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Adega da Cartuxa Évora Colheita Tinto 2013

Adega da Cartuxa Évora Colheita Tinto 2013

Ruby hued, the 2013 Cartuxa Évora Colheita Tinto is, at least for this writer, more expressive on the second day, and is deeply perfumed with notes of Japanese plums, blueberries, balsam wood, and exotic spice. Softly textured on the palate with lovely purity of fruit, couched in black tea tannins, this traditional Alentejo blend of Trincadeira, Aragonez, Alfrocheiro, Periquita, Moreto, and Tinta Caiada culminates in a finish of plum skins and dried herbs. 14.5% ABV | Sample Adega da Cartuxa 91 Points...

Herdade do Esporão Esporão Reserva Tinto 2014

Herdade do Esporão Esporão Reserva Tinto 2014

Another excellent vintage from Esporão, the 2014 Reserva Tinto is a blend of Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Trincadeira, and Cabernet Sauvignon aged in French and American oak for 12 months. The nose is poetic: anise, violets, cigarette pack foil (a very specific aroma, my mother was a heavy smoker) black raspberry, and black cherry. And while there's no suggestion of the gamey-savory note on the nose that explodes on the palate like a caged tiger, it has lovely sueded tannins and a white pepper finish. 14.5% ABV | Sample Herdade do Esporão 9.0 Points ...

Taylor's Chip Dry White Port NV

Taylor’s Chip Dry White Port NV

Tasted at Taylor's visitor's center in Porto, the Chip Dry White carries a bit more discernible sweetness than the other dry white Ports I'd sampled that day. It's aged for several years in casks, giving it an oxidative style and subtle nuttiness. Fresh and crisp on the palate, and laden with citrusy, notes, lemon oil and cypress, with a touch of tropical fruit and the merest hint of salinity on the finish. Perfect with a bowl of Marcona almonds. Sample Taylor Fladgate 8.8 Points...

Herdade do Esporão Douro Minas Quinta dos Murças 2015

Herdade do Esporão Douro Minas Quinta dos Murças 2015

From the steeply terraced hillsides of the Douro is this classic and expressive blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Francisca, Tinta Roriz, and Tinto Cão. Layered aromas of plums and black cherries form the foundation, with lively spice and incense notes gliding over the top. On the palate, fruit is restrained by mouth-coating tannins and a subtle earthiness that picks up momentum at the back palate along with cedar and dried herbs. Sample | 14.0% ABV Herdade Do Esporão 8.9 Points...

Herdade Do Esporão Monte Velho Tinto 2014

Herdade Do Esporão Monte Velho Tinto 2014

An open-knit blend of 40% Aragonez, 35% Trincadeira, 20% Touriga Nacional, and 5% Syrah, this extraordinarily budget-friendly Portuguese red from Monte Velho offers pungent aromas of tart red berries, cranberries, earth and a sort of feral edge usher in a wine with brightness…red berries carry through until they crescendo, revealing an understory of fine tannins, black tea, and baking spice, making this blend both accessible and a tremendous value. Great QPR in this bottle! 14.0% ABV | Sample Herdade Do Esporão 8.9 Points...

Aphros Vinhão Tinto 2013

Aphros Vinhão Tinto 2013

Sauvage is the word that comes to mind when describing this singular and biodynamically farmed, wild ferment Vinhão. Aromas of smoky plum and earth are rendered more complex by a sort of feral, animal quality that persists on the palate as well. A bold streak of acidity creates a sense of tension to sour cherry notes firmly anchored in damp tilth, preserved game, steeped green tea, and pink peppercorn. This won't be to everyone's taste, but for the adventurous, I say, go for it. 11.0% ABV | Sample Quinta Casal do Paço - Aphros Wine 8.8 Points...

Quinta do Noval Porto Colheita Tawny 2000

Quinta do Noval Porto Colheita Tawny 2000

The 2000 Quinta do Noval Porto Colheita Tawny is superb, showing warm and welcoming notes of caramel, dried fruit, honey, sultana along with a pinch of toast. The mind immediately jumps to pairings like stilton, Roquefort, or dried fruit, though, surprisingly the staff at Noval recommend trying it with fresh carrot, unpeeled. I love the this Port's vibrancy and balance, the palate bright, like a newly minted penny, it's brimming over with walnut shells, figs, golden raisins, and spice cake. Just lovely. 20.5% ABV | Sample Quinta do Noval 9.4 Points...

Aphros Super-Reserva Bruto Vinhão NV

Aphros Super-Reserva Bruto Vinhão NV

A garnet-hued, frothy vixen of a wine, the Aphros Sparkling Vinhão Super-Reserva delights with ultra-earthy, pungent funk, and juicy black plum notes forming a concise bridge between nose and palate. Bright acidity cuts through layers of pruney deliciousness, the finish is brisk and short very much about black tea tannin and dried herbs. At 12.0% ABV it goes down very easily. I expect this pair well with charcuterie, unlike Lambrusco, it's bone dry. Sample Quinta Casal do Paço - Aphros Wine 9.0 Points...

Anselmo Mendes Curtimenta Alvarinho 2013

Anselmo Mendes Curtimenta Alvarinho 2013

From Anselmo Mendes, the 2013 Curtimenta Alvarinho is a lesson in the aging potential of Vinho Verde whites. Fermentation starts on the skins, the grapes are then pressed into large format barrels to age for 9 months. Post bottling, Curtimenta is further aged in bottle for one year, all of which translates in the body of this wine. It's silky, slightly oily and exquisitely smooth with incredibly complex and ever-changing flavors bruised pear and yellow-fleshed peaches that gracefully dwindle to a finish of lime zest, white grapefruit and almond skins. Bravo! Sample Anselmo Mendes 9.2 Points...

Aphros Loureiro Reserva Bruto 2009

Aphros Loureiro Reserva Bruto 2009

Deep gold, like burnished gold leaf, the Aphros Loureiro Reserva Bruto 2009 boasts an oxidative quality that reminds me of Jacques Selosse Champagnes. Decidedly autumnal aromas of baked apple and poached pear are enlivened by a dried orange top note. In the mouth, it's all soul and soil, sensually earthy layers and leesy wet dough flavors are bolstered by vivid white grapefruit, saline and iodine that make up the arching spine of this unexpectedly delicious sparkling Loureiro. 12.0% ABV | Sample Quinta Casal do Paço - Aphros Wine 9.1 Points...