Monday, April 5, 2010

Portuguese Red: Vale Do Bomfim

On this Blessed Easter 2010, Mary picked up what was to us an unknown Portuguese red wine, Vale Do Bomfim 2007 from the renowned Douro Valley.  Mary had decided to go with a rich baked ziti for the main course at dinner.  A nice hearty red seemed to be a natural as an accompaniment.  I wasn't sure what to expect having never imbibed this particular wine.  Before getting into the tasting notes perhaps a little background is in order.

Vale Do Bomfim is produced by the Symington family.  The Symingtons have been a major producer of Portuguese port wine for many years.  The family can trace its port producing history through 13 generations.  In addition, they manage two major wineries, Bomfim and Sol in Portugal's Douro Valley.  The family history is of interest. I suggest you go to Primium Famillae Vini to read a fascinating history of the family and its commitment to quality wine.

The wine itself is a blend of five Portuguese grapes:  Tinta Barroca (58%), Tinta Roriz (15%), Touriga Nacional (14%), Tinto Cao (8%), and Tinta Amarela (5%).  I decanted for about an hour.  I will try a longer process next time around.  This blend of grapes is very satisfying and a fine accompaniment to the baked ziti.  It has a deep, pleasing red color, nice legs, and a nose that is full but short.  It is sensually seductive with a slight astringent whiff at the top.  The taste is of strong red cherries and berries and an assertive spiciness.  The spice was not dominant, however. At one  point, I thought I noted both the aroma and taste of chocolate. It is well structured with good tannins.  The overall sense is of balance and solid medium body.  It feels good in the mouth, not too big, not too small but does come in at a hefty 14.5%.  My only criticism is that of the other red Portuguese wines, they lack a certain complexity that would put them in a class with the world's great wines.  Having said that, I totally enjoyed the blend and look forward to future purchases.  It is a bargain, as so many Portuguese wines are, at about $12.00 a bottle.

This is a winner.

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