Sunday, February 25, 2018

MORE CREDIT TO ALDI

If you're buying booze in Portugal or Spain it's daft to go past Aldi. Sure, there are gems everywhere but Aldi just have an outstanding range across all price points. Not just in wine. Their beers and spirits are equally impressive.
This is another stunning red wine to drink now or cellar. It's not a common blend but it works beautifully. It's on the upper end of medium weight with everything in perfect balance. Very highly recommended but not for the faint hearted.



FUERZA 2014 JUMILLA D.O.P.
GRAPE VARIETIES: Monastrell and Cabernet Sauvignon
REGION: Jumilla, Spain
A/V: 14.5% 
PRICE: 4.99 euro 
FROM: Aldi, Spain
RATING: 5/5 from me 

THIS WOULD BE COMMERCIAL SUICIDE IN AUSTRALIA

What? Beer in a plastic bottle? Unfortunately that market dictates that packaged beer must be in glass. Cans are accepted but plastic? No way.

Whereas if you are in Portugal you can buy this absolute gem for a mere 89 euro cents for a ONE LITRE BOTTLE!!!!!
Just pour it into a glass and enjoy one of the best beer buys in Europe. From Belgium it has that classic Pilsener minerality and dryness. The bead is persistent and consistent through the slightly more than three pours it provides a 330ml glass

SCHULTEN BRAU PREMIUM LAGER BEER [Pilsener] 1000ml
A/V: 4.7% 
PRICE: 0.89 euro 
FROM: Aldi, Portugal
RATING: 5/5 from me 

BUYING BEER IN PORTUGAL? GO TO ALDI

I'm yet to taste a Portuguese beer that would have me regret leaving Portugal. The supermarket shelves are jammed full of lagers that pretty much taste the same, are generally packed in small glass and are relatively expensive. 
So thank goodness for Aldi and this bargain offering in particular. If you're a wheat beer fan, like me, you'll love the traditional German flavour and cloudy appearance of this as well as the price. 

OETTINGER WEISSBIER NATURTRUB 500ml can
A/V: 4.9% 
PRICE: 0.69 euro 
FROM: Aldi, Portugal
RATING: 5/5 from me 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

IT'S ABOUT TIME YOU TASTED LOUREIRO

So far with our exploration into Portuguese wines we've encountered three different varieties in the Vinho Verdes we've tasted. And a range of spritzig from "way too much" to the much preferred subtlety of this one.
This is the first time we've encountered Loureiro and this is a very classy offering for the price. Highly recommended crisp dry white with just a touch of spritz

QUINTA DA AVELEDA 2017 VINHO VERDE
GRAPE VARIETIES: Loureiro amd Alvarinho
REGION: Vinho Verde, Portugal
A/V: 11.5% 
PRICE: 3.34 euro 
FROM: Intermarche, Portugal
RATING: 4.5/5 from me 

A REALLY PRETTY LABEL FOR A SURPRISINGLY PRETTY WINE

I don't expect Grenache to taste like this especially with a hefty 14.5% a/v. But this is a supple fruit driven red that's really approachable from the moment you pull the cork. Equally surprisingly is that it drank really well over five days. Drink now or cellar.

JUNTOS 2016 GARNACHA


GRAPE VARIETIES: Grenache
REGION: Spain
A/V: 14.5% 
PRICE: 3.49 euro 
FROM: Ald,  Spain
RATING: 5/5 from me 

A GREAT BIG BOTTLE AT A VERY CHEAP PRICE


For sheer visual impact this is a winner. A stylishly labeled magnum in an equally impressive gift box. And the stuff inside doesn't let you down.
This is an elegant stylish red with more finesse and subtlety than power. Big bottles slow down the ageing process so while I'd be happy to drink now I'd love to taste it in 5-10 years time. It could be something quite special. And even if it's not to your taste just give them away as Christmas presents.


CASTELO do SULCO 2016 RESERVA 1.5L Gift Boxed
GRAPE VARIETIES: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Syrah
REGION: Lisboa, Portugal
A/V: 13.5% 
PRICE: 4.99 euro 
FROM: Aldi, Portugal
RATING: 4.5/5 from me 

FLOR D' PENALVA 2015 RESERVA VIHNO TINTA




This wine is another that seriously challenges the efficacy and credibility of Continente's current sale. There is no way this wine justifies the "original" price tag. And at the reduced price there are so many better and cheaper. The wine is sound but why would you bother?

GRAPE VARIETIES: Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz
REGION:Dao, Portugal
A/V: 13 % 
PRICE: 3.69 euro [reduced from 12.49]
FROM: Continente, Portugal
RATING: 1/5 from me 

Friday, February 23, 2018

A RED OF VARYING PRICES



We first encountered this in Palmeiras Restaurant at Turiscampo, Espiche. The young guy behind the bar had the enthusiasm to recommend it and we were happy enough to pay 14.5 euro. Next day we bought a bottle at Aldi for 5.99 and right after that we spotted it at Continente for 4.49.
But that's to be expected and it's a lovely wine so who cares. It offers a more elegant profile than some of the beasts we've encountered so far in this part of the world. Wood is restrained and there's a tasty balance of lively fruit characters. Will cellar well with plenty of acid and highish alcohol level that's not overt.

TRINCA BOLOTAS 2016 VINHO TINTO
GRAPE VARIETIES: Alicante Bouchet, Touriga Nacional, Aragonez
REGION: Alentejo, Portugal
A/V: 14% 
PRICE: 5.99 euro 
FROM: Aldi, Portugal
RATING: 4/5 from me 

PITEIRA 2016 PREMIUM RED BLEND



This is another one of Continente's markdowns [from 9,99 to 3.79 euro] that is highly recommended. Colour is deep and dazzling. It's a complete fruit bomb on the front palate and ends with a lovely dry tannic grip. It won't be to everyone's taste but grab a bottle, taste it and zip back for more if you rate it as highly as I do.

GRAPE VARIETIES: Aragones and Moreto
REGION:Alentjo, Portugal
A/V: 14 % 
PRICE: 3.79 euro 
FROM: Continente, Portugal
RATING: 4.5/5 from me 

WHACK A FEW DOZEN OF THESE IN THE CELLAR

This is one of the stars of Continente's huge wine mark down sale: from 12.99 down to 4.49 euro. It's a complex mid weight quadruple red blend that the maker recommends drinking over the next 7 years. I reckon it will last longer than that if you can resist pulling the cork. It's an absurd bargain at this price.


CASA ERMELINDA FREITAS 2016 VINHA DA VALENTINA PREMIUM RED BLEND
GRAPE VARIETIES: Syrah, Aragones, Castelao and Alicante Bouchet
REGION: Setubal, Portugal
A/V: 14 % 
PRICE: 4.49 euro 
FROM: Continente, Portugal
RATING: 5/5 from me 

GUARDA RIOS SIGNATURE 2016 VINHO BRANCO


The sceptical me wonders whether this ever saw a 16 euro price tag. Which is a shame because this is a really interesting complex dry white blend. It's quite developed for a wine this young with a honeysuckle richness dominating a full bodied palate. Won't be to everyone's taste, well and truly worth 6 euro but not 16.
GRAPE VARIETIES: Antao Vaz, Arinto, Viognier and Semillon
REGION:Alentejano, Portugal
A/V: 13 % 
PRICE: 5.99 euro [reduced from 15.99]
FROM: Continente, Portugal
RATING: 4/5 from me 

JUST ANOTHER VINHO VERDE OR TWO

 
Here are two perfectly pleasant little quaffers that are starting to taste the same. Too many bubbles and not enough individual character.

Torre de Menagaem 2017 Alvarinho/ Trajadura 2.79 euro

Aveleda 2017 2.99 euro
Both from Continenete Both 3/5 rating.

AN OK BUDGET RED

This is a perfectly OK medium bodied little red. Certainly not worth the supposed regular price but it's sound if budget is all that matters. It may have a vintage but I couldn't find it.



CAVES de PEGOES VINHO REGIONAL TINTO

GRAPE VARIETIES: Castelao, Aragonez and Alicante Bouchet
REGION: Setubal, Portugal
A/V: 13% 
PRICE: 1.69 euro [was 4.59]
FROM: Continente, Portugal
RATING: 3/5 from me

BE QUICK - I HOPE THIS IS STILL AVAILABLE

The problem of buying a whole heap of tasting wines from a sale is that it takes a while to wade through them. It's taken over 2 weeks to get to this beauty. 
The price is an absolute joke. This is a big rich fascinating red that's a little disjointed on opening but after three days reveals what a gem this will be for medium to long term cellaring.

Stop reading, get in the car and buy all they've got at this price.




SOBREIRO DE PEGOES 2016 PREMIUM VINHO TINTO

GRAPE VARIETIES: Castelao, Aragonez and Cabernet Sauvignon
REGION: Setubal, Portugal
A/V: 14% 
PRICE: 2.99 euro [reduced from 9.99]
FROM: Continente, Portugal
RATING: 5/5 from me 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

THE BACK LABEL AMUSES ME MORE THAN THE WINE

Am I the only one that reads the back labels on wine bottles. This one refers to "the Lusitano Horse, a brave companion since the time of the Roman legionnaires 5000 years ago". 
They would have been a surprise to everyone at the time!

