Browse Tag


Vento box

Quinta de Ventozelo 2006 Douro “Vinzelo” (Douro) – Bridges an older, increasingly outmoded style of Portuguese red (prematurely fatigued and sun-baked) with the newer, more pristine, more confident style. There’s ripe fruit from purple berries, edging up to a sticky barrier but rarely drifting into its corpulent muck for long, a general lack of structure, and as the last drop is drained, little other than a pleasant memory. “Yeah. That was a wine. I drank it.” (1/10)


[vineyard]Graham’s 1996 Porto Malvedos (Douro) – Still sticky-fruited and jellified, all blue/purple/black berry syrup and slippery sweetness. What structure there is has been forcefully relegated to the background. Easy-drinking, and as it airs some hints of a graphite-textured tannin finally emerge from some remote refuge. Needs more time, but on the other hand quite drinkable now. (12/09)

Dow before me

Dow’s 1990 Porto Quinta do Bomfim (Douro) – Red cherry, black pepper, and spice…sweet, rich, and full-bodied, but balanced. I think. There’s a minor bit of developmental appeal now, but I’d let this one hang around a fair while longer. (12/09)

Stinky infant

Quinta do Infantado Tawny Porto Medium-Dry (Douro) – After much dalliance upon the occasion of this producer’s first appearance on U.S. shores, I gave up ever buying their wines, due to the vast majority of them (approaching 90%) being corked…but only mine. Everyone else seemed to be able to enjoy the wine in untainted form. I can certainly claim no evidence of systemic taint, and in fact it seemed to be very much a personal vendetta the TCA gods were waging against me (and, unfortunately, against the producer’s wines when they were so unlucky as to be carried home by me, or opened by someone else in my house), but trying to find an intact bottle was just hopeless. So after a hiatus of a few years, I decided to dip my toe in these stanky waters once more. The result? What else? Corked. Corked into oblivion. Obviously, I am not meant to own or drink these wines. (9/09)

Let me stress, per the comments below: this is, as far as I can tell, my issue and my issue only. I am personally cursed by being virtually unable to experience a non-corked Infantado. My results should not — and in fact, have not — been replicated by others.

Clara beau

Bergqvist “Vale da Clara by Quinta de la Rosa” 2001 Douro (Portugal) – Dark cherries and tobacco smoke, showing some resolution (in terms of maturity, not fortitude). Very pretty. This wine is gentling into maturity, yet retains a dark streak that speaks of its origins. (3/09)

Dogs of Warre’s

Warre’s 1994 “Late Bottled Vintage” Porto (Douro) – This is not a great Port, to be sure, but the problem I have with this wine is less its inherent quality than the fact that I’ve realized I just don’t much like ruby Port without significant age. The fruit here is big and simple-minded, there’s certainly no lack of sugar, the relatively minor tannin is foursquare, and there’s just not a whole lot more to say about the wine. (12/08)

Childish Porto

Quinta do Infantado 1995 Porto (Douro) – Soft, woven fabric and reams of spice in which are nestled gentle red fruit, freshly-dug earth, and nut shells. This is in a beautiful place right now. (2/08)


[barge]Burmester Tawny Porto (Douro) – More oxidized than I’d like, showing little other than stale nuts and an acrid sharpness. (2/08)

Burmester “Jockey Club” Porto “Reserva” (Douro) – Brown sugar and maple syrup. OK. (2/08)

Burmester “10 Year” Tawny Porto (Douro) – Complex at the outset, sugary sweetness, with stale fruit but good length. Actually fairly tasty, though it seems older than its constituent parts. (2/08)

Burmester “20 Year” Tawny Porto (Douro) – Spiced brandy but pleasantly mild overall, with complex sugars and a long, creamy finish. (2/08)

Burmester 1985 Colheita Porto (Douro) – Cigar and old Armagnac, very spicy, with balanced sweetness but a touch of heat on the finish. Impressive length. (2/08)