Well it was another very well behaved tasting session at the Please Bring Me My Wine household. 4 bottles of wine from each of the 4 shops, during my first valentine’s day as a married man, and spent with my parents, my sister and her fella, and the family dog. Although the dog didn’t taste much of the wine.
We started with the Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Douro. The deep ruby red colour that was present in all the wines was really vibrant. The smells were blackcurrant, a bit of violet petal, and a hint of liquorice from the oak treatment. The body was full, as I was expecting, but more than just that. It actually reminded me of those big blood red blends you get in Eastern Europe. In a good way mind. The finish was medium, but really well balanced. For a heavy red, it was very drinkable.
Next up was the Tagus Ridge Reserve from Morrison’s. Rather than repeat myself all the way through this, I’ll just talk about where it was slightly different. This one was much more fruit driven. I’d imagine it had oak treatment in old oak barrels, so didn’t impart all that much additional flavour, just calmed the tannins down. Silky smooth again on the taste and finish, a really good wine, although a little one dimensional if you’re being really fussy.
The effort from Majestic was the Churchill’s Estate Douro, where the Touriga Nacional percentage in the blend was the lowest for the 4 wines. The blackcurrant flavour was still there, but more so the tobacco and coffee tastes from the oak treatment. Now I love those smells personally in my heavy reds, so I was pretty chuffed with this one.
Last up was the Cottas from Spirited Wines. First smells out the glass weren’t overly pronounced, but when I got my nose right in there I could get really pleasant whiffs of mocha, so chocolate and coffee, which again is what I look for in my favourite big reds. The finish was the longest of the 4, and very smooth. The problem here was that it was quite a complex wine, so there were quite a few different delicate flavours knocking around. Doesn’t sound a problem necessarily, but the tannins were just a little bit too prominent. It made it a bit more difficult to pick up all the subtleties when you drank it. If you have a wine with plenty of body, enough flavour, and the tannins are a bit too pronounced you’ve got two options. Age it for a bit longer (a year or two) or if you’re desperate to drink it now, decant it for a few hours (3-4) before you drink it.
The meatballs and Portuguese sauce were great with it. It’s quite a heavy tomato-y sauce, so with the meatballs, and the big red wine, you can’t go too far wrong. If I did it again though I’d probably have a heavier tomato sauce, one with a bit of marrow soaked into it. But it was good.
Overall it was a good week, but I’m not sure I’ll be 100% convinced by Touriga Nacional until I’ve actually been over to the vineyards. Until then I think I’ll have it in the “nice to know about” category, one to enjoy very blue moon.
Other posts in NWTW Week 6: