Browse Tag


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)

Where’s Moneypenny?

Quintas de Melgaço 2006 Vinho Verde Alvarinho “QM” (Portugal) – There’s plenty of fizz here, to the extent that more than a few casual drinkers wonder aloud if this isn’t a sparkling wine. But the aggressive pétillance gives it verve and vivacity, and the limestone, lemon-lime and chalk palate is wonderfully crisp, mineral-driven and exciting. Joe Perry calls this “the DRC of Vinho Verde,” and while I’ve had other serious and studied wines from the appellation, I find it impossible to discover any faults aside from excessive quality here. Nicely done. (8/07)

João do you do?

[cave]Caves São João 2003 “Frei João” Bairrada (Portugal) – Dark, hard, difficult. There’s plum here, perhaps a bit fire-roasted, and squinched blackberry, and perhaps some dirt. Black dirt. I’d like to try this from a different vintage. (6/08)

Sailin’ away to Key Campolargo

Campolargo 2005 Bairrada Arinto (Portugal) – Brilliant. Fascinating. Full of white-lit spice and intense, ground up diamond minerality, with exotic woods (not oak) and a vibrant, almost sentient texture. Terrific wine, deep and complex; a mystery inside an enigma wrapped in a puzzle. (5/08)

Q, M, 007

Quintas de Malgaço “QM” 2006 Vinho Verde Alvarinho (Monção) – Spice in the form of a tightly-packed carbon froth, crystallized lemon-lime, dulled-razor acidity, and a quasi-electric texture. A few bottles of the half-dozen tasted are starting to water up, but the rest retain their full intensity. Do these wines age? It seems almost like a waste to find out. (5/08)


[tree]Santa Vitória 2007 Alentejano Branco (Portugal) – Dry, clean, dry, skin-toned, dry, seedy, and dry. I’ve never tasted such a parched wine. It makes me thirsty for something liquid. (2/08)

Santa Vitória 2006 Alentejano Branco (Portugal) – Fuller than the 2007, showing crisp melon and apple, but with layer upon layer of skin-dominated desiccation. Very interesting. (2/08)

Santa Vitória 2006 Alentejano Branco “Reserva” (Portugal) – Peach, apricot, and thick orange cream with good acidity. Big and full-fruited. Very tasty. (2/08)


[vineyard]Santa Vitória 2005 Alentejano Tinto (Portugal) – Blackberry, black cherry, and strawberry seeds. Tough tannins. I don’t see how this resolves into anything useful. (2/08)

Santa Vitória 2004 Alentejano Tinto “Reserva” (Portugal) – Lusher than its brethren, and more full-bodied, with blueberry and plum, a complexing rindy note, and a good deal of structure. Still, it’s just average. (2/08)


Santa Vitória “Versátil” 2005 Alentejano Tinto (Portugal) – Dirty and angular, showing sharp-edged blackberries. Eh. (2/08)


Santa Vitória “Inevitável” 2005 Alentejano Tinto (Portugal) – Big and dense, with chewy, chocolate-covered blackberries. Sophisticated but quite tannic at the moment; it will age, but I think the tannin will always be somewhat of a topnote. (2/08)