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Branco impressionante

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Dão Reserva 2011, Quinta da Pellada/Álvaro de Castro ($21.25, 11895364)
Encruzado (60%), Cercial (35%) and Bical (5%). Fermented in small batches for two months, followed by maturation, with stirring of the lees, and bottling. More specific technical info is hard to come by, but I suspect this sees no wood. 13% ABV. SAQ.com says its closure is a screwcap but, of course, it’s a cork (I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a Portuguese wine closed with anything but).
Understated and elegant, becoming more expressive as it warms: grape, cut apple, distant mangosteen, a whiff of limestone and camphor. On the palate, it’s dry and faintly waxy, savoury yet fresh: lemon juice and a veritable matrix of minerals with great acidic backbone. There’s a bitter, almost astringent undertow from the attack through the long finish. With the exception of wines from the north of the country, Portuguese whites are often soft. This is anything but. Its tension, minerality and texture are remarkable, akin to those found in some of the better whites from Italy and southern France. For best results, drink it at several degrees warmer than fridge temperature and consider carafing it an hour or two in advance. While it made an acceptable match for Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s excellent roasted chicken with lemon and Jerusalem artichokes, I suspect it will really shine alongside simply prepared seafood.

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Written by carswell

March 14, 2013 at 11:04

Posted in Tasting notes

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One Response

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  1. […] slate and a long finish. Remarkably balanced and pure. Perhaps a shade less impressive than its white sibling, this is still one of the most elegant red Dâos I’ve tasted. Sr. Castro’s got talent. (Buy […]


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