2009 – 13.5%
Touriga Nacional & Baga
I hadn’t intended to do a write up about this wine because it’s pretty impossible to find in the States, but the picture was too good not to show off. I purchased this bottle while I was abroad in London, and I’d been looking forward to opening it for a while. A birthday party for my brother and guests was the perfect occasion. It’s a shame it’s so difficult to find here because boy this is some good wine.
This is hotel wine. That’s right. Alexandre de Almeida Hotels – the largest hotel chain in Portugal – produces this wine. It’s specifically bottled for their Palace Hotel do Bussaco, which unless you’re staying there, have fun trying to find it for a reasonable price. Most of my Portuguese wine tastings have included wines from the Douro Valley, which knocks them out of the park. However, these grapes are from the Doa wine region of Portugal. And I must say, as I’ve started exploring the wines of the world, Portugal is producing some of the best table wines I’ve tasted – especially if you like big full-bodied reds.
In the words of one Marty Hird, “this wine reminds me of the hedge rows along the country roads of Hampshire, where the rabbits chase one another during mating season.” I mean I’ve never been to Hampshire, nor have I witnessed rabbits during mating season, but hey! That sounds like an apt description to me! He’s a man of few words but when he talks you know he isn’t fudging the truth. I can only try to imagine how memories of the lush green country side and the beautifully landscaped hedge rows paired with this wine brought him back to his childhood…. Not to mention the local rabbit population looking for love.
This wine definitely goes with mature cheeses and heavy meat dishes. While I was drinking it, I wanted to pair it with was some BBQ pork chops on a cool summer evening. If you’re ever staying at an Alexandre de Almeida hotel and you see this bottle, go ahead and purchase it with your dinner. It will leave you completely satisfied… unlike the rabbits who never caught up to their mate.
Taste – 8 out of 10
Recommend – 9 out of 10
Price – 6 out of 10
Complexity – 6 out of 10
Smell – 6 out of 10
Overall – 35 out of 50