Archive for the ‘Portugal’ Category

O Pensador, Value Red Wine from Portugal

February 24, 2010

The Thinker, the famous sculpture by Auguste Rodin has inspired a wine version, from Alentejo, Portugal. The wine is called “O Pensador” (from pensar, to think) and comes conveniently packed in a 3 liter bag-in-a-box format. Price wise it competes against the cheapest. Three liters mean 4 bottles. At 33 dollars it comes to be $8 + change per bottle, a real bargain for the quality.

O Pensador is a blend of Portuguese grapes, driven by Aragones and Trincadeira, plus 10% Touriga Nacional, Portugal’s best, commonly used for Port.  The other 10% is Cabernet Sauvignon. I always find it fun to taste a good wine made of something other than the Cabernet-Merlot-Shiraz triumvirate, or the currently ubiquitous Malbec.

Expect a coffeeish nose followed by an easy drinking fresh-fruit flavored somewhat lower alcohol (13%) wine. The kind you can drink without pocket guilt. Also, the kind you can drink more of in less time, which is always fun. Try that with a 14.5-15% malbec or shiraz and you will know what I am talking about. I feel inclined to say it is my new favorite under 10 dollars, after a long time keeping that spot for Puglia‘s Paiara Cab Sauv Negroamaro blend.

What else  is good about this thinker of a wine? Well, it has a convenient spout which reseals the wine automatically after pouring, so minimum O2 will affect your plonk. Will keep it fresh and in good drinking condition for a lot longer than any screwcap.  Once you pour the last of it, get the bag out  and clip one corner. Pour out the leftover, as you will get at least a big full glass. Put bag back  in box and claim your pennies when you recycle your wine empties, which, if you are at all like me, must be hitting the basement roof by now. All that good red one needs to go through those hard winter months, you know.

What else could you ask for? Dont need to be a pensador to figure this one out.

Ciao

Ivan

ps. I guess I got carried away in my Pensador enthusiasm. Once you pour the last bit of it there is very little left in the aluminum pouch. I inflated it back blowing into it and used it as a space pillow on my ferry trip to Victoria. Those seats are uncomfortable, really. It worked so well that I am planning to take one on my camping trips in the ever closer summer.

ps1. Photo from Flickr by True Russian Vodka

Prazo de Roriz 2004, Portuguese Red Blend

August 11, 2009

Prazo de Roriz, a 2004 blend from Douro Valley in Portugal, is a beautiful wine that did not merit major accolades by the king of noses, mr. Robert Parker. I guess he is more focused on biggies, and this one is not. The character of this blend of Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca resides in its mineral, earthy qualities, rather less robust body and its aromas of red cherries carried by a breeze in a deciduous forest. Wet stone, riverine scents, granit, all these elemental qualities wrap the red fruit. Medium tannins and a long finish with raspberry acidity. I loved it and let’s hope a new style is being ushered to the world of wine’s mainstream, with more personality withouth having to be a full weight champion.
Price (Everything Wine) 23.99, 13.5% alcohol.