Not to be one always looking back, whenever I start a new year I try and think about all the great times of last year and it helps me get really up for all the challenges and possibilites for 2020.

So whilst most of you are doing Dry January or something equally as healthy to overcome the post-Christmas and New Year booze/chocolate/meat comas, I thought I’d start the year with a quick recap of the wines that meant a lot to me in 2019…


Qunita Do Noval’s new range of red wines

By March I was back from the painful ravages of a Kiwi summer, and happily back in my gloves and scarf in sunny Blighty.  The Wines of Portugal team came on over to show off the great and the good, from north to south. Although I always use this as an opportunity to educate myself on my massive blind spot in Southern Portugal, it was the reds of Quinta Do Noval that caught my eye the most.

These are really subtley made red wines, not what you’d expect from the hot and dry climbs of the Douro Valley. Good range now, with blends and varietals showing off the Portuguese red varieties, as well as the odd tourist here and there (some excellent ripe Syrah in there). It was the Cedro Do Noval that always has me, sub £20, excellent fruit, relaxed but firm tannic structure, and a lovely kick of herbiness to go with that roast goat on a Sunday. Magic stuff.


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