Portugal

Portugal

The Best Portuguese Wines

Portuguese wines are rich in history, with winemaking in Portugal dating back to the Roman Empire.

Portugal is most famous for Port (or “Porto”) wines, which have been produced since the 1600s. Port is classified as a fortified wine and is made in several different styles, including Ruby, Tawny, Vintage, Late Bottle Vintage and Colheita. Madeira is another example of fortified Portuguese wine.

White wines in Portugal are most commonly represented by a light, bubbly, low-alcohol wine made from grapes with low sugar content and are called “Vinho Verde”. Examples of Vinho Verde do exist in red and rosé varieties but are most typically sold within Portugal.

Other Portuguese wines of note are the dry red (still) wines from important areas such as the Douro Valley, Dão, and Alentejo. These wines have improved in quality over the years and are becoming popular worldwide.

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  8. Dow Vale do Bomfim

    2019 / 750 ml. | Item#55777

    WS8888 pts. - Wine & Spirits - 10/21
    Half of this wine is a field blend, while the balance is tourigas franca and nacional, estate grown mostly around Bomfim in the Cima Corgo and upriver at Senhora da Ribeira. The wine is warm and grapey when first opened, but air brings freshness and delicate florals. It’s a simple Douro red and a terrific value.
    RP8686 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 30th Jun 2021
    The 2019 Tinto Vale do Bomfim Dow is 50% a field blend, 30% Touriga Franca and 20% Touriga Nacional, all aged for six months in an equal mixture of stainless steel and French oak (15% new for the half of the wine in wood). It comes in at 13.6% alcohol. A very solid wine and a nice bargain for the money, this touches all the bases, showing reasonable concentration, flavor and freshness. There’s even a little firmness on the finish, although structure is not the biggest deal here. Still, this is a very respectable offering for a nice price. Drink it on the younger side, but it might hold a little too.
    Wine Grapes

    Primary Grape: Touriga Franca | All Grapes: 30% Touriga Franca

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  9. Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Porto

    NV / 750 ml. | Item#55400

    RP8888 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 31st Jan 2019
    The NV Six Grapes Reserve Port is a blend of typical grapes aged in used wood for up to three years. It comes in with 114 grams per liter of residual sugar and was bottled with a bar-top cork in August 2018. In the Symington lineup this issue, this iconic brand is the polar opposite of the Dow. In comparison, the Dow is rounder and bigger but also a bit flatter and with less well-defined fruit, while this is more lifted and fresher, with better focus and more intensity on the finish. It has a beautiful expression of fruit as well. I’ve seen it available on the street for a lot less than that “suggested” release price, so don’t hesitate to look around.
    WE8888 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 12/31/2011
    A dry wine, firmly tannic, although also with acidity and black currant fruit. Spices and licorice add interest, while the tannins finish this attractive wine.
    SP8787 pts. - Wine Spectator - Dec 31, 2010
    Lots of sweet dark plum and sweet cherry flavors dominate, with plenty of milk chocolate. Clean and balanced on the straightforward finish. Drink now. 30,000 cases made.
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  10. Quinta do Noval Vintage Porto

    2011 / 750 ml. | Item#37420

    SP9797 pts. - Wine Spectator - Feb 28, 2014
    Vibrant, with luscious yet elegant mineral-infused flavors of dark currant, ripe cherry, green fig and raspberry. Shows ample pepper notes, with the tannins offering plenty of muscle and grip on the long, silky finish. Complex and restrained. Best from 2022 through 2047.
    WE9696 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 11/1/2013
    A powerful, concentrated wine, full of dark tannins, ripe fruit and rich texture. This is a wine based on a solid structure — very firm in character while still allowing the gorgeous fruits to express themselves. It’s obviously destined for long-term aging.
    ST9696 pts. - Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar - May/Jun 2014
    Deep, saturated ruby. Tight, high-pitched aromas of black fruits, minerals, spices, printer's ink and licorice, complicated by nutty and earthy nuances. Juicy, savory and youthfully imploded; not hugely opulent or sweet but a wine of great density and class, showing a pliant texture and no rough edges. This seemed even more intense after I swallowed it, showing a palate-drenching quality with no weightiness. Doesn’t have quite the dimension or floral complexity of the Nacional but a wine of great finesse, and built for decades of life.
    RP9595 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 29th Apr 2014
    The 2011 Quinta do Noval Vintage has a very intense, very refined bouquet with quite broody black fruit, briary, smoke and mineral. This is very fresh, similar to the barrel sample last April. The palate is silky smooth on the entry with well-judged acidity. This is utterly harmonious and refined, effortless even, with a pure blackberry and lightly spiced finish that lingers long in the mouth. This is an outstanding Noval that is only surpassed by the 2000, a Noval that does not deserve to be over-shadowed by its Nacional sibling. Drink 2018–2040. Tasted January 2014.
    WS9191 pts. - Wine & Spirits - December 1, 2013
    Christian Seely and António Agrellos worked together on renovating the Noval vineyard, after AXA Millésime purchased the historic property in 1993. They’ve since replanted 250 acres of vines, including the tall, whitewashed terraces that rise up to the quinta in the Vale de Mendiz. The touriga nacional planted on those terraces contributed to this seductively sweet 2011, its freshness layered in complex blue, purple and black fruit flavors. A bright herbal note and sour cherry tartness firm up the balance, enhancing the tannic structure while the round textures typical of Noval work seamlessly into the vintage character. This wine should be lovely at 20 years of age.
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  11. Warre’s Warrior

