Stepping into spring

04 April, 2008

Laura Clark limbers up for wine walks and other 

features at this year's Wines of Portugal tastin


Helping visitors understand the wines of Portugal, its regions, DOCs and indigenous grape varieties will be the focus of this spring's annual tasting, with an information zone manned by journalists Charles Metcalfe and Simon Woods. The duo will be on hand to answer questions about Portuguese wines and to take visitors on a series of


walks around the tasting. The eight guided walks will cover white wines, Touriga Nacional and the regions of Beiras, Bairrada, Dão, Alentejo, Terras do Sado and the Algarve (times listed below).

There will be 112 Portuguese producers at the event, including 24 that are looking for representation in the UK. All these wines have been through a pre-selection process with two importers and a Master of Wine to ensure they are suitable for the UK market.

Another highlight of this year's tasting will be the 50 Great Portuguese Wines line-up, which will give visitors the chance to taste in a dedicated zone.


Quinta da Aveleda will show its Casal Garcia, Fonte and Quinta da Aveleda Vinho Verde's at Raisin Social's stand, along with its Charamba red and rosé wines from the Douro, and its multi-regional Follies range. Also on taste will be Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo's 2005 Grande Reserva Douro red, its three Pomares Douro wines, and its ruby, LBV and vintage ports.

João Portugal Ramos and José Maria Soares Franco - the winemaking duo famous for easy-drinking superbrand Barca Velha - will unveil a new entry -level Douro wine at Sogrape's stand. A reserve and a top-end wine will be introduced later in the year. UK agent Nick Oakley says: "This is a very exciting development; a large scale, quality-orient ed project dedicated to table wine production is just what the market needs."

Douro-based winery and

port shipper Niepoort will reveal a new Tinta Roriz/Touriga Franca/Tinto Cão/Tinta Barroca blend called Drink Me, at Raymond Reynolds' stand. The label features a cartoon strip drawn by Canadian-born artist Steven Appleby, and it will be exclusively available in independent wine merchants across the UK from April 2, retailing at £10 .

Douro-based Quinta do C ôa will

be in the spotlight, with the second label of Vinha do C ôa . Starting with a red wine, the range will retail for £7.99 with contributions made to the C ôa Valley Archaeological Park with each sale . Paolo Soares, co-owner of Alentejo estate Herdade d a Malhadinha Nova, will also be at Raymond Reynolds' stand to present his 2007 Monte d a Peceguina range.

Bairrada-based Caves Alian ça will present wines from its estates in D ão, Douro, Alentejo, Figueira Castelo Rodrigo and Bairrada. Also on show at Boutinot's stand will be a range of wines from the newest addition to Alian ça's group of estates - Quinta da Rigodeira,

based in the Ancas area of

Bairrada. Th is will include the Maria Gomes/Bical/Chardonnay blend 2007 Bairrada white, retailing for £5.99 in the UK, the Baga/Merlot blend 2005 Bairrada red (£6.99) and the Baga/Touriga Nacional blend 2004 Bairrada Reserva (£8.99).

Keep an eye out for the Independent Winegrower's Association of Portugal - a group of six producers who came together in 2005 to champion indigenous Portuguese grapes and "express the genuine terroir from each of their quintas". The membership includes Casa de Cello, Alves de Sousa, Adega Luis Pato, Quinta de Covela, Quinta dos Roques and Quinta do Ameal, who will each display a selection of their wines at individual tables located side



Surrey-based drinks producer 10 International will exhibit its Pink Elephant rosé from Estremadura. Created to accompany spicy Indian and Thai dishes, the wine is made from free-run juice from Cabernet Sauvignon, Castelão and Alfrocheiro grapes. Pink Elephant was designed by 12 wine experts, including two Masters of Wine, during a blind tasting at London curry house Masala Zone, and was made by José Neiva of DFJ Vinhos of Estremadura with Australian David Baverstock.

A vertical tasting of Vinha Barrosa from 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005

will be hosted by renowned Portuguese

producer Luis Pato. Starting at 2pm,

the tasting is open to journalists and members of the Circle of Wine Writers and the Association of Wine Educators.

You can register by emailing

Dates and details

April 9 Lord's


ground, Nursery Pavilion, St John's Wood NW8 8QN

11am-8pm (consumers will join the tasting at 6pm)

To register, go to, call 01829 720130 or email



11.30am and 12pm - White wines

12.30pm and 1pm - Touriga Nacional

3.30pm and 4pm - Bairas, Bairrada,


4.30pm and 5pm - Alentejo, Terras do Sado, Algarve



walks maximum per person. Numbers will be restricted in each session

and booking is recommended. Meet at the information zone.)

New releases

Fonte do Nico - a light white wine from the Adega Cooperativa de Pegões in Terras do Sado.

Think Red, Think White and Think Pink - available in 25cl and 75cl screw cap aluminium bottles that "cool five times faster than glass bottles, are much lighter and on average 50% cheaper to transport," according to a spokesman.

Point West Touriga Nacional - a project for the UK market in partnership with 10 International.

A white

port from Quinta das Caldas, made by winegrower turned winemaker Alves de Sousa.

Trauma - a new brand from Caves Vidigal

that includes a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Syrah, a Sauvignon Blanc, an Alvarinho, an Aragonez and an Loureiro/Trajadura blend.

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