I promised to follow up last week’s report (here) on my first impressions of New Douro releases (mostly 2010 reds and 2009 whites) with details of some rare and delectable Douro discoveries. Some venerable works of time just seeing the light of day; others positively new fangled. Here goes:
Luis Sottomayer (Head winemaker for Casa Ferreirinha and all Sogrape Port Wine brands) strikes me as a man of few, choice words; someone unlikely to go out on a limb. An intellectual winemaker if you will. So when he pronounced “Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) Ports are the quality of vintage ports 10 years ago,” it speaks volumes.
The winter was much drier and colder than normal with only 183,6 mm of rain falling at Pinhão between November and March, approximately 50% of the 30 year average. Budburst occurred on the 19th of March under very dry conditions, with April and early May bringing a welcome 141 mm rain in Pinhão. Cool temperatures during April ensured the vines remained free of fungal disease, however this conditioned the growth of the canopies, and in some varieties affected the development of the grape bunches. At the end of May, the vineyards showed low vigour, caused by the combination of the extremely dry winter and cooler than normal spring.
Eine Attraktion in dem unter Denkmalschutz stehenden Haus am Goetheplatz 6 wird zweifelsohne die Ausstellung von Unikatmöbeln von Mattes Nebeling sein. Nebeling ist in Bad Berleburg kein Unbekannter, denn er stellt seit Beginn des Bad Berleburger Holzmarktes seine einzigartigen und ungewöhnlichen Möbelstücke dort aus. Etliche, von Nebeling handgefertigte Möbelstücke, Stühle, Tische und Vitrinen befinden sich inzwischen auch in Berleburger Geschäften und Häusern.
From the moment I first visited Porto in the winter of 2003 I have been in love with this city. I’m not entirely sure what grabbed me, but whatever it was, it’s never let go. Sitting in my room at the Yeatman Hotel, overlooking the Douro river and the colorful hillside of Porto’s historic center, I feel incredibly fortunate to be here. The people are friendly and welcoming. The food is diverse and exciting. And the downtown is undergoing a revival, where new shops, restaurants and hotels are popping up like mushrooms after the fall rain, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Rain can be absolutely magical, especially when the river sparkles from little pitter-patters of gentle drops; but it can also be a curse when your glass runs low of Port as you snuggle up to a warm fire.
Não é bem uma moda, mas há cada vez mais produtores a lançarem vinhos do Porto muito antigos a preços exorbitantes. A última casa a entrar neste negócio de “joalharia” vínica foi a Quinta do Vallado, que acaba de colocar no mercado o seu Adelaide Tributa, a 2950 euros a garrafa.
What do you associate with Christmas? As far as drinks go, it may be the only time of year when some uncork a sherry or a port. And if it’s port, we Brits seem to have an overriding obsession with the crusted styles – that is, bottle-aged ports, either true “Vintage” or late bottled vintage (a younger style bottled shortly before it goes on sale). Of course, industrial quantities of much lowlier ruby port will also be consumed. Me? I prefer the gentler, subtler charms of an old Tawny (wood aged ) port.
Wine & Soul 5G Five Generations Very Old Port (a Tawny Port) was laid down by Jorge Serôdio Borges’ great-great-grandfather. It was he who started the family’s tradition of serving 100 year old Port on special occasions.
One look at the stunning decanter-shaped swimming pool (named one of the “12 Head-Turning Infinity Pools” by Condé Nast Traveler), is the first clue that the Yeatman hotel in Oporto, Portugal, is quite partial to wine!
In my quest to tell you about some great wine books this Christmas I am currently reading the third edition of Port and the Douro by Richard Mayson. What better subject is there to read about at Christmas?
A few weeks ago I wrote about port in the Telegraph and promised readers who emailed some pointers on how best to organise a few days’ holiday in the Douro Valley in Portugal. It was never supposed to take so long to answer them all. Sorry….My excuse is that not only was I deluged with emails but life elsewhere has been pretty frenetic too. Here are a few thoughts though, with thanks to all those whose advice I sought and who raided their address books to make a contribution.
I started collecting books about port and wine about five years ago and now have a substantial collection which includes a few interesting old books on Portugal, Portuguese wine, Gastronomy and even the taboo subject of Temperance!
Editor’s Note: Many moons ago, Ryan and I had the privilege of cracking open our first birth year wine; which translates to a wine produced on the year of your birth. Having coasted well into our 30′s, there are few wines that could last the test of time other than a wine with a touch of fortification, such as a Quinta do Noval 1975 Vintage Port. This stunning little Port was nothing other than extraordinary, and a considerably better gift than a wok.
November was a very busy month for Graham’s, as work continues at the partially renovated 1890 Lodge, where the most complete Port visitors’ centre is taking shape in Vila Nova de Gaia. Sections of the refurbished building, including a new reception, museum and shop, were opened to the public on November 12th. It was with great pleasure that Ana Rodrigues and her team welcomed the very first visitors — Adalberto Andriolo Junior and Tatiana Pereira de Sousa from São Paulo in Brazil. As our first visitors, Adalberto and Tatiana were given a comprehensive tour of the museum, which charts the history of the Graham and Symington families, illustrating how they made Graham’s into the renowned company it is today.
Charles Schumann ist ein gefragter Mann und Ikone der deutschen Barkultur. Manche kennen ihn auch aus der Werbung. Seine Schumann’s Bar am Hofgarten in München ist ein gepflegter Ort für gute Getränke und Gespräche. Nur wenige aber wissen, dass Charles auch ein großes Herz für den Portwein hat.