    NV / 750 ml. | Item#20206

    RP9090 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 26th Feb 2014
    The non-vintage Warrior Reserve is a more fruit-driven, less complex style of port. Big, full-bodied, muscular and rich with lots of red and black fruit, licorice, white chocolate and coffee notes, this beauty should keep for another decade.
    WS9090 pts. - Wine & Spirits - April 1, 2006
    Fresher in style than the Warrior of the ’90s, this blend is bright and vibrant, filled with luscious fruit inflected by the black pepper of schisty tannins. It’s like a small-scale vintage, beautifully balanced.
    SP8888 pts. - Wine Spectator - Jun 30, 2017
    Forward and direct, with tasty blackberry and blueberry paste flavors, lined with a licorice snap thread. A hint of singed wood lines the finish, giving this a little extra range. Drink now. 10,300 cases imported.
    WE8787 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 12/1/2015
    This is a classic Reserve Ruby, full of berry fruits, juicy acidity and light tannins. Hints of dried fruits combine with red berries to give a wine that is stylish and dry in the Warre’s style.
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  12. Taylor Fladgate Vintage Porto

    2016 / 750 ml. | Item#48239

    WE9898 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 12/1/2018
    Ripe, structured while also fruity, this intense, perfumed Port is opulent while also elegant. Its tannins and great fruit are finely integrated and are rich with potential. Black fruits, berries and a juicy aftertaste add freshness to the wine. Drink from 2028.
    VN9797 pts. - Vinous - Jun 2018
    In 2016 Taylor’s began picking in Vargellas on 17 September, followed by Pinhão Valley estate on 23 and 26 September. The 2016 Vintage Port has an aristocratic bouquet with tight wound aromas of blackberry, bilberry, crushed stone, black olive and a light, marine-tinged element, perhaps almost peat-like. The palate is just beautiful with fine, chiseled tannins and a perfect line of acidity. There is that almost “arching” structure one always seeks in a great Taylor’s with a gentle but insistent grip towards the finish. It is everything you really want from a Vintage Port. Production is 6,200 cases.
    RP94+94–96 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 19th Jul 2018
    The 2016 Vintage Port is a field blend set to be bottled about a week after this tasting. It was the final blend. It was aged for 20 months in wood and comes in with 102 grams of residual sugar. The Croft might be as rich — although I don’t think so; we’ll see as they age — but this is more expressive right now. The most delicious of the three Fladgate Group offerings, this has the sexiest fruit, although the Fonseca seems to have more pure power. Even allowing that it had a fair bit of air, this was showing surprisingly well for young Taylor’s. That is speaking relatively, of course, because this still has power and energy. Personally, this year I’d definitely pick Fonseca, though. Fonseca just seems to have a little more upside potential. With Port, of course, things change over the decades. This is a first look, not a final word.
    Wine Grapes

    Primary Grape: Touriga Nacional | All Grapes: Touriga Nacional

    AWARDS & ACCOLADES

    2018 Wine Spectator Top 100 Selection | #23

    Wine Spectator Top 100 selection - 2018 | #23

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  14. Graham’s Tawny Porto Aged 20 Years

    NV / 750 ml. | Item#26334

    SP9393 pts. - Wine Spectator - Oct 15, 2013
    A complex and full-bore tawny, with deep, intense flavors of orange cream, glazed apricot, baked peach and roasted pineapple that are balanced by concentrated chocolate and toffee notes. The bright finish is filled with spice and supported by fresh acidity. Drink now. 25,000 cases made.
    WE9090 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 8/1/2006
    This is a hugely dry, burnt style, very concentrated. The licorice and bitter coffee flavors are dense, layered and well balanced with the acidity. A serious wine that demands attention.
    WS8686 pts. - Wine & Spirits - April 1, 2000
    Buttery, caramel flan flavors enrich this mature, toasty tawny. It finishes warm, with a silky custard softness rather than grip. Serve with a walnut or almond tart.
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  15. Graham’s Vintage Porto

    1994 / 750 ml. | Item#20949

    RP9696 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 30th Oct 1996
    In a port tasting, tasting Graham’s is almost like tasting a big, rich, succulent Merlot after a group of blockbuster, tannic Cabernets. Sweeter and more obvious than many ports, the opaque purple-colored 1994 is fruity, powerful, and rich, with an addictive hedonistic quality. It will be ready to drink in 8-10 years and keep for up to 30. As always, this is a showy, flamboyant port that has the advantage of being slightly sweeter than other 1994s. A great Graham’s. Anticipated maturity: 2002–2035.
    VN9595 pts. - Vinous - Dec 2018
    The 1994 Graham’s Vintage Port, which incidentally carries quite noticeable sediment, as there is no fining or filtration, is beginning to show a little bricking on the rim. The bouquet is very harmonious and welcoming, featuring aromas of mulberry, roasted chestnut, pressed rose petals, autumn leaves and a hint of liquorice. The nose is not powerful; rather, it displays a brooding intensity. The palate is medium-bodied with fine-grained tannin and lightly spiced with clove, pain d’épices and again, a scintilla of liquorice. Though it obviously has another 20 or 30 years in the tank, this mellow Graham’s is drinking beautifully now. Tasted at the Symington Tawny Port tasting at the Tower of London.
    SP9595 pts. - Wine Spectator - Jan 31, 1998
    A big, tough, young vintage Port that’s closed and difficult to taste. Emits lovely aromas of chocolate, berry and plum, and is full-bodied with lots of sweet, fruit flavors and masses of velvety tannins. Long, sweet finish. Best after 2010.
    WE9595 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 11/15/1996
    Deep opaque black with a ruby rim. Full-bodied. Moderately tannic. Mild sweetness. Sandalwood, black fruit, to ruby rim. Dark brooding aromas lead into a firm extracted palate. Currently quite closed but it show extreme richness and depth of flavors. For long term cellaring.
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