None of the whites that came home from Portugal with us have lived up to expectations. Until this one. Captivating from the first whiff, this exciting, crackling Albarino is the bomb-diggity. Light in body, deep on flavor, and more faceted than the Hope diamond. A beautiful, gorgeous wine that does not suffer from self-consciousness or seriousness. An absolute pleasure to drink. Outstanding experience.
2011 Alento Tinto Alentejo $15
While it's no powerhouse, it does begin to reveal some very interesting, nuanced undertone flavors after being open a few hours. Everything from anise to cigar ash and wet leaves, the interest factor is high even if the pure pleasure factor doesn't measure up. The perfect wine to have with a heavy, savory meat dish.
2010 Passagem Tinto Duoro Red Reserve $?
Here is our heavyweight prizefighter. Absolutely jumping from the glass with bright, powerful aromatics, this inky red exudes proud character and boldness. Despite its brawn and spotlight on new oak, the tannins are so well integrated, you're willing to overlook it's youthful bull-in-a-China-shop gait thanks to its bristling promise and flat out appeal. Whoa. Terrific, memorable wine.
2008 Taylor Fladgate Vintage Porto Quinta de Vargellas $13 (375ml)
Mellowest profile and structure. Not the black strap, tarry Vintage Port you're probably accustomed to. Rather, this supply-textured single vineyard example leans toward the tawny side of heft. Supremely accessible and an overlooked value, too. Will be stocking up on this.