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Dominó 2017 Vinho Tinto Salao Frio
Aragonez, Castelão, Arinto, Tamarez, and Grand Noir. The soils are a mixture of clay and granite. The vineyard itself is quite diverse, with some vines facing north and others facing south. Once the grapes are picked, they are whole bunch pressed, then macerated in stainless steel tanks for two months. The wine is aged in used French oak barrels for eight months. It is aged in bottle for two years before release.
Quinta da Mariposa 2018 Dao Vinho Tinto
Lúcia Freitas manages Quinta da Mariposa, located in Carregal do Sal in the Dao región of Portgal. The Dao is home to Portugal’s oldest varieties, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz. Mariposa’s Tinto is a blend of both of these varieties and a little bit of Jaen (or, Mencia). It shows notes of wild strawberry, bramble, some brown spice and fresh herbs. JDC
Quinta do Javali 2019 Douro 'Clos Fonte do Santo Cherry Tree Vineyard'
A field blend of about 20 different varieties, all indigenous to the Douro. The 'Cherry Tree' sees a short maceration, and combined with the assumed inclusion of some white grapes in the vineyard, the wine is light and ehtereal. A really lovely wine, and a contrast to otherwise darker expressions from the region.
Sidónio de Sousa 2016 Bairrada Reserva
Sidónio de Sousa's Reserva Tinto is a savory, medium to full-bodied expression of Baga, from clay-limestone soils in the Ancas-Bairrada. Pressing and fermentation happens in traditional small cement lagars, with aging for a year in large 4000L barrels, and a further two years in bottle before release. Pepper, black currant, oregano, and fresh earth abound. For a wine under $20, this traditional Baga over-delivers, providing the leather and cedar notes of a fine Bordeaux mixed with the finesse of Nebbiolo. Perhaps an old fashioned wine in style, this is no fault! A great value. -EL
Arinto, Loureiro, Trajadura. Portugal. Sustainably-farmed wine. With a little sparkle, this Vinho Verde is light and fresh. At less than one bar of CO2 pressure, they do not quite qualify as semi-sparkling wines but do have a definite pétillance.