A quick trip through Portuguese wine: eight wines, seven regions

Eight wines that were part of a masterclass I presented at the (remotely conducted) London Wine Fair 2021, remotely. These wines are currently seeking representation in the UK, and they give a nice snapshot of the diversity of Portuguese wines. This is such an interesting wine country: I first visited in 1995 with my day job, and I’ve been back multiple times since. One of the great things about Portugal’s wine offering is how it has retained its Portugueseness. And for a small country, it covers so many different options in terms of climate and soils.

Casal de Coelheira Terraços de Tejo 2020 Tejo, Portugal
13% alcohol. A varietal Fernão Pires. Aromatic, pure and brightly fruity with notes of lemon, table grapes and fresh pears. It has keen acidity and is all about the vivid, direct fruit. Lots of personality: a versatile fruity wine. 87/100

Lua Cheia Maria Bonita Loureiro 2019 Vinho Verde, Portual
11.5% alcohol. Full yellow in colour this is quite a powerful expression of Loureiro. It reminds me of a Riesling, with its intense citrus fruit, supported by some rich honeyed appley notes and a bit of spice. There’s a touch of sweetness on the finish, but this is quite a dense, full wine with a dry-ish personality. 90/100

Monte de Capela Branco de Curtimenta 2019 Alentejo, Portugal
13.5% alcohol. This is a skin macerated white from the Alentejo. It has a full yellow colour and a nose of honey, citrus, orange peel and spice. The palate is powerful, vivid, intense and concentrated with marmalade and lime flavours, juicy acidity, and a little bit of structure. I love the freshness and density here: it’s a really striking wine. 91/100

Quinta da Devesa Tinto Reserva Vinhas Velhas 2013 Douro, Portugal
14.5% alcohol. A field blend of some 20 varieties, 70 year old vines. Richly aromatic with a dense, structured palate showing firm black fruits, with some spicy oak in a supporting role. Lots of spicy intensity here with some grippy structure. Quite an intense wine, still needing time. 88/100

Quinta de S Sebastião Colheita 2016 Lisboa, Portugal
13.5% alcohol. Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional grown in clay/limestone soils. This has a nice combination of sweet raspberry and cherry fruit with some earthy savouriness, a tea-like note, some cedary oak and nice freshness on the finish. Showing some development, this is quite mellow. Combines sweet and savoury well. 88/100

Adega Marel Manolito 2019 Alentejo, Portugal
14% alcohol. Moreto and Trincadeira, part in Talha. This is delightfully supple and sweetly fruited. Lovely cherry and plum fruit with nice savouriness, and a grainy, chalky, slightly earthy undercurrent, and good acidity. Bright and very drinkable. 90/100

Texture Pura 2018 Dão, Portugal
13% alcohol. An old (50 year) parcel planted in granitic soils in Gouveia at 600 m altitude. Aged in a mix of foudres and barrels. This is a really fresh, vivid, supple, elegant expression of Dão with bright red cherry fruit, a touch of sappy greenness and lovely purity. Finishes with brightness and a twist of tannic grip. Very stylish. 91/100

José Maria da Fonseca Collecção Privada DSF Moscatel de Setúbal Superior 2008 Portugal
17.5% alcohol. Fortified with Armagnac. Golden brown in colour. A wondeful nose of marmalade, spice and honey, leads to a luscious, complex palate of old furniture, sweet table grapes, raisins, chocolate and spice. It’s really complex and long with amazing depth. Very sweet, with the savoury, spicy notes framing the luscious fruit brilliantly. Fantastic stuff, quite unique in the world of sweet wine. 95/100

Find these wines with wine-searcher.com