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The wines of Borges, Portugal

Sociedade dos Vinhos Borges SA 
UK agent: D & D wines (ddwi@ddwinesint.com; 01565 650952)

Borges produce wines from their own vineyards, but also buy in grapes from a network of growers. They concentrate on the Dão region, where they are based, and also Bairrada and the Douro. The style of winemaking is mostly traditional, but with some of the more recent releases it shows a modern twist. Quality is good but with the exception of the very traditional Meia Encosta Garrafeira and the modern Touriga Nacional, I didn’t find anything that really excited me. Bear in mind that these are not expensive wines, though.

Borges Gatão Vinho Verde (no vintage indicated)
Vivid, intense bracing acidity is the dominant feature here, with some herby edged fruit. Clean, fresh and very acidic. Good/very good (£3.99)

Borges Touriga Nacional 2000 Dão
Deep red/purple colour. Lovely rich liquorice-tinged, suave berry fruit on the nose with a spicy edge. Lots of rich, powerful fruit without any excessive oak evident. Good concentration on the palate which is rich with a spicy tannic structure. Modern but not overdone. Quite savoury and tannic, and the oak is a little more prominent on the palate. Really attractive herby character but tails off a little on the finish. Very good+ 07/02 (£7.99)

Borges Tinta Roriz 2000 Dão
6 months in new French oak. Slightly sweet spicy oak on the nose with some berry fruit character. The palate shows firm tannins and good acidity. Tastes very youthful and a little simple and oak dominated at the moment. Nice weight and structure so it may develop some more. Very good (£7.99)

Borges Meia Encosta Garrafeira 1995 Dão
Quite an intriguing herby, spicy, earthy complexity to the nose, which also displays some leathery, tea leaf notes. Good concentration on the savoury, spicy palate, together with good acidity. Lots of old fashioned complexity here, with firm tannins and a medicinal edge. Attractive traditionally Portuguese wine evolving nicely. Very good/excellent 07/02 (£7.99)

Borges Meia Encosta 1999 Dão
Gently herby fruit on the nose with a smoky, minerally edge. Midweight palate is clean and quite fruity with good acidity and a touch of minerality. Solid commercial wine reflecting its origins. Very good (£4.99)

Borges Meia Encosta 1999 Dão
Softly herbal with accessible spicy edged berry fruit. A juicy easy drinker. Good/very good (£4.99)

Borges Douro Reserva 1999
9 months ageing in new French oak. Forward, tarry smoky nose is quite rich. Palate shows herby, berry fruit with a pronounced spicy, toasty edge. Savoury with some tannic structure. An attractive modern-styled wine but it avoids being sweet and jammy. Good acidity. There’s a reasonable amount of oak influence here; it’s not very harmonious. Very good (£7.99)

Borges Lello Douro 2000
Nice savoury, high-acid style red wine. Clean and quite fruity. Attractive, but a simple glugger, with lots of cherryish fruit. Good/very good 08/02 (£4.99)

Borges Bairrada 2000
From the Baga grape, this sees a short skin contact and is fermented in stainless steel. Pale cherry red colour. Herby, spicy nose with a slightly herbaceous edge. Quite fragrant. The palate has high acidity and firm tannins. It’s clean and fruity, but a little austere: a modern take on old-style Bairrada: quite a challenging, midweight, Burgundy-style wine. Good/very good 08/02 (£4.99)

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