Douro Red 2004
A warm scent of red berries, some tobacco, manages to be both confected and savoury at the same time
The palate is juicy. Rather simple and spoofulated.
Douro Reserva Old Vines 2003
Ouch! The wine hit me on the nose with a plank of wood!
Some savoury hints going on underneath the Amazon. The palate is quite a bit better: oaky certainly, but not so badly spoofulated as the scent, with fine structure from both tannins and acids and fair length. But why, oh why must a whole forest be used?
Touriga Nacional 2003
Oak, oak, oak, oak, oak. Anything else? Well, a bit of vanilla and chocolate (i.e. oak derived scents!). Well, once again the palate surprises by being savoury, dry and not too badly over-oaked. How is it that these wines so mololithically oaky on the nose, yet relatively fine on the palate?
Vinha Maria Teresa 2003
A very pointy wine, having received 95p from some illustrious pointgiver or other - I have no idea which. It is made from c 90 YO vines, and the vines are so old that it isn't even known what grapes they are. The nose, though certainly oaky, isn't as overdone as the previous wines. It is a big wine, more fruit forward than savoury, but with enough tanginess to keep up my interest. The palate is big, extracted, and just what the pointgivers want, but with decent amounts earth, tobacco and general savouryness. If you like the pointy wines, you won't be disappointed and even I was relatively impressed. Not enough to purchase a bottle, though, even if it were cheaper.
Q do Crasto has received lots of applause for their table wines. But I think their ports were more successful - but this is just me speaking as an oakophobe.
LBV 1999 (Unfiltered)
A very savoury scent of tobacco and plums. The palate was very sweet, thick, extracted, but acidic and approachably tannic - also a little fiery (no idea if this was decanted or not - a problem with such tastings always). Very good, if a touch simple, but the balance and sheer fun of the wine make up for that amply.
Dark colour. Nose is inky and prominently floral with a touch of tobacco, but not as strongly as in the LBV. The palate was very sweet, very concentrated, very intense, very fiery (obviously not decanted long enough), but very good.
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.