Portugal


Showing 1–12 of 35 results

  • Bussaco Palace Hotel Bairrada Branco 2021

    £52.95

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Bussaco Palace Hotel Bairrada Rosado 2021

    £52.95

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Bussaco Palace Hotel Bairrada Tinto 2021

    £52.95

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Bussaco Palace Hotel Mistico Branco 2017

    £139.95

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Bussaco Palace Hotel Mistico Tinto 2017

    £139.95

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Bussaco Palace Hotel Reservado Blanco 2019

    £84.95

    “This is a winery wrapped around a hotel run by the Almeida family. It straddles the Dão and Bairrada regions. The famed Bussaco Palace (now the hotel), was built in the 19th Century for Portuguese royalty. It sits surrounded by a national forest that became prominent in the 17th Century. It is one of the country’s iconic places.

    For wine lovers, the focus will be on the fabled cellar with ancient vintages that prove how well some of the local grapes can age. With extreme age, to be sure, it often becomes about the bottle, not just the wine (as the saying goes) and some cork problems can arise, as Wine Director António Rocha noted–he is gradually addressing cork issues. Still, well stored and preserved wines seem to hang on indefinitely here in both whites and reds. They are very impressive.

    As an aside, it is not easy reviewing wines with such long drinking windows and coming to an intelligent decision. The truth often is–who knows how long they will last? At times, with some older notes and with many properties, I have rebelled against putting down extremely long windows and instead took the position that we should do it in chunks and stages, reevaluating along the way. That has sometimes done a disservice to these wines, which I’ll attempt to correct now that we have some long verticals and a special focus. At this point, it is fair to say these wines have proven that long windows are no fluke. These verticals are just the latest examples. If that means you suddenly start seeing 50 years and 60 years as end-date drinking windows, don’t be shocked. Just take them with a grain of salt. Will the cork survive? Were they well stored? Did you get lucky? Shoot me an email in 2050 and yell at me if you think I was too optimistic or too pessimistic. One caveat: remember that these were all tasted at the hotel, just pulled from the cellar. They didn’t sit in the window on a retailer’s shelf for a year.

    Provenance was perfect.

    Some verticals of both reds and whites are included this issue, all tasted at the hotel and opened a couple of hours in advance. (The newer 2013 and 2014 whites were recently reviewed in the August 2016 issue.) They typically have a formula (except certain specialty bottles, like the VM): a blend of Maria Gomes and Bical from Bairrada and Encruzado from Dão for the whites; Baga from Bairrada and Touriga Nacional from Dão for the reds. Rocha advised that the older ones might be a bit heavier on Baga. On the whole, I found the reds as a group more stunning–a conclusion that surprised Antonio, but nonetheless. Maybe it was just the luck of the draw. There is plenty of fine stuff in both colors.”

    Mark Squires, Wine Advocate (227)

    In Stock

  • Bussaco Palace Hotel Reservado Rosado 2020

    £79.95

    “This is a winery wrapped around a hotel run by the Almeida family. It straddles the Dão and Bairrada regions. The famed Bussaco Palace (now the hotel), was built in the 19th Century for Portuguese royalty. It sits surrounded by a national forest that became prominent in the 17th Century. It is one of the country’s iconic places.

    For wine lovers, the focus will be on the fabled cellar with ancient vintages that prove how well some of the local grapes can age. With extreme age, to be sure, it often becomes about the bottle, not just the wine (as the saying goes) and some cork problems can arise, as Wine Director António Rocha noted–he is gradually addressing cork issues. Still, well stored and preserved wines seem to hang on indefinitely here in both whites and reds. They are very impressive.

    As an aside, it is not easy reviewing wines with such long drinking windows and coming to an intelligent decision. The truth often is–who knows how long they will last? At times, with some older notes and with many properties, I have rebelled against putting down extremely long windows and instead took the position that we should do it in chunks and stages, reevaluating along the way. That has sometimes done a disservice to these wines, which I’ll attempt to correct now that we have some long verticals and a special focus. At this point, it is fair to say these wines have proven that long windows are no fluke. These verticals are just the latest examples. If that means you suddenly start seeing 50 years and 60 years as end-date drinking windows, don’t be shocked. Just take them with a grain of salt. Will the cork survive? Were they well stored? Did you get lucky? Shoot me an email in 2050 and yell at me if you think I was too optimistic or too pessimistic. One caveat: remember that these were all tasted at the hotel, just pulled from the cellar. They didn’t sit in the window on a retailer’s shelf for a year.

    Provenance was perfect.

