Browse Tag


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.

Watch it there, Tojo

Casal do Tojo 2007 Terras do Sado Muscat “Lisa” (Portugal) – Fluffy muscat perfume with squirts of lime. Tastes unnatural. Well-chilled, on a hot summer day…OK, sure. But that’s about it. (7/09)

Q, M, & 007

Quintas de Melgaço “QM” 2006 Vinho Verde Alvarinho (Monção) – A “spare” bottle left aside to see what happened with a little age, though in this case only a microscopic bit of patience was actually exercised, and the full experiment will have to wait for another day. Salty and almost soda-like, thought not in the frothy fashion of something like txakolina, but more in the lingering, quasi-electric tactility of the wine. Lemon, lime, grapefruit…the greenish, less sweet end of the citric spectrum is a little more spare than at release, and maybe the wine’s just a touch less fun that before. Food, which is always good with this wine (something saline and from a shell or carapace works best), might be a little more necessary than before. (5/09)

That’s Sogrape

[bottle]Sogrape “Vinha do Monte” 2006 Alentejano (Portugal) – Dark, earth-clad berries with a fair amount of internal darkness. The structure, while still present, is already showing the initial signs of erosion. But the wine’s in a very good place at the moment, with or without food. (4/09)

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)

Anlandroal sense of humor

[bottle]Alandroal “Pontual” 2004 Alentejano (Portugal) – 65% touriga naçional, 35% trincadeira. Straightforward dark berries, walnut skins, some unsweetened chocolate, and what appears to be a thick, enveloping sheathe of oak (expressed more as tannin than aroma, so I could be wrong about this). There’s a lot of density here, but to little end, and I can’t see anything source-specific about the wine either. Perhaps age will help. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s no joy to drink either. (2/09)

Palmela Anderson

Quinta da Romeira de Cima “Tradição” 2002 Palmela (Portugal) – A friendly whoosh of fruit…berries, plums, and so forth…smoothly presented. Starts and finishes fully-rounded, without discernable flaws. Of course, this roundness comes at the cost of additional complexities, but this is a fine value at an excellent point in its evolution. (2/09)

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)

Amon Sul

Dão Sul “Cabriz” 20005 Dão (Portugal) – Dark, wild-berry fruit. Tar. Charred espresso. And a massively hollow palate. With more form and midsection, this would have been a nice $10 quaffer. As it is, it’s avoidable. (10/08)


Caves Dom Teodósio 1963 Garrafeira Particular (Portugal) – Old brown sugar, dark fruit, earth, tar, and dead roses. This is just barely clinging to a semblance of faded life, though the necrophiliac in the room (the one who brought it) likes it more. (2/08)