Friday, November 25, 2016

Xistos Douro

Soma notes: playing basketball / netball / rugby on a sunny but cold day when you catch the ball and your fingers feel numb but invigorated. It passes through your mouth like the wind across your face. 

Interpretation: Smells full on with a fruity bang and alcohol fumes (its 14%) getting the juices going. Full bodied and punchy on the palate (thanks to the alcohol and tannins), there are some lovely jammy red berries and a short fruit finish but has a lovely caramel oakiness that lingers for a long time. I let this wine warm up to room temperature (I keep my reds at 16'), but it still feels cold, so not a comforting in front of the fire wine, and not complex enough to accompany a juicy steak. Drink on it's own or with beef stew, cottage pie, or cheese.

I feel Portuguese wines are often overlooked, we buy the port so we know they have good vines, and we go on holiday there so we know they get sunshine, so it makes sense they should make good wines. And they do. Most reds are made with the domestic grape Touriga Nacional which is intense with high tannins. This is used for port and reds in Douro and Dao, so although this bottle doesn't say Touriga Nacional it's probably a blend with Tinta Roriz. It's made from very old wines and grapes were pressed using traditional lagares (treading on grapes in open stone tanks).

If you're not keen on reds I urge you to try Portuguese Vinho Verde (this will always stay in my heart because in my WSET exam I thought this was a grape but it's a region!). It's a gorgeous light white wine with citrus flavours but what makes it special is a slight sparkling sensation on your tongue, which is just delightful.

I bought mine from a Portuguese shop called Exquisite in Marlow for £12, sorry but I can't find it in mainstream stores, please let me know if you spot it!

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