    Some verticals of both reds and whites are included this issue, all tasted at the hotel and opened a couple of hours in advance. (The newer 2013 and 2014 whites were recently reviewed in the August 2016 issue.) They typically have a formula (except certain specialty bottles, like the VM): a blend of Maria Gomes and Bical from Bairrada and Encruzado from Dão for the whites; Baga from Bairrada and Touriga Nacional from Dão for the reds. Rocha advised that the older ones might be a bit heavier on Baga. On the whole, I found the reds as a group more stunning–a conclusion that surprised Antonio, but nonetheless. Maybe it was just the luck of the draw. There is plenty of fine stuff in both colors.”

    Mark Squires, Wine Advocate (227)

    In Stock

  • Bussaco Palace Hotel Reservado Tinto 2017

    £73.95

    “This is a winery wrapped around a hotel run by the Almeida family. It straddles the Dão and Bairrada regions. The famed Bussaco Palace (now the hotel), was built in the 19th Century for Portuguese royalty. It sits surrounded by a national forest that became prominent in the 17th Century. It is one of the country’s iconic places.

    For wine lovers, the focus will be on the fabled cellar with ancient vintages that prove how well some of the local grapes can age. With extreme age, to be sure, it often becomes about the bottle, not just the wine (as the saying goes) and some cork problems can arise, as Wine Director António Rocha noted–he is gradually addressing cork issues. Still, well stored and preserved wines seem to hang on indefinitely here in both whites and reds. They are very impressive.

    As an aside, it is not easy reviewing wines with such long drinking windows and coming to an intelligent decision. The truth often is–who knows how long they will last? At times, with some older notes and with many properties, I have rebelled against putting down extremely long windows and instead took the position that we should do it in chunks and stages, reevaluating along the way. That has sometimes done a disservice to these wines, which I’ll attempt to correct now that we have some long verticals and a special focus. At this point, it is fair to say these wines have proven that long windows are no fluke. These verticals are just the latest examples. If that means you suddenly start seeing 50 years and 60 years as end-date drinking windows, don’t be shocked. Just take them with a grain of salt. Will the cork survive? Were they well stored? Did you get lucky? Shoot me an email in 2050 and yell at me if you think I was too optimistic or too pessimistic. One caveat: remember that these were all tasted at the hotel, just pulled from the cellar. They didn’t sit in the window on a retailer’s shelf for a year.

    Provenance was perfect.

    Some verticals of both reds and whites are included this issue, all tasted at the hotel and opened a couple of hours in advance. (The newer 2013 and 2014 whites were recently reviewed in the August 2016 issue.) They typically have a formula (except certain specialty bottles, like the VM): a blend of Maria Gomes and Bical from Bairrada and Encruzado from Dão for the whites; Baga from Bairrada and Touriga Nacional from Dão for the reds. Rocha advised that the older ones might be a bit heavier on Baga. On the whole, I found the reds as a group more stunning–a conclusion that surprised Antonio, but nonetheless. Maybe it was just the luck of the draw. There is plenty of fine stuff in both colors.”

    Mark Squires, Wine Advocate (227)

    In Stock

  • Casa Ferreirinha Castas Escondidas 2019

    £44.95

    “The 2019 Tinto Castas Escondidas is a field blend, 20%, then a litany of various grapes, familiar (Tinta Amarela, Touriga Nacional, etc.) and unfamiliar (Touriga Fêmea, Mourisco), aged for 18 months in used French oak. It comes in at 13.8% alcohol. The idea here is to make a wine that includes a lot of grapes that are unfamiliar or less prominent. Emphasizing its freshness, its finesse and its focus, this is not an overtly fruit wine, but it seems to be a very serious one that needs some time to evolve. It’s just a bit tight and needs to become more expressive. The structure is pretty brilliant, serious without becoming astringent, and always balanced. The question here is how well it will evolve. It needs to show what it has, not to tame tannins. Let’s start here. Needless to say, there is no track record. This is only the second vintage. Drink: 2024-2032. 93 points

    This is an iconic brand in Portugal. It is under Sogrape’s ownership.”

    Mark Squires, Wine Advocate (07/22)

    In Stock

  • Casa Ferreirinha Quinta da Leda 2020

    £47.95

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Niepoort 10 Years Old White Port

    £39.95

    “The NV 10 Years Old White Port bottled in 2023 has a peachy nose intermixed with some nutty and spirity hints. It has concentration and power, with a classical style and was aged in an oxidative way that gives it plenty of nutty notes and with the extract from the contact with the skins. This is a fairly recent wine, because they didn’t have enough stock of white Port. They wanted to show that white Port could be a serious wine, not something to make a fresh drink, with structure, complexity and age. It has 20% alcohol and 111 grams of sugar. 3,000 bottles produced. Drink: 2023-2043. 93+ points

    Niepoort in 2016 only made Bioma and did not make his typical blend. Look for his 2017s. Regarding the tawnies, remember that the drinking windows are just placeholders. Tawnies age well. The longer they are in barrel, the better they age. As long as the cork does not fail, they may hold more or less indefinitely, which is hard to predict. I add a little extra time as they get older, but it’s just a tip to illustrate the category. It is not exactly precise. The beauty of end-date drinking windows for Port, of course, is that no one can yell at me if I’m wrong.

