Boston Wine Expo 2000

Portugal and Spain


PORTUGAL

Andresen Late Bottled Vintage Porto '92 -- Made in the traditional style, this wine needs to be decanted and can age in the bottle. Licorice and plum aromas, along with a little alcohol. More licorice, prune, plum and raisin flavors, and a good tannic bite. Fairly sweet, but a slight bitter edge mars the finish. I wouldn't keep this for too long, but it could last for a couple of years.
B

Caves Velhas Quinta do Boição Bucelas '98 -- Spicy grapefruit and peach aromas, with big oak, pear and butter flavors. Lots of acidity on the finish. This might turn some California Chardonnay-lovers heads.
B+

Caves Velhas Romiera Palmela Vinho Tinto '97 -- Almost no aromas at all, with some cherry and earth flavors. Smooth and round, but not much there.
B-

Caves Velhas Romiera Palmela Garrafeira '95 -- Some alcohol on the nose, but not much else. Even smoother and rounder than the regular Vinho Tinto, with more generous cherry and earth flavors, and a great spiced cherry aftertaste.
B

Caves Velhas Dao Touriga Nacional Messiao Reserva '96 -- Very dark, inky wine, with plenty of earth and leather in the nose. Smooth with generous cherry and earth flavors that linger on the long finish. Medium tannins, and plenty of acidity to match with food.
B+

Herdade Cortes de Cima Alentejo '97 -- A blend of Aragonêz (Tempranillo), Trincadeira and Periquita that was fermented in stainless steel and aged in oak. Very nice spicy plum and cherry aromas. Lots of cherry, anise and plum flavor to go around, and a long finish of balanced fruit, spice and tannin.
B+

Lajido Pilo '94 -- Semi-oxidized (intentionally), this white wine has waxy and nutty aromas, along with some citrus fruit. Nutty and citrus flavors; it's not fortified, but tastes almost like it is. An unusual wine, most closely comparable to a cross between Fino and dry Amontillado Sherry. Full of flavor, and very good, though not for everyone.
B+

Paco Teixeiro Vinho Verde '95 -- Not spritzy at all, with waxy and fresh corn masa aromas. Round and quite oaky in the mouth, with more corn, and a touch of citrus. Not bad.
B

Quinta de Abrigada Allenquer '97 -- Saddle and feed lot aromas, with leather, black cherry and plum flavors. A good framework of tannin holds things together.
B

Quinta da Boavista Quinta das Setencostas Estremadura '98 -- A blend of Periquita, Tinta Miúda, Preto Martinho and Camarate. Spicy, peppery nose, with some plum notes. Simple but enjoyable round plum flavors, with little tannin. Good deal for the $8 suggested price.
B

Quinta do Cachão Tinta Roriz Colheita '98 -- Shy nose with a little leather showing up. Spicy and smooth, with modest cherry and leather flavors.
B-

Quinta do Carneiro Allenquer '97 -- A blend of Periquita, Trincadeira and Cabernet Sauvignon that shows green pepper and spice aromas, and bell pepper flavors.
C+

Quinta do Carvalhino Riserva Bairrada '91 -- Made from 100% Baga, which is the most common variety in the Bairrada region, and possibly the most widely planted grape in all of Portugal. The Baga is noted for high levels of tannin and acidity. This wine shows a lot of tobacco and plum on the nose, along with generous plum, tobacco and eucalyptus flavors. Quite tannic. This is a big wine with a lot going for it.
B+

Quinta do Cotto Douro '96 -- Very expressive eucalyptus, cherry and earth nose. Unfortunately, it falls a bit flat on the tongue, with modest cherry and leather notes, and not enough acidity to liven things up.
B

Quinta da Lagoalva Vinho Regional Ribatejo '93 -- Cherry and anise aromas and flavors blend nicely with earthy notes. Plenty of grip, too.
B

Quinta de Saes Dão '95 -- Smells like alcohol, with some earthy notes. But it improves a lot in the mouth, with full, round, sweet cherry and plum fruit, and a decent oak framework.
B

Quinta do Vale da Raposa Douro '97 -- Made from some of the Port grape varieties: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and Tinto Cão. Was this wine corked? Showed a slightly mildewy note on the nose, with some leather aromas. Muted cherry flavors, and quite tart.
No Rating (possibly corked)

Sogrape Gazela Vinho Verde NV -- Lightly spritzy with a fresh corn tortilla nose. Slightly sweet, but not much flavor. Ok, but not much more.
B-

Sogrape Vinha do Monte Vinho Regional Alantejano '98 -- Leather and bright red cherry, with a hint of pine on the nose. Lots of spicy oak with cherry and other berry flavors. Almost no tannins. For a suggested retail price of $7, this is a very good deal.
B

Sogrape Duke de Viseu Dão '96 -- An unusual combination of leather and floral aromas, with a little bit of the barnyard (but not too much) thrown in. Lots of cherry and earth flavor, and bracing tannins. Will show better with food, and for a suggested retail price of $8, it's another good deal.
B

Sogrape Grão Vasco Dão '97 -- Cherries, plums and earth are the dominant aromas, but there is a somewhat clashing note of green chile pepper in the mouth, along with the plum fruit. Seems a bit light, and lacking in backbone, but still an interesting drink.
B

Sogrape Douro Reserva '96 -- A spicy, plummy nose, with port-like aromas. Round and full in the mouth, with lots of plums, spice and earth, and good acidity. Moderate tannins. For $10, this is an excellent buy.
B+

Warres Late Bottled Vintage Port '86 -- Made in the traditional style, this LBV shows a bit of complexity on nose, with anise, prune and raisin added to some secondary aromas. Dusty blackberry and plum fruit, along with some tobacco and a touch of earth, keep the interest up in the mouth. Finishes with solid tannins.
B+

SPAIN

Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Reserva '94 -- A nice typical Rioja, with vanilla oak and cherry aromas and flavors. Smooth and balanced, with plenty of fruit.
B+

La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Riserva '90 -- Leather and cherry aromas, with plum, red cherry and oak flavors. Good fruit, and not too tannic. A smooth, satisfying Rioja.
B+

La Rioja Alta Viña Alberdi Riserva '95 -- Tawny color, with lots of oak and red cherry aromas. Plenty of cherry and oak are evident in the mouth, too. A pretty traditional style Rioja.
B

La Rioja Alta Baron de Ona Riserva '94 -- Made in a more modern style, this wine is much more tannic than the other offerings from this producer. It shows decent plum and tobacco flavors and aromas, but misses some of the subtlety of the other offerings.
B

If you would like to read about more great Spanish wines I tasted at this year's Expo, you shouldn't miss the Lustau Sherry Seminar and Tempranillo Seminar notes.


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