cremant du jura cuvee papageno

domaine de l'octavin cremant du juraFine, persistent bubbles and nice mousse; fresh green fruit, nuts, fresh lime on the nose; plenty of refreshing, acidic citrus fruit notes on the palate, dry, clean, crisp and filled with mineral tones. Medium-plus finish with a tinge of phenolic aftertaste. I was surprised a lot of people who tried the bubbly actually liked it (before I told them it’s a natural wine). I guess Domaine de l’Octavin did something right 🙂

Esporão Branco Reserva 2008

Esporão Branco Reserva 2008bright canary-yellow core; slight whiff of reduction, ripe peaches, vanilla, ripe citrus and oak; spicy, buttery, vanilla cream, pineapple and ripe lemon flavours; medium to medium-plus acid and finish. Made with local grape varieties of Antao Vaz, Arinto and Roupeiro, this label also stated that it went through partial fermentation in oak, which I thought was quite evident on the nose and palate of the wine. This particular bottle probably had seen a little bottle aging as there were newer releases on the rack. I’d say this could probably age a little further to round off some of its edges and let the oak flavours integrate better but I won’t keep them for too long a period of time. For just under 10EUR a pop, I’d drink this happily with some bacalhau, whichever way it is prepared.

Tiara for lunch

goat's cheese saladTiara 2010 NiepoortempadasThis bottle of Tiara is expensive by local Portuguese standards, as far as table wine is concerned. At almost EUR22 a pop in a cafe, I was actually expecting a little bit more. Bright pale yellow with a greenish tinge; fresh, green starfruit, lime peel and grassy; tart lemon, citrus, sour cream, a little vanilla; a tinge of phenolic tones in its aftertaste; medium to medium-plus acid; medium finish. What I did notice is that with the right temperature, and a little help from aeration in the glass, aromas of white flowers, fresh nectarines and fresh (not-so-ripe) peaches began to emerge gradually and the wine also gained a little more weight and intensity. The goat’s cheese salad was nothing to shout about but paired well with the vinho. I couldn’t resist picking up a couple of those cute little pies called Empadas to supplement my somewhat healthy lunch too.

porto tasting

Port tasting can be a challenge for me personally, and this is especially the case when there’s no spittoon available at the cellars or tasting doors rooms. The portuguese are quite generous with their wine pouring (since the customers have to pay for it anyway) and after just one flight of porto tasting at Kopke, I was ready to have some lunch and be done with it. I wasn’t sure I could be as objective as I should be after three full glasses on a somewhat empty stomach!

Burmester Extra-Dry White Port
Ripe, slightly bruised apples, fresh cider, nutty; similar profile on the palate with a slight camembert taste; off-dry; medium acid; medium finish.

Barros LBV (Late Bottled Vintage) 2005 Port
Dark impenetrable red; dried figs, coffee, caramelised sugar; molasses, cedar; sweet; mouth watering acidity; long finish.

Barros Colheita 1996 Tawny Port
Bright tawny, light amber-brown rim, clear meniscus; light caramel, dried sultanas, dried mandarin peel; candied ginger, raisins, creme caramel; sweet, mouth-watering acidity; medium-plus to long finish.