Viva Portugal - 4 April 2017

 

RHS The Lindley Hall, Elverton Street, London, SW1P 2QW

 

Wines of Portugal presented a fantastic line-up of over 100 producers representing all of Portugal’s key wine regions.  The event was held at the Lindley Hall on 4 April 2017.

 

Despite being a small country, Portugal has a great diversity of microclimates and as such produces a wide range of wines.  Portuguese wines are incredibly food friendly and versatile, and many are produced from indigenous varietals.  Whilst winemaking goes back over 4000 years, the new generation of winemakers are successfully combining traditional practices with new and innovative ideas.

 

During the day, exhibiting producers were invited to join one of the eight themed speed-tastings held in the Viva Portugal Bar.  These lasted 15 minutes each and 5 producers were each given 3 minutes to showcase one of their wines.  Topics included New Kids on the Block, Wild Card, Seeking Representation and On-Trade Exclusives. 

 

A sumptuous Portuguese buffet lunch was provided by Canela, a restaurant based in Covent Garden, which sources and imports directly from Portugal the finest foods including a wide range of charcuterie, cheese and wine. 

 

Some highlights of the day are as below:

 

Quinta & Casa Das Hortas / Export Manager: Leonel Isaac

The family owned Quinta & Casa das Hortas has been producing wine for around 25 years.  Located in Baião, a sub-region of Vinho Verde, bordering the Douro, this inland area experiences a less temperate environment with cold, dry winters and hot, dry summers.  These conditions allow the local varietals a long ripening time.  This sub-region has earned a reputation for producing quality white wines from the Avesso grape with excellent fruit concentration and searing acidity.

 

Hortas do Caseirinho Semi-Sparkling Branco 2016

Region: Vinho Verde – Sub Região de Baião

Alcohol: 10.5%

Grapes: Avesso, Arinto, Loureiro and Fernão Pires

This semi-sparkling white is light, fresh and floral with hints of pear and green apple.  

 

Hortas do Caseirinho Frisante Rosé Sparkling 2016

Region: Vinho Verde - Sub Região de Baião

Alcohol: 10.5%

Grapes: Touriga Nacional, Vinhão, Espadal & Touriga Franca

With an elegant salmon pink colour, this gently sparkling rosé is full of ripe red summer fruits with a touch of minerality. 

 

Portal das Hortas Late Harvest 2015

Region: Vinho Verde - Sub Região de Baião

Alcohol: 11%

Grapes: 100% Avesso

This late harvest beauty is pale gold in colour and has intense aromas of white peach, honey and almonds.  On the palate, the natural sweetness is complemented by good levels of acidity keeping it extremely light and refreshing. 

 

João Portugal Ramos Wines / Export Manager: Maria Pica

Having been born into a family with a long history of wine production, João Portugal Ramos began his career in 1980 as an oenologist in the Alentejo region.  João Portugal Ramos  Wines now produce quality wines from the Alentejo, Tejo, Beiras, Douro and Vinho Verde regions. 

 

João Portugal Ramos Alvarinho 2016

Region: Vinho Verde DOC - Sub Região de Monção e Melgaço

Alcohol: 13.5%

Grapes: 100% Alvarinho

Partially fermented in new French oak, this elegant Alvarinho has good minerality, ripe citrus and tropical fruit with a long lingering finish.

 

Marquês de Borba White 2016

Region: Alentejo DOC

Alcohol: 12.5%

Grapes: Arinto, Antão Vaz, Viognier

This is a bright medium bodied white with fresh pineapple, white peach, hints of almond and good minerality.    

 

Tons de Duorum White 2016

Region: Douro DO

Alcohol: 12.5%

Grapes: Arinto, Verdelho, Moscatel, Viosinho, Rabigato

This beautiful white is extremely aromatic, floral, exotic, fresh and grapey.  With intense aromas and flavours of ripe citrus, stone fruit and tropical fruit, it has complementing acidity and a long finish.  

 

Quinta de Foz de Arouce Branco 2015

Region: Vinho Regional Beira Atlântico - Beiras

Alcohol: 12.5%

Grapes: 100% Cerceal

This is a flinty white with aromas and flavours of fresh lime, grapefruit and honey.  With hints of vanilla and smoke from barrel ageing, it has a good body and a long finish.

