Lavradores de Feitoria 2003 "Três Bagos" Douro ($16.99)
This is a very dark garnet wine, almost black in the glass. Port-like scents are appealing and forward, black plums and cherries and even a warm brandy-like note. The full-bodied flavor is fruit-forward, ripe black fruit and dried fruits shaped by grippy acidity and firm tannins. The similarity to Port ends at that point - it's dry, of course, and it's not fortified. But you can sense the shared heritage, and for that matter the shared fruit. US Importer: European Cellars LLC, Charlotte, N.C., Eric Solomon Selection. (Mar 27, 2006)

FOOD MATCH: Breaking away from the obvious red meat, I fashioned a sweet'n'savory pasta dish to work and play with the wine's ripe fruit, lavishing baked penne with a "pink" sauce of ricotta and goat cheese with fresh and sun-dried tomatoes.



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