December Mix Six

Posted by on Dec 5, 2012 in Newsletters, Wine Blog | 0 comments

2010 Branco, Casa de Saima, Portugal
$10.99/bottle $8.79/bottle (mix six $)
Casa de Saima is located in Sangalhos in the north of the Bairrada region. Here Graça Miranda and her husband Dr. Carlos Almeida e Silva tend 18 ha of vines. Bairrada is the region of the smallholder. There are a staggering 4700 registered growers, and the average plot size is a tiny 0.2 ha. Most of these sell their grapes to the cooperatives that dominate the region’s production, and make a lot of uninspiring wine. But some estimates of the potential of this region can be gained from the observation that more than two-thirds of the vineyards here are over 50 years old and Casa de Saima is probably the best producer in the region.
Casa de Saima Branco is a blend of three grapes, Bical, Cerceal and Arinto. Bical, which is native to Bairrada and its neighbor, Dao, has an angular brightness similar to Riesling in many ways. Cerceal is, rather annoyingly, not the same grape as the Sercial grown on the island of Madeira. Arinto is, perhaps, the most widely planted white variety in Portugal. It is also capable of producing high quality wine although no one is really specializing in the variety.
Great for first courses and fish.

Prosecco Spago, Riondo, Veneto Italy
$12.99/bottle $10.39/bottle (mix six $)
When it comes to finding bubbly wine at bargain prices, Prosecco can’t be beat. Actually, Prosecco is a grape variety from the Veneto region of Italy and there is some of it produced as still wine, but the vast majority of it is bubbly.
What I really like about this Prosecco is the slight mineral quality on the nose. You’ll also find citrus and melon aromas. On the palate it’s only lightly sparkling — “frizzante.” Crisp apple and light citrus flavors with near perfect acidity make this a pleasant sipper. And at only 10.5% abv, it’s one you can sip a little more of before you’ve had too much.
This wine goes well with rich salty foods, like olives, or could be served with fresh fruit.

2010 Porca de Murca, Douro, Portugal
$10.99/bottle $8.79/bottle (mix six $)
Porca de Murca is made from Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca. The youthful appearing rich ruby color has medium intensity. Aromas of fresh ripe cherries fill the glass. The very well balanced palate possesses hints of pink peppercorn and cinnamon to add to the fruity flavors. Soft astringency and medium body make the wine very easy to drink now.
Delicious food pairings would be roast pork with a light sauce, spring lamb and also, roasted veal.

2010 Tinto, Casa de Saima, Portugal
$10.99/bottle $8.79/bottle (mix six $)
Baga is a unique Portuguese red grape variety has a reputation as a bit of a bugger, by all accounts. It’s thick skinned, with a tendency to make wines high in acidity and tannins. Combine this with the local practice of including the stems in the fermentation, and it has the potential to make challenging, tough wines. It’s also Bairrada’s key grape. Some 80% of wines from this region are red, and almost all of these (95%) are made from Baga. But while many Baga-dominated Bairradas are overly astringent, the fact that the better producers can do great things with it suggests that some of the blame lies at the door of the less competent producers rather than the grape itself.
The red wines are foot trodden and fermented in lagares (short, wide stone casks) before aging in old vats. The wine has quite a pungent, herby, savory nose with caramel notes. The palate shows attractive juicy cherry and raspberry fruit with a very lush, earthy edge. Tasty stuff: The wine is not too complex but has good acidity and dry tannins on the finish.
Great with roasted meats and birds.

2010 Carmenere, Root 1, Rancagua, Chile
$11.99/bottle $9.59/bottle (mix six $)
Root 1 is the result of a partnership between Viña Ventisquero from Rancagua, Chile, and the Click Wine Group in Seattle. They hired Felipe Tosso, formerly of Concha y Toro, to make this wine with grapes from two of Chile’s legendary vineyards, Apalta and Trinidad.
The Root 1 name stems from the fact that the grapes used in this wine are taken from vines from the original European rootstock, rather than those grafted onto other roots.
Intense violet in color with rich, ripe aromas of red fruit and vanilla, combined with soft spice notes. A full-bodied and juicy profile with blackberry, cherry and a hint of smoke followed by supple tannins and a strong finish.
Try it with osso buco or stuffed bell peppers and soft rind cheeses like Brie and Camembert.

2010 Portada, DFJ Vinhos, Lisbon, Portugal
$8.99/bottle $7.19/bottle (mix six $)
Portada is a blend of: Touriga Nacional, Castelao, Tinta Roriz, Alicante Bouschet, Cabernet, Pinot Noir and Caladoc. It is a perfect example of the great value wines coming out of Portugal!
Ripe, plump black cherry aromas lashed with vanilla, coffee liqueur and spice cake. The palate is supple but wonderfully fresh – it is medium-full bodied with flavors of vanilla and fruit/spice cake and mocha, which trails on a smooth, bright finish.
Pair with a nice Portuguese sheep’s milk cheese or it will suit any savory, tomato-based sauce.

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