Portugal goes viral

02 April, 2010

The Annual Portuguese Tasting will be kicking off with a bang this year thanks to an exclusive tasting with Oz Clarke.

He’ll be tasting six Portuguese wines on April 12 at Lord’s Cricket Ground from 6pm. The event will be streamed live on new website thebigtasting.com, and at outside events at John Lewis in Oxford Street and Waitrose at Canary Wharf.

Tickets are available from seetickets.com for £15 per person and a contribution from every ticket sold will be made to the Madeira Disaster Fund.

Nick Room, wine buyer for Waitrose, says: “As soon as people try Portuguese table wines they’ll love them enough to want to go on to purchase. This is because of the diversity, unique flavours, structure, weight, fruitiness, and superb balance – all good attributes and ability to deliver excellent value for money.”??Symington Family Estates will present its latest Douro DOC wines, including new vintages from the Altano range, such as Altano Biológico which is sourced from organically farmed grapes from the Vilariça valley. Other highlights include Pombal do Vesuvio 2008 and Quinta do Vesuvio 2008, and new vintages from the Chryseia and Post Scriptum produced in partnership with Bruno Prats.

Chalié Richards will be launching the first-ever sparkling wine from Sir Cliff Richard’s

Winery of the Singer. The wine, which has been made to celebrate Sir Cliff’s 70th birthday later this year, is a sparkling rosé made using the traditional method. Also on show will be the recently released Vida Nova Reserva 2007. Winemaker Max Birch will be showing the latest vintages across the Vida Nova and Onda Nova ranges.

Hallgarten Druitt will be showcasing 10 products from Cooperativa Agrícola Santo Isidro de Pegões. In the past 10 years it has invested €7 million into the wine production process and introduced lower-alcohol wine Nico 10% and its Stella range which has a “young, vibrant, international feel”.

Stevens Garnier is also pushing “naturally low-alcohol wine” Vinho Verde from Sogrape and will have the latest addition to the Pato range – Pena de Pato Vinho Verde 2009 (rrp £5.99). The Pena de Pato range was launched last year and also includes reds and whites from the Douro, Dão and Alentejo regions of Portugal.

Boutinot will be showing its range of wines from Aliança, including those from the most recent addition to its range of estates Quinta da Rigodeira in Bairrada. The Galeria Rosé (£5.99) – a blend of Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz from winemaker Francisco Antunes – is a new listing in the UK. The new vintage from Alianca’s Dão estate, Quinta da Garrida 2007, will also be on show.

Richards Walford will have two single estate producers at the show: Jorge Serôdio Borges, from Quinta do Passadouro, in Pinhão and Richard Mayson, from Sonhos Lusitano, Alentejo. The Passadouro Reserva 2007, a limited production, single quinta 2007 vintage port and new wine Passadouro Branco 2009 – a blend of local varieties Viosinho, Rabigato, Códega do Larinho, from the Murça region – will be on taste. Richard Mayson is now on to his fourth vintage and will show the new, as-yet unreleased 2008 vintage of Pedra Basta alongside the 2007, a blend of Trincadeira, Aragonêz, Alicante Bouchet and Cabernet Sauvignon from separately vinified parcels.

Lusovini has appointed distributor Clink Wines to help achieve its goal to “change the international image of Portugal”. Catherine Monahan, managing director of Clink Wines, says it is currently known for good quality and value for money, but “is not yet globally respected as a premium wine-producing country”. Lusovini’s portfolio covers the eight wine regions of Portugal, with a total of 19 brands, ranging in price from £4.99-£30. Clink will also be featuring a new wine from Oscar, a blend of 60% Touriga Nacional and 40% Tinta Roriz (£6.99).

Charles Hawkins & Partners will be representing two wineries. Paulo Marques from Quinta do Portal will be launching Trevo Vinho Verde white and rosé 2009. Esporão’s export manager Manuel Cordeiro will be launching its repackaged mono-varietals A (Aragonês), AB (Alicante Bouschet), and TN (Touriga Nacional).

DFJ Vinhos will be showing off its range’s new look after a “major rebranding exercise”. It has new wines and vintages from almost every wine region of Portugal, including offerings from its Point West and Grand’Arte ranges . There’ll be three new Touriga Nacional reds, a new dual varietal wine made from Pinot Noir and Alfrocheiro Preto, and the premium Quinta do Rocio.

González Byass will be showcasing Quinta do Noval and its 2003 vintage port – a blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinto Cão, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Roriz and Sousão. This wine is produced from selected plots on the quinta and trodden by foot in Lagares. Two reds from its still wine range will be on taste: Douro Doc 2007 and Cedro do Noval 2007.

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