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  1. Honorio Rubio Tremendus Clarete 2018
    Honorio Rubio Tremendus Clarete 2018
    Honorio works in a specific sector of Rioja - the Najerilla Valley, which favours high quality Garnacha. He is both a conservator of marginal historical styles, notably the Clarete pinks of which he is the leading proponent, and also an innovator working at the margins of textural enhancement in both Viura whites and Claretes.

    Claretes have been extremely important wines in Spanish history - most of Ribera del Duero, nearly all of DO Cigales and a lot of Rioja and Bierzo has been about the production and consumption of Claretes (historically, red and white grapes co-fermented in open concrete vats and aged for as much as a year in caves). However, contemporary appellations no longer have a legal definition/classification available for such a style.

    50/50 Viura i Garnacha, the look is vibrant see-through ('Clar' or clear being Clarete's defining thing!) raspberry pink. There are red rose petals, ruby grapefruit and a whack of chalky builder's lime soil aroma. There's a big hit of Saké, like polished rice washed with wild strawberry. The palate is full, open and soft on entry then a blood orange skin tannin-acid brings the zap and tang. The phenolics tuck in the middle and a squeak of builder's lime comes to finish the job. Texture yields to a wildly exciting, flavourful-perfumed acidity. PWS
    2018
    Blend
    Portugal
  2. ROCIM ‘Mariana’ Tinto, Alentejo 2019
    ROCIM ‘Mariana’ Tinto, Alentejo 2019
    Herdade do Rocim is an estate located between the towns of Vidigueira and Cuba, in the Lower Alentejo, inland from the Setúbal Peninsula. ROCIM is the project of a couple (in life as well as work), Catarina Vieira and Pedro Ribeiro. They have a 120 hectare estate with 70 hectares of vineyards and another 10 of olive trees. Catarina is the owner and founder of the estate, and started the project with her father, Jose Ribeiro Vieira, in 2000. Pedro worked in Port production in the Douro after graduating as a winemaker, and then worked in Australia for two years at Hardy's Tintara. After returning from Australia, he joined Catarina at Herdade de Rocim.

    Touriga Nacional, Aragonez, Alicante Bouschet and Trincadeira are manually harvested in
    12kg crates. At the winery, grapes are sorted, fully destemmed and gently crushed. After a
    period of cold maceration, fermentation takes place in small stainless steel tanks at 24°C,
    and the wines ages 6 months in French oak. 14% abv. Total acidity 5.6. PH 3.65.

    Deep ruby colour. Mace spice relieves the vanilla and black cherry density you expect here.
    Fluid, with good presence, but balanced without any sense of heftiness. Soft, dry, shapely,
    with nice structure, fresh, clean and great value. PWS
    2019
    Blend
    Portugal
    384
  3. Casa da Passarella a Descoberta Dao Tinto 2017
    Casa da Passarella a Descoberta Dao Tinto 2017
    Made in stone lagars and aged in cement tanks along with some large old wooden vats, it's a very typical DÂ o blend of Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (elsewhere, Tempranillo), Alfrocheiro and Jaen (aka Mencia). 13.5% a/v, ta 5.96 ph 3.60. A Descoberta means 'to be discovered' and the somewhat mystical label, a box tagged 1942 is a folkloric reference to an early version of a time capsule a box hidden in the stone walls of the house of Passarella containing a will to be opened 50 years hence and directing the riches of the box be re-distributed to the poor. The box was empty. Enrichment comes from the intangible not the material, it seems.