And the wine? It's a very steely austere dry white without much discernible fruit. A perfectly acceptable quaffer if you like the style. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it but I'm enjoying others far more.
CAVALO BRAVO 2016 VINHO BRANCO
GRAPE VARIETIES: Fermao Pires and Arinto
REGION: Tejo, Portugal
A/V: 12.5% 
PRICE: 2.19 euro 
FROM: Continente,Portugal
RATING: 3/5 from me 

NOWHERE NEAR AS GOOD AS THEIR STRAIGHT ALVARINHO



Under the same label you can buy an infinitely more impressive wine for just 1 euro more. See the previous post.

SELECCAO de ENOFILAS 2016 VINHO VERDE
GRAPE VARIETIES: Alvarinho and Trajadura
REGION: Vinho Verde, Portugal
A/V: 11.5% 
PRICE: 2.99 euro 
FROM: Intermarche, Portugal
RATING: 3/5 from me 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

THE PERFECT VINHO VERDE


As a style Vinho Verde is all over the place. Which means if you tasted some of the shockers we have as your first experience, you'd never try the stuff again.
On the other hand, if you were lucky enough to grab this, you may just have found your all time favourite white. This is all about sheer dazzling drinkability. It's a crisp dry white in perfect balance. Just grab a bottle because I reckon this defines the style at a ridiculously affordable price.


SELECCAO de ENOFILAS 2016 VINHO VERDE
GRAPE VARIETIES: Albarino
REGION: Vinho Verde, Portugal
A/V: 12.5% 
PRICE: 3.99 euro 
FROM: Intermarche, Portugal
RATING: 5/5 from me 

ONE LITRE OF ALMOST OUR FAVOURITE RIESLING

It's not quite as mind bogglingly stunning as Aldi Spain's German Riesling raved about in January but Aldi Portugal's offering is pretty damn good. 
As compensation it's a little cheaper plus it comes in a litre bottle WITH A SCREWCAP!!!! Happy days.  If you're looking for a medium dry white with definite varietal flavour this one is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser. Very highly recommended.


FEINHERB 1000ml Riesling
GRAPE VARIETIES: Riesling
REGION: Pfalz, Germany
A/V: 10.5% 
PRICE: 2.99 euro 
FROM: Aldi, Portugal
RATING: 4.5/5 from me 

WHY WOULD YOU BOTHER?

These are perfectly pleasant lagers and at .89 euro the Kings Brau is the equal of the other two at 1.19 euro. They're all 500 ml cans and all purchased at Intermarche. Just not particularly good value and not overly inspiring. You can buy so much better. A generous 3/5 rating at best.

Kings Brau 4.8% a/v
Sagres 5% a/v
Super Bock 5.2% a/v
 

Monday, February 5, 2018

TWO OUTSTANDING RIDICULOUS VALUE MARK DOWNS

It's easy to be sceptical about markdowns of this magnitude. Why so savage? And were they worth the original asking price. 
I don't know the answer to the first question but I can certainly answer "YES!" to the second.
These are two big, robust reds with plenty of everything. There's tannin, wood by the barrel load and lashings of complex fruit. Drink now with plenty of breathing or cellar indefinitely. 
If I lived in Portugal I'd be buying a few dozen of each.





Mula Velha 2016 Premium Red
GRAPE VARIETIES: Syrah, Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouchet
REGION: Lisboa, Portugal
A/V: 13.5% 
PRICE: 2.99 euro [marked down from 10]
     FROM: Continente, Portugal
     RATING: 5/5 from me 

Rovisco Pais 2016 Premium Red
GRAPE VARIETIES: Touriga, Cabernet, Aragones [Tempranillo]
REGION: A/V: 14.5% 
PRICE: 3.89 euro [marked down from 13] 
FROM: Continente, Portugal
RATING: 5/5 from me 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR SUMMER - GATAO ROSE

I can't find a vintage and I have no idea what grapes are in the bottle. But it's in that wonderfully generic Portuguese Rose bottle and it won't surprise you that it has a little touch of sweetness. What makes it work though is a really subtle spritzig that elevates this way out of the ordinary. Alcohol is low and I'd consider throwing some ice cubes in to make it a serious quaffer on a hot summer's day. It has enough flavour to handle it.

GRAPE VARIETIES: ?????
A/V: 10.5%
PRICE: 2.99 euro 
FROM: Intermarche, Portugal
RATING: 4.5/5 from me 

HERE'S DON SIMON, THE SANGRIA FROM LA MANCHA

After three months on the Iberian Peninsula it was time to endure a Sangria. Although others tasting it disagreed I thought it was perfectly OK. No pretensions and ticked all the boxes. They suggest serving it "Really Cold". I suggest taking it to near freezing and add a chunk of ice cubes and soda water to give it some sparkle. That will also reduce the sweetness if it's too much for you.

It was what it was and no-one could complain about the price.
   



GRAPE VARIETIES: I'm sure there are some
REGION: It's produced in La Mancha
A/V: 7% 
PRICE: 1.85 euro 
 FROM: Intermarche, Portugal
RATING: 4/5 from me