Portuguese Beauty

porta 6

Porta 6 Vinho Tinto Portugal

Hauke Vagt
Hauke Vagt paintings of Alfama district in Lisbon

First tasted this in the Majestic store in Calais a few months back, it was on the tasting counter and one of their featured wines. I was initially drawn by the bright cartoon like label which was painted by Portuguese artist Hauke Vagt.

This wine was also featured on the food show Saturday Kitchen when Wine expert Susie Barrie MW picked it out as a perfect match for a lamb dish and prompted James Martin to announce that it is one of the nicest reds he has tasted in ten years of doing the show and that he had just bought three cases of it online.

I must admit when I initially tasted this in Calais I thought it was pretty decent but for some unknown reason I didn’t buy any which in hindsight was a mistake as everyone I know who has tasted it since have really enjoyed it.

The Porta 6 is  a blend of Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo), Castelao and Touriga Nacional, in the glass it’s a dark crimson colour and smells of dark forest fruits and Vanilla. When you first sip this there is an explosion of sweet juicy jammy fruits along with that creamy vanilla and a little spice. Not very tannic although there is a soft gripiness about it but soft dark cherries, red currant and raspberries are what really stand out.

A lot of people will and do like this wine and I can understand why but if I had to make a small criticism it would be that it’s perhaps a touch too sweet for me. Nevertheless this is, for the price a brilliant wine and one I would highly recommend.



My Rating 8.5/10 corks

Majestic 7.49 on Multi Buy


Fronteira Douro 2011

Fronteira duoro(450 x 600)Portugal 14.5%

Took a bit of a chance on this and as Yoda would say ‘Paid off, it did’  the Fronteira Douro 2011 a blend of Touriga Nacional (always remind s me of a wildlife park, don’t ask me why?) Toriga Franca and Tinta Roriz.

Bought this from the Wine Rack chain , first time for me and what a splendid looking wine shop it was too, a virtual Aladdin’s cave but was it a splendid wine? the answer most definitely, a resounding yes.

In the glass it looked like someone accidentally tipped a bottle of ink into it, very dark in colour with aromas of cherries, raspberries, a little mocha and some kind of herby thing going on.

Taking a sip, this was very mouth-wateringly juicy with rich cherries dominating then liquorice and coffee take over, a little oaky with chewy tannins and ending in a long finish. Be warned though this is 14.5% but to me it didn’t feel heavy or overly alcoholic.

Big thumbs up for this particular bottle and Douro in general, always enjoy every time I drink it.

8corksMy Rating 8/10 Corks

The Wine Rack £8.49

Decanter Spain & Portugal Fine Wine Encounter 2014

Decantertitle2014The prestigious Landmark Hotel in London was the venue for this year’s ‘Decanter Spain  & Portugal Fine Wine Encounter 2014’. The hotel and Decanter did a brilliant job as hosts and provided my wife and I with a great afternoon tasting some wonderful wines.

The event started at 11.00am which was a little early for us as we intended stopping for a hearty lunch on route, we finally got there around 12.50pm. After checking in and receiving our Decanter wrist bands we made our way to the main tasting rooms. The event was split into two rooms, one hosting Spanish wines the other Portuguese wines. With my love of Spanish wines in particular we naturally headed to the Spanish stands and had a quick wander around  to get our bearings.

This had to be a quick look as we had a ‘Torres Masterclass’  booked for  1.30pm but couldn’t resist stopping off at the Muga stand and trying the Prado Enea Gran Reserva 2005 and the Barrel Fermented White 2013, both very nice and a great start.

At around 1.2decanter2014masterclass(600 x 450)0pm we queued up for the ‘Torres Master Class’ hosted by fifth generation winemaker Mireia Torres. In the room tables were set with hundreds of glasses filled standing on pristine white table cloths, the reds were all primed and ready but the whites (chardonnay) were still to be poured.
We took our seats and disaster struck, I decided to pour some water out before the tasting started and unfortunately the water bottle was at the far part of the cluttered table and as i reached over my sleeve caught the nearest glass (Torres Mas la Plana 1996) and you guessed it, sent red wine flying everywhere, luckily nothing smashed and only that glass lost its contents but it did leave a sodden and very red table cloth. Thank goodness the talk hadn’t started yet. Luckily again, the guys serving quickly cleared up and with the whites poured we were ready to go.Masterclass(600 x 450)

Mireia  gave a fairly detailed  talk on the history of Torres which included tasting  single vineyard wines. Of the 12 wines we tasted they were all pretty decent, starting with the excellent   Milmanda Chardonnay 2008, deep gold coloured rich, honeyed and bursting with ripe tropical fruit, ending the first set of six wines  with The Mas la Planas 1983, 1996 & 2009 which were also extremely good.
Of the second set of wines, I really enjoyed tasting the first two Jean Leon’s  100% Cabernet Sauvignons  the 1982 Gran Reserva and the 1998 Gran Reserva both intense and complex.
Ending  with the Grans Muralles, again all fantastic including the 2001, 2007 & 2009 and featuring the lesser known and disappearing varieties Garro & Samso.

Mestizaje(450 x 600)Back in the ‘Spanish tasting Room ‘ I was like a kid in a sweet shop, not knowing which way to turn, lots of brilliant wines tasted, too many to list all my favourites but just to highlight a few, the best reasonably priced red I found was from Bodega Mustiguillo, Pago El Terrerazo from Valencia, The Mestizaje 2011 a fantastic blend of Bobal, Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon Garnacha & Shiraz Around £11 in Uk about 9 Euros in Spain.

Best white was from the same Bodega the Finca Calvestra 2012 made with 100% Merseguera (one of the nicest whites i’ve tasted for a while) this was a little more expensive at around £24 but a price I would be Fincacalvestra (450 x 600)more than happy to pay. I must say the guys at this stand were particularly helpful and Knowledgeable.

As I say lots of brilliant wines tasted too many to mention and I didn’t get to taste any Portuguese wines, what with the Masterclass finishing at just after 3.00pm and the event closing at 5.00pm just didn’t have the time.

To see more pictures and a brief Decanter Video click on link……….