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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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  4. Ameal Loureiro

    2019 / 750 ml. | Item#52412

    WS9393 pts. - Wine & Spirits - August 1, 2020
    This is the first release from Ameal since Esporão purchased the historic property in 2019. Sited above the Lima River, an area noted for its loureiro, Ameal holds its yields to 5.5 tons per hectare, growing a deep-toned wine, markedly vinous. This starts off smelling like fresh green pears, ripening and ready to fall off the tree. Then the mineral tones develop: rock, flowers and salt in a tense standoff, soothed by the round, generous texture of the wine. This is irresistible in its youth, and affordable enough that it’s worth holding a bottle or two for next summer, to see how it will evolve.
    WE9090 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 11/1/2020
    Loureiro, the grape of the Lima Valley, shines in this lemon-flavored, mineral-textured wine. While there is plenty of young fruitiness and vibrant crispness, it has the potential to fill out and give richness in the future. Drink from 2021.
    Wine Grapes

    Primary Grape: Loureiro | All Grapes: Loureiro

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  12. 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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  15. Croft Vintage Port

    2011 / 750 ml. | Item#37251

    SP9595 pts. - Wine Spectator - Oct 15, 2013
    Effusively juicy, rich and concentrated, showing plenty of snap to the crisp and well-spiced flavors of wild berry, dark currant and plum tart. Orange-infused chocolate notes linger on the exotic, mocha-filled finish. Best from 2020 through 2045. 5,000 cases made.
    WE9595 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 11/1/2013
    This shows very sweet fruit that’s ripe, dense and already delicious. That doesn’t mean the tannins don’t bring out the firmness at the core of this powerful wine. It is integrated, packed with black plum flavors, and full bodied. For long-term aging.
    WS9393 pts. - Wine & Spirits - December 1, 2013
    When it purchased this historic brand in 2001, the Fladgate Partnership was reunited with the Quinta da Roêda, which John Fladgate’s daughter brought with her in marriage to Charles Wright of Croft in 1875. Sited on the north bank of the Douro adjacent to Pinhão, Roêda is the heart of Croft vintages. It has been a major focus for António Magalhaes, charged with viticulture for the Fladgate Partnership, who has been working with David Guimaraens to restore the vineyard to its former glory. Each vintage release has improved on the last until this 2011, which is a jump shift in depth and brings Croft back to its rightful place among the elite of the Douro hierarchy. It has the distance and restraint of a great young vintage, the density of the fruit and the mouthwatering tannins held tight, youthfully closed. Hinting at its future in bright scents of roses and dark tones of freshly turned earth, this is a wine of significant weight and depth. It should reach its prime around 25 years from the vintage.
    RP92+92–95 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 27th Jun 2013
    The 2011 Croft is initially taciturn on the nose, even after allowing it 20 minutes in my glass. A light swirling immediately awakens the aromatics to offer blackberry, Seville orange marmalade, blueberries and dried fig — complex and quite compelling. There is real mineralite within this bouquet that, returning after 30 minutes, offers alluring ocean spray scents rolling in off the ocean. The palate is medium-bodied with a velvety-smooth opening that belies the fine, structured tannins underneath. It clams up a little towards the finish, shuts the lid tight and consequently there is the sensation of less persistency here compared to the Taylor’s or Fonseca. But Croft has a knack of filling out with bottle age and becomes both gentle and generous with the passing years. Tasted May 2013.
    ST90+90+? pts. - Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar - May/Jun 2014
    Bright medium ruby. Slightly reduced, spirity aromas of kirsch, blackberry, boysenberry, licorice pastille and mint, plus a suggestion of nutty oak. Densely packed and quite sweet, but the slightly disjointed black fruit flavors are tough going today; this struck me as more like a ruby port. Quite closed and tannic on the back end, in need of patience to display its personality. Many other critics rated this wine considerably higher than I did.

    AWARDS & ACCOLADES

    2013 Wine Spectator Top 100 Selection | #13

    Wine Spectator Top 100 selection - 2013 | #13

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