    Where to start? I’ve known Dirk Niepoort for over 25 years, and I’ve followed his wines over the years. He doesn’t stop. He has grown his company like crazy. The still wines are on a new level since 2018 (they are always evolving, and they mention 2013 and 2021 as other years of change) with the arrival of winemaker Luis Pedro Cândido da Silva and the next generation of the Niepoort family, especially their son, Daniel, who joined the team in 2020. They not only produce wine in Douro but, nowadays, in most regions in Portugal—Dão, Alentejo, Vinho Verde, Bairrada…

    The style is elegant, but they want the wines to age in bottle, so for them it’s all about balance. Some vineyards and wines have been certified organic since 2008. All of the vineyards they own are certified organic, but some of the grapes they buy are not. Daniel Niepoort, who’s a lot more focused on the vineyards now, told me organic is very important for him but that growers are also important and they want to keep the relationship with the growers and be a role model for them to show them that organic is possible, convincing them by being an example.

    In 2022, they only got 202 liters of rain (a little less than in 2003!), but the vines adapted to the low water and yields were better than expected. They got some rain during harvest and some fungus. It was one of the most dramatic vintages in viticulture, and some plants died. But 2022 was great for Port. As for 2021, it was a great year for dry wines (but not great for Port), and there was enough water reserve in the soils. They consider it a perfect agricultural year with good yields; it has a mild spring and summer, so a longer cycle and perfect ripening of the grapes. It could be a little like 2018, 2008 and 2001—cooler years with higher acidity. 2020 was warm and dry, so the grapes were healthier. But it was the COVID-19 vintage, and that created some problems in the vineyards; everything was weird that year. As for 2023, even if still too early, the year was also great in Douro, for Luis Pedro the finest he’s seen there.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (04/24)

    In Stock

  • Niepoort 20 Years Old Tawny Port

    £64.95

    “They think the NV 20 Year Old Tawny Port is perfect for their style, which is not too oxidative and not very volatile, the profile of much older wines, and they have a balance between youth and age, fruit and nuts. This has a lot of complexity and some liqueur notes, mixing the best of both worlds. It’s intense, powerful and elegant, nuanced and complex, with a velvety palate, volume and density. It’s long and tasty, with a lifted finish. Superb. Many people think these wines don’t age in bottle, but I love it with the same time in bottle as in wood (20+20 year!). Drink: 2023-2053. 94 points

    Where to start? I’ve known Dirk Niepoort for over 25 years, and I’ve followed his wines over the years. He doesn’t stop. He has grown his company like crazy. The still wines are on a new level since 2018 (they are always evolving, and they mention 2013 and 2021 as other years of change) with the arrival of winemaker Luis Pedro Cândido da Silva and the next generation of the Niepoort family, especially their son, Daniel, who joined the team in 2020. They not only produce wine in Douro but, nowadays, in most regions in Portugal—Dão, Alentejo, Vinho Verde, Bairrada…

    The style is elegant, but they want the wines to age in bottle, so for them it’s all about balance. Some vineyards and wines have been certified organic since 2008. All of the vineyards they own are certified organic, but some of the grapes they buy are not. Daniel Niepoort, who’s a lot more focused on the vineyards now, told me organic is very important for him but that growers are also important and they want to keep the relationship with the growers and be a role model for them to show them that organic is possible, convincing them by being an example.

    In 2022, they only got 202 liters of rain (a little less than in 2003!), but the vines adapted to the low water and yields were better than expected. They got some rain during harvest and some fungus. It was one of the most dramatic vintages in viticulture, and some plants died. But 2022 was great for Port. As for 2021, it was a great year for dry wines (but not great for Port), and there was enough water reserve in the soils. They consider it a perfect agricultural year with good yields; it has a mild spring and summer, so a longer cycle and perfect ripening of the grapes. It could be a little like 2018, 2008 and 2001—cooler years with higher acidity. 2020 was warm and dry, so the grapes were healthier. But it was the COVID-19 vintage, and that created some problems in the vineyards; everything was weird that year. As for 2023, even if still too early, the year was also great in Douro, for Luis Pedro the finest he’s seen there.”

    Luis Gutierrez, Wine Advocate (04/24)

    In Stock