Quinta dos Pocos Branco

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Pocos BrancoQuinta dos Poços (of the Wells) is named after the many water springs that sprout up after heavy rainfall. Another reason given is because it is located in front of the point 130 or Point of Puddles described by Baron of Forrester on his map “O Douro Portuguez e Paiz Adjacente” in 1848.

Located in the World Heritage area of the Douro, Valley. It is one of the oldest estates in the region, the main house being a typical rural manor house from the 18th century. It was there that french troops of the General of Brigade Loison – the “Maneta” (one-handed) – stationed, by the time of the first Napoleonic invasion, in 1808.The Quinta belongs to the family of Prof. Doctor José Manuel da Costa Mesquita Guimarães, who can be seen on the label of the white wine with his wife.

The Pocos Branco (White) wine is a blend of Rabigato, Viosinho and Gouveio and is completely unoaked. this give it a very light yellow citrus colour. Aromas are very fresh and mineral with  citrus, tropical fruits and floral notes quite typical of the white wines of altitude of Douro. Fresh flavour fruity flavour in the mouth with a love lively zesty refreshing dry finish. This wine is excellent as an aperitif, with grilled fish, seafood, pasta and pizzas.

One from the diaspora: O’Leary Walker Cabernet Malbec.

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OLW CabMalWe’re getting really topical today, with the talk of giving the vast Irish diaspora a vote in the general election we decided to raid the shelves for an interesting Irish conection wine. Now many of you are familiar with our good friends David O’Leary (not the footballer) and Nick Walker, the two driving forces behind the eponymous O’Leary Walker Wines, but todays wine is a new one to their stable. It has more conections to Ireland beyond David’s surname as the wine is produced in the Clare valley named after the Banner county. Anyway on to the wine.

The two varieties are sourced from two sub regions within the Clare Valley. The Cabernet Sauvignon is organically certified from the ‘Doctor’s block’, located in the Polish Hill River Region, a superior cool climate vineyard which is dry grown and low yielding. The Malbec is from the O’Leary Walker Wines winery block situated in Watervale. The two varieties are fermented seperately then racked to oak barrels (25% new French oak; 75% two-three year old oak) for a total of two years.

Incredibly perfumed with red forest fruits, sweet cassis and intense florals. This powerful blend is textural and concentrated with generous flavours. The gorgeous florals follow on to the palate with juicy tannins and acid length. This elegant style of Cabernet Sauvignon is complemented by the dusty tannin structure of Malbec. Classic forest fruits and intensity of oak. Pair with fresh Easter lamb or some nice fillet steaks.

Castelão – Friday Night Delight

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The Tavares da Silva acquired the farm in the 1980’s but it’s origins goes back to the 16th century. When they arrived there was around 110 acres of nearly abandoned vineyards on the farm, the family immediately embarked on an investment program to replant and re-graft the vines with the thriving varietals of the area, both indigenous and international. By 2000 the new plantings had reached maturity, Sandra Tavares, the youngest daughter, assumed duties as winemaker. Sandra is a passionate and skilled winemaker who produces great wines from the family’s vines. Sandra uses both traditional and modern techniques to produce her wines. Some of the wines are vinified in traditional Lagares. Her philosophy choc_castelaoshines through in her wines which combine traditional minerality and elegance, but are also modern fresh and fruit forward.

One of Sandra’s wines that show this combination is the Quinta de Chocapalaha Castelão. Castelão, one of Portugal’s most famed and widely planted varieties, is known for its beautiful, fruit character. Sandra’s interpretation of this varietal is a stunning example. Fermented in stainless steel and aged in French oak for 12 months, this Castelão retains its fresh fruit essence long after its 6 month of refinement in bottle. The 2014 wine pours a bright purple colour with an inviting nose of fresh raspberries, ripe cherries and subtle nuances of cocoa. The silky tannins and supple body attribute great balance and elegance to the palate. Perfect for casual Friday night with pizza or charcuterie.€17.95