For the last few years table wines from Portugal have been gaining momentum on our shelves and our collective consciousness. Of course there’s still a ton of excellent Port coming from there too, but everyone knows that, right? Hopefully 2011 will be the year that these dry wines turn the corner and gain even greater acceptance here. The more we learn to appreciate them as a wine drinking country, the more and more we’ll see great ones on our shelves. Today I look at a Reserve release from Quinta do Vallado. The Quinta do Vallado 2007 Douro Red Reserva was produced using fruit from the Vallado Estate in the Douro region of Portugal. The vines vary in age but some of the fruit is from vines with over 70 years of age on them. Each lot was fermented, vinified and barrel aged separately. In all more than 20 indigenous Portuguese varieties are included in this wine. Oak aging occurred in 225 liter new French Barriques. 3,333 six bottle cases were produced and it has a suggested retail price of $64.99.
Aromas of plum, mushroom and cedar lead the alluring nose of this 2007 blend from the Douro. The palate is simply loaded with oodles of dry, dark fruit notes. Cherries, blackberries, and cranberries lead the charge. An undercurrent of spice is present as well. These flavors come together and layer this wine with wave after wave of massively pleasing flavor and complexity. The finish is velvety with earth and continued spice at the forefront and dark chocolate and mineral notes at the very end. There is a persistence and length to this finish that makes it impressive and practically decadent.
This wine from Quinta do Vallado is particularly impressive for both it’s depth of flavor and it’s length. While it’s delicious the moment you pop the cork a couple of hours of aeration really allow it to open up and express itself. It also has the structure to age gracefully for a number of years. There isn’t a thing about this wine that is not both exceptional and impressive.