codega do Larinho, Rabigato, Viosinho and Gouveio aged for just six months in 30% new French oak, including the use of some bigger barrels. It comes in at 12.5% alcohol. Sourced from 50-year-old vines, it was bottled only a week before tasting, but it sure seemed to be doing well. It shows much more crisply than in some years and the impression of wood has pretty much disappeared, as this winery reduces the oak involved. It shows fine concentration and even better tension on the finish. The smoky aromatics of which I’ve complained in the past are only a hint this year, much more restrained to the point where they do not seem to be an issue. That should get better, not worse. Intense and deep, Guru is very fine this year. It should hold at least a decade, probably more."
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