So Portugal the silent little gem of Europe, as it is known.....
Portugal in numbers
- Portugal holds about 260,000 hectares of vines.
- The annual production is around 7 to 8 million hectolitres, which put Portugal amongst the most important wine producers in the world, 11th to be exactly at the latest survey.
- The wine consumed per inhabitant on an annual basis in Portugal is about 40 to 45 litres a year, Portugal is the 8th largest consumer globally.
- There are about 180,000 producers in Portugal and only 13% has a production larger then 100 hectolitres (about 10,000 kilograms).
- Import and exports are about equal at around 1.2 million hectolitres.
The principal white grape varieties are;
- Rabigato: widely cultivated in Portugal and especially in the Douro region.
- Alvarinho: In the region of Vinho Verde, north of Portugal. one of the grapes most used in this region.
- Loureiro: Vinho Verde region like the Alvarinho, it got its name Loureiro (bay leaf) because that is what it reminds it to, also cultivated in Spain.
- Arinto: A grape little productive but its cultivated due to its enormous advantages to blend with other grapes to give freshness.
- Encruzado: Cultivated in the region of Dao.
- Sercial (or Cercial), Bual, and Verdelho: all grape varieties used to produce Madera wine. These grapes are also cultivated on mainland Portugal.
- Touriga-Nacional: Used in many wines and especially in the region of Porto and Dao.
- Tinta-Francisca: Present in the Porto region, but a grape that is very stubborn and can give average results.
- Alverhao: Especially cultivated in the north of Portugal, producing light and fresh wines.
- Touriga-Francesa or Touriga Franca: much appreciated in the vineyards of Porto, this grape gives equally good results when vinified in rose wine.
- Tinto Cao: very ancient grape, less and less cultivated.
- Tinta Barroca: A relative recent grape, mainly used to produce Porto.
- Tinta Roriz: This is actually the Spanish Tempranillo.
- Periquita (Castello francesa): present especially in Setubal.
There are two categories of wine, the V.Q.P.R.D and the Table Wines.
- D.O.C: Denominacao de Origem Controlada, the highest acclaimed distinction you can get. Like Dao, Vinho Verde, Douro, there are 32 areas with the D.O.C certification.
- I.P.R: Indicacao de Proveniencia Regulamentada, (a regulated provenance indication), wines conformed to the legislation of provenance, such as Cartaxo, Pamela, Biscoitos.....
The Table wines
- Vinho regional: (a geographical indication a bit like "les vins de pays" in France now "Vins de terroir"), this category concerns 8 regions in Portugal, Minho, Tras-os-Montes, Beira, Ribatejo, Estremadura, Alentejo, Terras do Sado, Algarve. You can find great wines in this category, as they offer to the producers a much larger choice in grape varieties and so able to explore better the terroirs.
- Vino de Mesa: or table wine.
A huge amount of information on this vineyard wasn't really available as apparently the winemaker is still on the old fashion wagon and website isn't to the question but has a facebook page.....strange as he produces a couple of other wines and a website these days is the window to your product.
The vineyard is situated in Campanha in Oporto in Portugal. It was build between the seventeenth and eighteenth century and holds its name to a possible rebellion that took place in the area. It was the summer home of Viscount of Balsemao owner of magnificent palaces in the city centre. In 1851 the property went to his brother Jose Pinto de Sousa Coutinho target de Balsemao, who then sold it to the capitalist Jose Duarte de Oliveira and in 1918 it was bought by Alfredo Moreira da Silva, a horticulturist in which family it still remains.
Grape varieties: Touriga france, Touriga nacional, Tinta roziz.
Price: €10 $11 £7.5
Visual: A velvet, dark purple, good transparency, good brilliance, masculine, slight rustic feel with a modern attitude, strength, grown up, inviting and warm.
Nose: Black fruits, fleshy cherries, blackcurrants, blackberries, spices, little leather, also little alcohol dominants.
Palate: A fair amount of freshness, dark fruits but in short supply, medium body which was actually nice, tannins fair and present, it is medium long, fairly round at the end.
Conclusion: This wine stand very good in its price category, what it gives to you for this price will get you trouble finding in many other wines. There is much good work achieved in this wine, and proves that not all wines need to cost and arm and a leg to present something very pleasant and very enjoyable. This wine gives you identity and character, and value for money. It show definitely individuality and ambition, a wine working its way in the right direction.
Score: I rate this wine 17.9/20 79/100 (rated as a good wine)
Until next time please do drink responsibly.