    A lovely wine supple, fleshy and spicy, with extra delicate tannin and oak. From lead-off, the cherry-chocolate fruit really shows the Dao granite, and is laden with wiry dark herbs. In the mouth, it's fleshy-meaty and mineral fresh - round with good movement and fruit-earth interplay. It has excellent presence in the mouth but is not reliant on weight for the show. Wonderfully composed, it sits and radiates, effortless in affect. Gorgeous delicate tannin is the frame, rimming the mouth and allowing the fruit and spicy acid to radiate delicately. A wonderful advertisement for varietal blends.
    2017
    Blend
    Portugal
    384
  4. Grahams 10yo Tawny Port 200ml
    Grahams 10yo Tawny Port 200ml
    An intensely dry, concentrated, powerful wine that tastes as if it has wines in the blend that are older than 10 years. It is powered with acidity and its firm structure. Yet it is definitely a 10-year-old in style, as the fresh fruit to finish confirms. ROGER VOSS, Wine Enthusiast

    Mid bright tawny colour. Light nose. Raisiny fruit but not that vital. A bit low key. Dry, treacley finish. Beautiful packaging... Much drier than the Taylor's version. But actually with lots of interest and more obvious wood-aged character. JANCIS ROBINSON
    2011
    Port
    Portugal
    450
  5. Niepoort Ruby Port
    Niepoort Ruby Port
    Dirk Niepoort, whose family has been making Port since 1842, is now considered one of the top producers of high-end Douro wine. STEPHEN TANZER, Stephen Tanzers international Wine Guide

    Juicy, perfumed and smelling of sweet ripe strawberries with hints of more savoury notes. If you wanted to write a note on what ruby Port should be, this wine would be a good benchmark to start. ROSCOE PWS
    NV
    Port
    Portugal
    450
  6. Esporao Quatro Castas 4 2015
    Esporao Quatro Castas 4 2015
    Since it was founded in 1267, the boundaries of Herdade do Esporão have remained virtually unchanged. Located 180 kms from Lisbon, deep in the Alentejo, in Reguengos de Monsaraz.
    The team is led by David Baverstock. Ex - Roseworthy and Penfolds before heading to Portugal to work at icon wineries such as Graham's, Quinta do Crasto and has taken Esporao to the title of Winery of the Year twice and has himself been named Winemaker of the Year twice, including this year.

    Poor, stony soils and a tough summer climate that brings hot days and cool nights, followed by a harsh winter. Esporão currently has 194 different varieties planted, of which 37 account for virtually all production.

    This is always a blend of the 4 best grapes of any vintage and changes from year to year in both compsition and percentages.
    2015
    Red
    Portugal
  7. Quinta do Ameal Loureiro 2019
    Quinta do Ameal Loureiro 2019
    The 2019 Loureiro, tasted with about 10 weeks in bottle, is the winery's classic version—meaning "unoaked." It comes in at 11.3% alcohol, less than 1.5 grams of sugar and 7.4 of total acidity, a big change from last year's more alcoholic and lower-acid profile. This, to me, is a nicer profile for this wine in theory, but I'm not yet sure it will realize its potential. It retains its traditional lift to the fruit and a bright, lively demeanor. It might not be as concentrated as the 2018, but it has a wonderfully zesty finish with the acidity on display. MARK SQUIRES, eRobertParker.com.au
    2019
    Portugal
    384
  8. Lavradores De Feitoria Douro Branco 2019 2L Cask
    Lavradores De Feitoria Douro Branco 2019 2L Cask
    This is a collaboration of 19 quintas across the 3 sub-regions of the Douro (Baixa Corgo, Cima Corgo and Douro Superior). Started in 2000, this kind-of co-op has 48 shareholders selecting from 600 hectares of possible source material, thus summing the Douro. The term ''avradores' means 'farmers' and 'feitoria' means 'marked land' and denotes the Douro's history as a trading post, a superior land within which to make wine for export trade. The Douro was the first demarked wine area in human history. The Lavradores de Feitoria wines are a refined pan-Douro expression.

    I adore these white blends from Portugal. They have so much palate impact bursting with flavour but balanced wonderfully with texture and weight and rich, vibrant acidity. The 2019 Branco is a blend of Malvasia Fina, Gouveio, and Síria. "What grapes?" you said. Who cares? Its delicious! Spicy and bright, with sappy fruit in the middle that picks up your taste buds throws them around as you slosh this down. Green fruits with a light tropical hint but not overripe or too juicy. It's dry and textural with plenty of bounce. Great stuff! MYLES, PWS
    2016
    Portugal
    386
  9. Fonseca Late Bottle Vintage 2011
    Fonseca Late Bottle Vintage 2011
    The 2011 Late Bottled Vintage Port is an unfiltered field blend that comes with a bar top cork. It comes in at 108 grams per liter of residual sugar and was bottled in 2016, according to the label. Rather gorgeous, this fresh, tight and powerful Fonseca is perfectly focused, extracted and tightly-wound, finishing with intensity of flavor laced with some herbs and a hint of garrigue. Yet, everything is always in a very controlled fashion brilliantly supported by its structure. This is a beauty, another super 2011 LBV. MARK SQUIRES, eRobertParker.com

    This is a superb LBV from one of the richest and greatest producers of Port as well as from one of the greatest vintage in the last decaded. Highly reccomended!
    2009
    Port
    Portugal
    450
  10. Fonseca Late Bottle Vintage 2012
    Fonseca Late Bottle Vintage 2012
    Fonseca is one of the great port houses famous for their rich and powerful styles of vintager Port. They also do a fantastic range of "lesser wines" that always are worth a look-in with their LBV's a particular favourite of ours. PWS

    The 2012 Late Bottled Vintage Port is an unfiltered field blend and comes in with 105 grams of residual sugar. It was bottled with a bar-top cork after five years in used French oak. Sexy but elegant, this is chock-full of delicious fruit, sweet on the end and relatively fresh. The mid-palate is just average in depth, but the classic Port flavors are all up front. In its youth, it does have a bit of an exuberant feel despite the freshness. Generally, people don't age LBVs with bar-top corks, but this can hold, if there no cork failure, and develop a bit too. Happily, you can also drink it right now. MARK SQUIRES, eRobertParker
    2009
    Port
    Portugal
    450
  11. Pioneiro Moscatel Roxo NV
    Pioneiro Moscatel Roxo NV
    My love of fortified wines is no secret, in fact I am loudly proclaiming it to any and all who are willing to listen (usually that's a small group admittedly). This is a new one for me and it is one hell of a wine. Burnt fig, orange peel, walnut, black tea and a hint of fish oil all intermingle on the really complex and decidedly enticing nose. The palate pretty much follows the same line as the nose and has an expansive, detailed and surprisingly lively finish. This little ripper is a contender for my new wine of the year. ROSCOE
    NV
    Port
    Portugal
    458
  12. Niepoort Vertente Douro 2017
    Niepoort Vertente Douro 2017
    The 2017 Vertente is a field blend of grapes like Tinta Roriz and Touriga Franca aged for 20 months in 80% used French barriques. It comes in at 13% alcohol. This was set for bottling in about a week, but it was the final blend and out of cask. I hesitate to rate this too high, but if the Twisted red this issue seemed like the best Twisted, this might be the best Vertente. It is certainly on the shortlist. Elegant, refined, solid in the mid-palate and still filled with flavor, this is fresh and yet still very serious. It has fine structure and grip on the finish. This refined and impeccably balanced tinto is super and easily the best value point in the lineup. It can be drunk now, but it will be better this time next year, and it will hold gracefully for a reasonable time. MARK SQUIRES, eRobertParker.com
    2017
    tempranillo, Touriga
    Portugal
    450
  13. Graham's Vintage Port 2016
    Graham's Vintage Port 2016

    The 2016 Graham’s Vintage Port is inky black in colour. The bouquet is voluminous and intense, the aromas almost shrouding your head! Blackberry, black olive, clove and a touch of smoke, just a hint of pencil box in the background. The palate is brilliant, quite brilliant. Supple tannin, a satin-like texture, perfect balance and unerring purity, this is a fabulous Graham’s that effortlessly fans out and caresses the senses on the finish. This Graham’s has huge potential and is going to give a lot of pleasure for many years. (96) NEAL MARTIN, vinous

    2016
    Port
    Portugal
    450
  14. Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2019
    Quinta do Noval Vintage Port 2019

    A blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinto Ca~o, Sousa~o, Tinta Roriz, foot-trodden in lagares with 18 months in oak barrel. This is well defined on the nose, with dusky black fruit laced with graphite and clove. A serious rendition when compared directly with the more “playful” 2019 Passadouro; hints of liquorice, eucalyptus and boot polish emerge with time. The palate is medium-bodied with vivid red and black fruit, liquorice and black pepper, crisp acidity with a structured finish. This is a fresh, tensile Noval that will age with style. NEAL MARTIN

    The 2019 Vintage Port is a field blend aged for 18 months in old wood vats. It was bottled May 4, 2021, and has 100 grams of residual sugar. It was in bottle only a bit more than two months when tasted, but it seems quite brilliant, even so. Very concentrated, it adds controlled power and coats the palate. Tasted with some other 2019s, this certainly stood out for both concentration and power. It touches all the bases in terms of expressive fruit and structure, finishing dry and seriously. It seemed balanced enough to drink young, but that would be a mistake. For one thing, it steadily tightened as it aired out. It also increasingly showed gorgeous eucalyptus-laced aromatics. Two days later, it was notably more astringent. Four days later, it was very firm on the finish and better overall. In fact, that was a far better showing than on day one. This is plainly built for the long haul. I would expect nothing less from a fine Noval Vintage Port. It became more focused and precise as well. This needs the rest of this decade, at least, in the cellar to show better. Then it will develop well for decades and hold indefinitely. Frankly, it won't show everything it has in even 10 years, where I have the "start drinking" window, so if you have a lot more patience, that would be useful. It will be more interesting around 2035-2040. This is a powerful beauty. WINE ADVOCATE

    2019
    Port
    Portugal
    450
  15. Taylors Vintage Port 2016
    Taylors Vintage Port 2016
    In 2016 Taylor's began picking in Vargellas on 17 September, followed by Pinhão Valley estate on 23 and 26 September. The 2016 Vintage Port has an aristocratic bouquet with tight wound aromas of blackberry, bilberry, crushed stone, black olive and a light, marine-tinged element, perhaps almost peat-like. The palate is just beautiful with fine, chiseled tannins and a perfect line of acidity. There is that almost "arching" structure one always seeks in a great Taylor’s with a gentle but insistent grip towards the finish. It is everything you really want from a Vintage Port. Production is 6,200 cases. (97) NEAL MARTIN
    2016
    Port
    Portugal
    450
  16. Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port 2011
    Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port 2011

    This is the first time Noval have declared their famous Nacional since 2003 so this is an exciting development. Very dark purple stains the inside of the glass.  Gosh, a massive bruiser of a wine. There is such concentration here that not much aroma can escape initially. Wild, peppery stuff. Then wonderfully juicy and spicy. This is like the ultimate biodynamic wine with lots of microbiology going on, in a good way.  Very clean and fresh on the finish.  Not notably sweet and with more marked acidity than some.  A big contrast to, for example, Fonseca 2011. This is all about subtle topnotes rather than broad lusciousness. So vital! JANCIS ROBINSON, 2013

    The 2011 Quinta do Noval Nacional has an entrancing bouquet that unfolds with time. It is extraordinarily concentrated with black currant pastilles, baked earth, a touch of terracotta and bay leaf that gains more dimension with time. Yet there is undeniable purity and elegance here, a seductive chorus of aromas perfectly in tune. The palate has a wondrous symmetry and focus, perfect acidity and immense purity. Everything here is so precise and at the same time, unassuming, as if this Nacional is aware of its breeding without the impulse to brag about it. It has closed down just a little since last year, but I take this as a positive sign that this legendary Nacional will delight for decades rather than years. This is the kind of elixir that leaves you speechless – surely the finest Nacional since the ethereal 1963. NEAL MARTIN, 2014

    2011
    Port
    Portugal
    450
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