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Announcement: tasting notes have permanently migrated elsewhere. This page and its sub-network will stand for a while, and will always be Google-accessible, but that's where the new action is and will be.

w h i t e

Quinta do Feital “Auratus” 2004 Alvarinho/Trajadura (Minho) – Intense, sun-drenched but brightly crisp and tangy lemon, ripe green apple, and melon flavors with a saline edge and dusted bivalves around the borders. Vivid enjoyment. (2/07)

Quintas de Melgaço “Terra Antica” 2004 Vinho Verde (Portugal) – Crisp lime and green apple. Very pure. (1/06)

Castelo Branco “Quinta da Murta” 2004 Bucelas (Portugal) – Gorgeous, full-fruited green apple. (1/06)

Quinta do Serrado “Solar” 2004 Vinho Verde Alvarinho (Portugal) – Creamy lemon and apple; smooth to the point of being sticky. (1/06)

Herdade Grande 2004 Alentejano (Portugal) – Mercaptans and fizzy, ripe apple. Crisp and long, this eventually gets better despite the skunk. (1/06)

r e d

Quinta do Alorna 2003 Ribatejano (Portugal) – Chewy peanut butter overwhelmed by dense, wood-like tannins (though I don’t know that this wine has actually seen any wood). (1/06)

Quinta da Cortezia “Vinha Concha” 2003 Estremadura (Portugal) – Sour cherry and plum. The acid is low, but otherwise this at least makes a nod in the direction of balance. (1/06)

CA do Sanguinhal “Peninsula” 2003 Estremadura (Portugal) – Sulfur on the nose; thick, purple and fruity with mildly green tannin on the palate. (1/06)

CA do Sanguinhal “Quinta de S. Francisco” 2001 Óbidos (Portugal) – Hard blueberry skin and strawberry seed; tough but good in its angry way. (1/06)

SA do Casal de Tonda “Quinta dos Grilos” 2004 Dão (Portugal) – Black leather and blackberry with ripe tannin and nice balance. (1/06)

Herdade Grande 2002 Alentejano (Portugal) – Gorgeous plum and black cherry over black earth-flecked morels. Lovely and structured with a long finish. Terrific. (1/06)

Bastos Estremox “Dona Maria” 2003 Alentejano (Portugal) – Spicy and almost pétillant. Fades and thins quickly to plastic on the finish. (1/06)

Vinhos Douro Superior “Castello d’Alba” 2003 Douro “Reserva” (Portugal) – Solid, purple and grapey with oddly stewed tannins and slight greenness (manifesting as thyme). The acid’s a bit high and not entirely integrated, either. (1/06)

Erdade de Malhada “Casa de Santa Vitoria” 2003 Alentejano (Portugal) – I’m not confident that I’ve correctly transcribed the name of this winery. Fruity blueberry and some cotton candy smoothed by a vanilla sheen. Good, if a bit tannic. (1/06)

Quinta Nova da Nosa Senhora do Carmo “Casa Burmester” 2002 Douro “Reserva” (Portugal) – Earthy porcini, black cherry and chocolate with excellent balance and structure. A more modernistic style than many of the previous wines, but quite good. (1/06)

Caves do Salgueiral 2003 Douro Andreza (Portugal) – Coconut and soupy, overripe fruit with hard tannin. (1/06)

s w e e t  ,  f o r t i f i e d  &  u n u s u a l

Fonseca 1963 Port (Douro) – Ripe, roasted and cooked cherries loaded with sticky fruit syrup and big sugar. Soft and fully resolved. This is a truly delicious wine, and yet…I don’t know, there’s something missing. Maybe a bit of structure would be welcome, or maybe it’s just the tiniest bit simpler than one would like. Then again, maybe I have ridiculous expectations. It is a heck of a wine. And yet… (12/06)

Gould-Campbell 2000 Porto (Douro) – Dark cherry and sweet walnut spice. Beautiful. Perhaps too beautiful. (1/06)

d’Oliveiras Madeira Doce (Portugal) – Mildly oxidized celery and other assorted yet weird vegetative aromas. There’s good palate balance, but I don’t much care for what’s being balanced. (1/06)

d’Oliveiras Madeira 10 Anos (Portugal) – A touch spritzy, with spice and loads of baked carmel apples. Complex and long, with the usual great acidity. (1/06)

d’Oliveiras Madeira 15 Anos (Portugal) – Dusty spiced cedar with more body but also more wood than the 10-year, showing roasted walnuts, roasted pecans and fresh cashews with a zippy, long finish. (1/06)

Burmester “Jockey Club” Porto “Reserva” (Douro) – Faded and gummy sweetness with fake-tasting Juicy Fruit™ flavors. No good. (1/06)

Burmester 20 Year Tawny Porto (Douro) – Very spicy banana. Long, sweet and simple, but tasty. (1/06)

Burmeister 1985 Colheita Porto (Douro) – The usual mélange of baking spices with slightly papery oxidativeness; balanced and fine but not superior. (1/06)

Burmester “Sotto Voce” Porto “Reserva” (Douro) – Sticky blueberry and plum with cherry residue. Overly syrupy. (1/06)

Burmester 2000 Vintage Porto (Douro) – Very fruity, showing blackberry and black cherry. There’s excellent sweetness and fruit presence, but it lacks structure. The finish is long and quite sweet. (1/06)

Dow’s 1986 Single Year Tawny Porto “Reserve” (Douro) – Juiced plum candy and spiced figs with raw cane sugar squeezings and touches of cinnamon. Sweet, crisp and enticing, but without some of the extra complexity found in previous vintages of this wine. (12/05)

Ferreira 1997 Vintage Porto (Douro) – Big, fruity, tannic and obvious; there is the very slightest hint of emerging spice, but fundamentally this is way, way too young. (12/05)

Dow’s 1970 Porto (Douro) – What’s distracting is trying to taste a wine while everyone around you is moaning in ecstasy. It’s even harder when some of the moans are your own. Smoked black cherry (almost to the point of cough syrup), blackberry, and maple in a very full-fruited, extremely lush and decadently sweet syrup. It’s probably not fully mature, but it’s awfully tasty right now. (11/05)

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