I love the direction Portugal has gone. Promoting their own "castas", grape varietals, their unique style of wines and names.
My first visit was this year but I feel like I've been traveling there for a decade while reading and tasting the wines.
I was excited to receive the invite from Evan Goldstein, MS to an educational tasting in Chicago, moderated by none other than wine super star, Doug Frost, MW, MS. One of four people in the world that holds both titles, plus an excellent public speaker and educator.
The trade tasting held at Mortons begins with a flight of 8 wines from all over Portugal. To begin tasting Portuguese wines, you kind of have to just jump into them. No particular region or varietal, just a general introduduction to what the country produces. Unlike their neighbors, Portuguese wines have a common thread to me, being almost completly foreign to every other wine I usually drink.
Portugal is the 7th largest per capita in wine consumption.
Of interest the majority of grape vines in Portugal are originally from vitis sylvestris (wild) instead of the vitis vinifera groups and species. Not to say they don't have any vitis vinifera, most of the common grapes (Tinto Roriz) are V.V.
Officially there are 343 cultivars allowed to be use in wine production in Portugal.
The grapes are really mutated to suit their terroir to support the heat, humidity and resist mold.
Today we will taste roughly 25 different varieties. Now most of the varietals are blended to make them interesting. A few like Touriga Nacional and Baga are great on their own.
The two flights were presented with mainly the first focusing on grapes and the second on regions.
-2012 Quinta da Lixa Aromas das Castas. Vinho Verde, Alvarinho and Trajadura
-2011 Quinta da Chocopalha Arinto, Lisboa
-2012 Casa de Mourez Encruzado, Dão
-2004 Quinta das Bágeiras Garrafeira Branco, Maria Gomez and bical
-2010 Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas, Beiras, Baga
-2012 Casa Ermelinda de Freitas Dona Ermelinda reserva
-2008 Quinta da Pôpa TR, Duoro Valley
-2011 Fundação Eugénio de Almeida Cartuxa reserva, Alentejo
-2010 Tambuladeira Monte Cascas Reserva, Douro
-2011 João Brito e Cunha Quinta de S. José Touriga nacional
-2012 Quinta de Arcosso Reserva branco, Tras-os-Montes
-2012 Filipa Pato Bical & Arinto, Beiras
-2012 JM de Fonseca Domingo Soares franco Colecção Privada Moscatel roxo rosé, Peninsula de Setúbal
-2010 Lusovini Pedra da Cancela Seleção do enólogo tinto, Alfrocheiro, Tinto roriz, Touriga nacional and jaen
-2008 Quinta da Sequeira reserva tinto, Douro
Touriga nacional and franca, Tinta amarela and barroca