Portugal


Showing 1–12 of 28 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 Quinta da Leda 2020

    £47.95

    Review to follow

    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

  • Niepoort Bastardo 2020

    £46.95

    “The 2020 Bastardo has the bright red nose of the variety (Trousseau) but with a more Mediterranean character than the wines from Jura. It’s fruit driven and juicy, with a bitter twist in the finish. The whole bunches fermented in stainless steel, and the wine matured in used French oak barrels for some 18 months. It’s ripe and comes from a very ripe year for the variety, and it has some jammy notes but keeps 12% alcohol, good freshness and moderate acidity. It’s medium-bodied and has a soft texture and very fine tannins. 2,400 bottles were filled in January 2022. Drink: 2023-2027. 91 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

  • Niepoort Batuta 2015

    £69.95

    “The 2015 Batuta is a field blend from old vines, with lots of Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Rufete and others, aged in 20% new French barriques for 20 months. It comes in at just 12.5% alcohol. This may be my favorite Batuta in a long time. Now, this is always an elegantly crafted wine, always understated (often, to a fault). This year, though, it has a particularly nice combination of freshness, grip and ripe tannins that make it very appealing. Then, it adds that gorgeous intensity of fruit flavor that this vintage produced, perfectly supported and defined by the acidity that slams the fruit into the palate. There is also very respectable weight (relative to this usually understated bottling and the elegant vintage). It then finishes tight and grabs the palate. Overall, this deserves some props and plenty of them. It should age beautifully. It is also a vintage that is approachable young, but it will certainly be better in 2020 or so, assuming you can keep your hands off of it. It is very tasty now, if a bit tight. We’ll see what the future brings, but I have to lean up on this beauty right now. This was not bottled when seen, but it was a tank sample, out of barrel and the final blend. Drink: 2018-2045. 94-96 points

    Part of this new issue is assessing the new 2016 Branco vintage. In terms of whites, Niepoort said he was not sure which he preferred, leaning to the 2016s, but he preferred 2015 in both reds and ports. (Granting that everyone’s terroir is different and different picking decisions may color views, too, I lean to the 2015s overall.) Although many of these were not yet bottled, it looks to me like 2015 is one of Niepoort’s best vintages in Tintos. The Ports weren’t too shabby, either—those are separately reviewed this issue. They are among the stars of the vintage.

    This issue also includes wines from many of Niepoort’s terroirs—he is rapidly spreading through Portugal and popping up everywhere. To my mind, his Bairrada project just might be the best segment of his table wines these days (separately listed as Quinta de Baixo), assuming you like that low-alcohol, tannic and crisp style (nothing fat and sweet there). Increasingly, incidentally, Niepoort is releasing the wines a year later and holding them a bit longer in tank or bottle to make the wines more age-worthy and a little more austere, essentially calming the fruit.”

    Mark Squires, Wine Advocate (232)

    In Stock