Sampling Portugal’s Very Best (Icon & Premium Wines Tasting from Wine Future 2023)

The post Sampling Portugal’s Very Best (Icon & Premium Wines Tasting from Wine Future 2023) appeared first on 1 Wine Dude.

Irresponsible use of fossil fuels

Let’s travel back in time about six months or so, to when I almost lost my mind because I got to meet hard rock legend Iron F*CKING Maiden’s Bruce F*CKING Dickinson at the Wine Future 2023 conference, held in Coimbra, Portugal.

Admittedly, that was indeed the biggest highlight of the WF 2023 conference for me; but it wasn’t the only highlight. WF 2023 was chock full of incredibly interesting panel discussions and keynote addresses, and it had another set of events that, in the more intense glow of those Yoda-style-wisdom-imparting sessions, didn’t get quite the attention that they deserved. Namely, a series of three incredible guided tastings featuring some of the very best (and a few of the rarest) wines on the planet.

Today’s feature here on 1WD seeks to rectify that lack of attention a bit, as we’ll be kicking off a three-parter highlighting those tastings.

Hold on to your butts, folks, because the list of wines from tasting número um is as long as it was impressive. Hosted by Brazilian-born Master of Wine Dirceu Vianna Junior, the “Icon and Premium Wines of Portugal” tasting at WF 2023 was absolutely epic.


2020 Anselmo Mendes ‘Parcela Única’ Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, $50

Brought to us by “Mr. Alvarinho” himself, Anselmo Mendes, this single plot, French oak aged white is next-level Vinho Verde. Focused, toasty, fresh, and exceptional, there’s exciting aging potential still left in this sipper, which displays notes of grilled citrus, minerals, and exudes purity and depth at every turn.


2021 Niepoort Coche, Douro, $120

Sourced from two Douro vineyards where the vines average between 80 and 100 years old, this white blends Arinto, Côdega, and [domo] Rabigato [Mr. Roboto] into a heady, herbal, complex, and balanced affair that is spicy with incense and flint, and fresh with intense citrus goodness. This was not easy to spit…


2017 Alexandre de Almeida Hotels ‘Buçaco’ Branco Reservado, Bairrada, $100

Another blend for the Wine Century Club chasers, here’s Bical mixed with Encruzado and Maria Gomes that’s technically made for the hotel restaurant, but has understandably garnered a cult following. Dried flowers, jasmine, grilled citrus peel, toasted nuts, quince… the nose just keeps delivering waves of awesome kung-fu at you. The mouthfeel is gorgeous, the finish is incredibly long, and the sense of energy it presents is fantastic. This is the kind of white that’ll perk up even the most jaded palate.

The Icon/Premium Portuguese tasting lineup from WF `23

2019 Costa Boal Pálacio dos Távoras ‘Gold Edition’ Tinto, Trás-os-Montes, $NA

Sourced from older vines of Alicante Bouschet, Baga, and Touriga Nacional, this red is tight, mineral, pure, and still very young. Spicy plum flavors mingle with excellent structure on the palate, which deftly balances concentration with acidic verve. Bold and beautiful.


2017 Quinta do Crasto ‘Vinha Maria Teresa’, Douro, $250

The small vineyard of just 4.7 hectares from which this blend is sourced grows a whopping 54 different varieties, including four that are white and one red that they claim is genetically “unknown.” Pristine red berries and slate combine with peppery spices on the nose, which is excellent, but it’s in the mouth where this really shines. Young, grippy, but exceptionally balanced, the mouthfeel is almost criminally good.


2016 Quinta do Casal Branco ‘Vinha do Tojal’, Tejo, $NA

A field blend that includes mostly Alicante Bouschet and Castelão, the sandy soils in which the vines grow have allowed many of them to exceed the 100 year mark while still producing viable fruit. The depth is exactly what you’d expect from those older vines, along with a joyously complex nose of violets, saline, and dark black cherry fruit.

crowd pleaser

2011 Casa da Passarella Vindima Tinto, Dão, $250

Enough varieties are blended here that there were too many to mention succinctly, and it hardly matters once you get this giddy red into your mouth. Wild red berries and sour cherries abound, presenting aromas and flavors that are equal parts vibrantly playful, wonderfully transparent, and achingly deep. And, well, an equal part delicious, too.


2011 Sogrape Vinhos ‘Legado’ Fernando Guedes, Douro, $NA

Over twenty varieties make the blend of this old vine sourced red, which has both a wild character and a crazy amount of palate power. Mature red fruit and lovely incense kick off the nose, but things take a dark turn in the mouth, where the texture is about as deep as a Portuguese still wine can get.


2011 Herdade do Mouchão ‘Tonel 3-4’, Alentejo, $255

An Alicante Bouschet from an Alentejo stalwart producer, this one shows off all of what the region does best. Only produced in exceptional vintages, this red takes its name for the aging process: after being hand-picked, foot-trodden, and whole-bunch fermented in open lagares. it spends time in two old 5000L barrels (called tonel 3 and tonel 4). The nose is punchy, hitting you with earth, tobacco, blackberry, and dried violets. The palate is killer, rich with dark cherry and plum fruitiness, yet balancing it all with a sense of just-ripe tartness at the edges.


1995 Caves São João Reserva, Bairrada, $NA

Mostly Baga, and seemingly eternal, there’s no way that this red should be this drop-dead sexy and fresh at this age. But, here we are. Blackcurrants, cigar box, licorice, minerality… it’s reeeaaaalllyyyy hard to ask any more from a Portuguese still red wine with nearly three decades on it. An impressive expression through and through.


MV Jose Maria da Fonseca Moscatel de Setúbal, Portugal, $500+

This isn’t where the tasting got interesting, because that was actually at the very first sniff of the very first wine, but it is where the tasting kicked the football about 30 yeards past the uprights. A multi-vintage blend going back 40 years, this Moscatel could stand toe-to-toe with many of the best Tawny Ports out there. Rancio, caramel, toasted nuts, dried figs, baking spices, it’s all there. It’s still energetic in the mouth, which helps to balance all of that seductive lusciousness that it’s throwing out there. Just… Wow. Oh, and the best part: their previous winemaker came out of retirement to put this one together specifically for the WF 2023 tasting, so it’s also one of the rarest wines in the country…


2007 Vertice ‘RD’ Bruto, Douro, $NA

Surprise! A Brut sparkler from the Douro… sure, why not? Sourced from Malvasia Fina, Tourige Franca, Goureio, Rabigato, and Viosinho grown on granitic soils at higher altitudes, this one is aged on the lees for fifteen years. Super-mature and toasty on the nose (as you’d expect), with nutty, peachy, and bread-like aromas. The palate is, in a word, incredible: fresh and bruised apples of all kinds, some dried tropical fruits, and a finish for days. A fantastic effort.


Upscale your palate! My books are available from Rockridge Press!

Copyright © 2023. Originally at Sampling Portugal’s Very Best (Icon & Premium Wines Tasting from Wine Future 2023) from 1WineDude.com
– for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Source : https://www.1winedude.com/sampling-portugals-very-best-icon-premium-wines-tasting-from-wine-future-2023/