 

Campolargo / Co-Owner: Carlos Campolargo

The Campolargo family has been making wine since the early 1920’s but only under their own label since 2000.  The business currently lies in the hands of 3rd generation Jorge Campolargo who is responsible for the vineyards and Carlos Campolargo who heads up the cellar and sales teams.  Joana Campolargo represents the 4th generation and she is responsible for managing external relations.  The family own two estates, Quinta de São Mateus and Quinta de Vale de Azar, both of which are located in Barraida, central Portugal, close to the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Espumante Campolargo Bruto Rosé 2014

Region: VEQPRD Bairrada

Alcohol: 12%

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir

This delicate pink sparkling rosé was produced by the traditional method of second fermentation in the bottle and received a minimum of 12 months cellar ageing.  With ripe raspberries, red cherries and some biscuity notes, it is refreshing, bright and elegant. 

 

Espumante Borga Branco 2012

Region: VEQPRD Bairrada

Alcohol: 12.5%

Grapes: Pinot Noir & Chardonnay

This is another stunning example of a traditional method sparkling wine, this time with 24 months in the cellar.  One of the stars of today, it is full bodied with bright red fruit, green apple, hints of honey, toast and cream.

 

Campolargo Tinto 2013

Region: DOC Bairrada

Alcohol: 12.5%

Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir

A very Burgundian style of Pinot Noir, this has aromas and flavours of red cherries, raspberries, mushrooms and earth.  With an excellent concentration of fruit, this gorgeous red has superb ageing potential. 

 

Campolargo CC 2012

Region: DOC Bairrada

Alcohol: 13%

Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon and Castelão Nacional

This is a flagship wine only produced in the very best vintages.  The two Cs in the name indicate the two grapes in the blend – Cabernet Sauvignon and Castelão.  Aged in new French oak for 24 months, it is garnet in colour, powerful and aromatic with a good concentration of jammy black fruit, hints of balsamic, liquorice and sweet spice.  It is complex, with soft fine-grained tannins and a long lingering silky finish. 

 

Quinta do Perdigão / Owner: José Perdigão

Since 1999, Quinta do Perdigão has been the most awarded winery in the Dão.  Established by José Perdigão, the Quinta is located on granite soils around 365m above the Dao river. With only 7 hectares of vineyard and vine density close to 5,000 per acre, they produce a small quantity of high quality wine from red grapes Touriga-Nacional, Alfrocheiro-Preto, Tinta-Roriz / Aragonês (Tempranillo) and Jaen (Tinta Mencia) and the white grape Encruzado.

 

Quinta do Perdigão Alfrocheiro 2010

Region: DOC Dão - Dão e Lafões

Alcohol: 13.5%

Grapes: 100% Alfrocheiro

Deep ruby, with an excellent concentration of red and black fruit, this wine has cedar, smoke and forest floor all wrapped up in soft fine-grained tannins. It was aged in French oak barriques for 12 months.

 

Quinta do Perdigão Touriga Nacional 2009

Region: DOP Dão - Dão e Lafões

Alcohol: 14.5%

Grapes: 100% Touriga Nacional

This is a perfectly balanced wine with juicy black fruit, smooth tannins, complementing acidity and a long silky finish.  Also some herbal notes, black pepper and sweet spice.

 

Quinta do Perdigão Reserva 2006

Region: DOC Dão - Dão e Lafões

Alcohol: 14%

Grapes: 50% Touriga-Nacional, 20% Tinta-Roriz, 20% Jaen and 10% Alfrocheiro

Aged in French barriques for 12 months, this is a powerful deep dark red with hints of mint, pine and woodland forest.  Exceptionally smooth and full-bodied, this is most definitely a wine best enjoyed with food. 

 

Let’s face it, when we think of Portugal, we tend to think of its wonderful Port and Madeira but I was really surprised to see the number of sparkling wines today as we don’t necessarily associate Portugal with this particular style of wine.  The sparkling wines I tasted were incredibly impressive, particularly the two gorgeous traditional method sparklers from Campolargo.  For white wines, I believe that Vinho Verde is an incredibly interesting region and wine styles from here can vary considerably.  Whilst I love the vibrancy and effervescence of the young green wines, some of the fuller bodied and aged examples are also extremely good.  In terms of red, I very much enjoy the big bold reds being produced from the traditional Port grapes and I thought that the Quinta do Perdigão wines were very impressive.  Portugal does offer considerable value for money and I would encourage you all to explore and seek out some of the more unusual grape varietals and diverse styles of wine from this beautiful country.

 

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