A Great, Dry Portuguese Red


For most consumers, the wines of Portugal are synonymous with Port. And while Port is certainly one of the greatest, most age-worthy wines on the planet, it is a mistake to assume that it’s all that you should be drinking from Portugal. Every time I visit there, in fact, I find myself impressed and excited anew with the dry wines as well as the sweet. And great ones are being produced all over the country, from the Douro all the way down to the Algarve, and seemingly everywhere in between.

I recently tasted a bottle that every serious wine drinker should find--it embodies exactly what makes Portugal such an exciting wine producer right now. And, despite its age-worthiness, it is seriously delicious already. My tasting notes are below:

Companhia das Quintas Quinta do Cardo Grande Escolha 2009, DOC Beira Interior
Dark, rich color, nearly inky and opaque. Aromas of licorice, meat, spice, plums, a hint of Dr. Pepper, and spicy dark chocolate. On the palate, very fresh acid balances out ripe cherry, red and black plum, oregano and other garrigue-like herbs, and hints of cranberry and flowers on the edges. Beautiful, with lots in reserve. Drink now, with a stint in the decanter, all the way through 2023.  Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz.