Friday, August 7, 2009

WINES OF THE WEEK, 7 August 2009

An Iberian trio this week. No particular reason – just good wines. The Tinto da Anfora is perfect barbecue material, but also comes into its own with comforting casseroles. The Rioja is a bit more refined: grouse, anybody, or lamb threaded with rosemary and garlic? And the dry Vinho Verde is exactly that – proper dry Vinho Verde.

2006 Tinto da Anfora, Alentejo
This is the kind of wine I sometimes overlook because it’s been around for so long. What’s impressive is that the style has moved with the times without its distinctive personality being compromised. So it’s become a bit more refined in recent years, but continues to be a traditional full-bodied, oak-aged Portuguese red made from indigenous grape varieties (5% cabernet sauvignon excepted). It’s packed with ripe plummy fruit, bayleaf and chocolate flavours and finishes on a dry, spicy-oak note. 14% alcohol.
£5.99-£6.49, Sainsbury’s; Waitrose.

2008 Quinta de Azevedo Vinho Verde
A piercingly fresh, zesty white with herbal green-apple flavours and a fleeting hint of peach. Authentically dry and low in alcohol and not remotely like the vapid cheap Vinho Verde that used to be sent over from Portugal specially sweetened for the British market. 10.5% alcohol.
£5.99 or £4.99 when you buy two bottles, Majestic.

2006 Torres Ibérico Rioja Crianza
There are few more famous names among Spanish wine producers than Torres, but the Torres family has never been in Spain’s most famous wine region - until now. So this is the first Torres Rioja, and very good it is, with an inviting smell of ripe blueberries, cedary oak and spicy mocha and a smooth, dry, well-defined palate. 14%.
£8.99, Waitrose.