I have been practising for months, and I can, with some humility, will be able to speak Portuguese quite fluently soon. Words such as Colheita, Perrum, Alicante Bouschet, Trincadeira, Touriga Nacional, Alentejo, Aragonez, Touriga Franca, Tinto Cao, Barroca, Reguengos, Monsaraz, and so will be rolling out of my mouth with ease without getting my tongue knotted. Actually, these are the only words I can handle as I crash back to Earth….LOL.
If you follow or read my blog, you know that I work with wine. Sometime the middle of last year, I decided to take on the challenge of working with Portuguese wine, with one of the three major wineries in Portugal that I have been friends with for several years. Although I am fascinated about them because I have not had an update of their taste profile since 7 years ago when the winery sent me a couple of bottle, I was and still am very impressed by it quality and value. When some samples were sent to me in September last year, I ripped it open quickly and shared with a group of friends who mostly drink French over some Cantonese food. Although the Portuguese wines are not the regular 1989 or 1998 Bordeaux, 1997 Californian, I was hoping that it will pleasantly surprise and impress my friends.
At the end of the evening, we wre definitely pleasantly surprised and impressed.
White from Spain and Portugal are normally clean, crisp and aromatic, but the Regia Colheita Reserva is nutty, slightly smoky, floral-like aromatic with citrus note without compromising crispiness. It had a nice weight that matched the Roasted Pork that was served with.
Both Bom Juiz and Monsaraz Reserva are mid-weight red made from indigenous grape varieties of Portugal. Very approachable with good structure, dark fruit notes and rather well-balanced.
The next pair are rather intriguing. Monsaraz Premium and Garraferra dos Socios are bigger in terms of weight and style. There are complexity that requires some patience. The youth of Monsaraz Premium was revealed in its sweetness. It is the brand that the winery is trying to be “New World” with the blend of Syrah. The decision of the adding Syrah showed itself with notes of coffee and cocoa. This wine needs patience, and decanting will definitely will help.
On the other hand, Garraferra dos Socios was like a Chairman with a lot to share. Affectionately known as the “Shareholders’ wine”, it is enduringly round, balanced tannin, and embracing with notes of spice, nut and creaminess. This wine spent longer time in the barrel and it helped as late release vintage release means that the wine is carefully aged…at least 5 years before being released.
We ended the evening with a 10-year old Port, matched with Mooncake. And we learnt something new that evening, Mooncake and an aromatic Port do go hand in hand.