Oh dear dog I love Portuguese still-wines. Not easy to find in the US–port is all there is–but when you travel there, there are SOOOO MANY amazing still whites and reds in every restaurant and pub you wonder WHY??? This little Dao makes it all come true.
Still glowing ruby at almost 8, a tiny hint of garnet at the extreme rim. Nose of chocolate and briary licorice, spired with acid and angst, pie-cherry going rather ripe and decadent in the bouquet. Hazy barnyard doesn’t make so much as a statement, but a sly place-mark in the background, re-inforcing the old-world provenance but not detracting from fresh brightness throughout. Tiny bits of tertiary pokle through, but nothing crazily evolved from its hardcore fresh concentration.
Then you taste it, and NOTHING you’ve had–new world or old–comes close in typicity. Beautifully watery and delightfully thin, the core values of cherry and berry manifest themselves in shocking ways. So bright. So acerbic and alive. An inexpensive red wine–from anywhere–would dare compare. It’s not cab. It’s not Rhone. It’s not Pinot or Zinfandel or Sangiovese or Tempranillo. It stands alone in dialect and distinction, calling on smooth perfection and balanced fruit to placate the palate. Almost soda-pop in texture, it still manages gravitas of its own distinct degree. Dense concentration to placate California tongues is nowhere to be found, but true calling-cards for wine lovers abound at its core. The tannins are sweet after the slightly-porty middle, but everywhere earthy beauty abounds against citrus-y berry.
When you see Douro’s, Dao’s and Bairrada’s on a shelf: BUY THEM.
2014 PONTE PEDRINHA Touriga Nacional Vinho Tinto Dao DOC Portugal 13.0