Single Bottle Review

Wine Review: Porta 6 Lisboa Red 2019

Porta 6 – literally “Door No. 6” – is produced by Vidigal Wines which is headquartered in central Portugal. They produce a substantial number of different wines made in Lisbon (from 450 hectares) and across the country: Tagus, Douro, Alentejo, Dão, Beiras and Vinho Verde. Vidigal is majority family owned and run by António Mendes who has transformed the company’s operations since he took over around 25 years ago. Vidigal export 90% of their production to over 30 countries; Porta 6 is one of their key wines available in Ireland.

Porta 6 Lisboa Red 2019

Porta 6 Lisboa Red

Porta 6 is an everyday-drinking style red wine made from traditional Portuguese grapes: 50% Aragonez (aka Tempranillo), 40% Castelão and 10% Touriga Nacional. It is available in traditional 750 ml glass bottles but also in 1.5 litre and 3.0 litre bag-in-box formats – great for parties and lowering the wine’s carbon footprint by making for a lighter package to transport.

On pouring it’s nearly opaque black in the glass, with a bright purple rim. The nose is fantastic with ripe red and black fruits: think blackberry, black cherry, plum, redcurrant and cranberry, along with some exotic spices. Perhaps it’s just the coming season (no I’m not going to say the “C word”) but it’s almost like smelling a mince pie just before you take a big bite.

In the mouth it is smooth, with a whole winter fruit salad (if such a thing exists…and if it doesn’t, it should) hitting your mouth on the attack. The fruit slips away as you swallow it, leaving some fine grained tannins and a dusting of spice. There’s lots of pleasing fruit in this wine but no jamminess.

This is not a vin de garde or a highly complex one, but with oodles of fruit presented nicely and decent balance, this is worth stocking up on, especially at €10!

  • ABV: 13.5%
  • RRP: €12.95 or €10.00 when on offer
  • Source: sample (1.5 litre box)
  • Stockists: O’Briens stores and
Tasting Events

Alan Tay Jo at Sweeney’s

Sweeney’s in Glasnevin (Dublin) have just started listing several new Portuguese wines brought into Ireland by importer Kevin O’Hara.  Kevin was in the shop today showing the wines which were all from the Alentejo, hence the post title *cough* Alan Tay Jo which is a rough approximation of the pronunciation.  It is the largest wine producing region of Portugal and occupies pretty much all the southern half of the country except for the Algarve.

Just as in other European countries there are appellation laws, so some bottles here have the DOC Alentejo  mark, equivalent to AOC in France.  For producers wishing to use more foreign grapes not permitted by DOC laws (e.g. Syrah) there are the more forgiving regulations of Vinho Regional Alentejano .  I can understand why Portugal would like to preserve its heritage and not have it swept away by a Tsunami of Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz, but equally having international grapes in the blend does serve as an introduction to Portuguese wines for those intimidated by the unknown.

Officially, these are two different quality levels, but the reality is that one particular VR might actually be superior to a DOC – the producer isfar more important.  You may notice that, very handily for producers, the 2 labels look quite similar – something that Italian Super Tuscan and French Vin de Pays producers might well envy.

With the major disclaimer that I was tasting with a head cold, here are three of my favourites from today:

 Pato Frio DOC Alentejo 2012

Pato Frio 2012
Pato Frio 2012

This is the new house white of Michelin-starred L’Ecrivain in Dublin, chosen by their Sommèliere Martina Delaney.  One of my favourite “everyday” whites Provia Regia has been the house white for the last nine years so it comes with high expectations.

Made with 100% indigenous grape Antão Vaz, this is crisp and refreshing with zingy citrus.  It would be delightfully fresh on its own (a great aperitif) or with seafood in particular.

Herdade do Sobroso Sobro Tinto Vinho Regional Alentejano 2011

Sobro Tinto 2011
Herdade de Sobroso Sobro Tinto 2011

Made in the cork-producing heartland of Sobroso, this is a blend of Aragonez (Tempranillo in Rioja), the red-fleshed Alicante Bouschet (from the Languedoc in France), Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

And it’s a beast!  But in a good way!   Full bodied with dark black fruit, chocolate and spice, this would stand up to barbecued meat or be a lovely winter warmer.  It had three months in American barriques to soften out the edges.  Great value.

Herdado de Rocim Vinho Regional Alentejano 2010

Herdade do Rocim 2010
Herdade do Rocim 2010

This was an altogether more serious wine, smooth and voluptuous in the mouth.  Again it is a blend of Portuguese and international grapes – Syrah, Touriga Nacional, Aragonez, Trincadeira and Alicante Bouschet.

This is gentler and more refined than the Sobro with subtle crunchy tannins balancing the red and black fruit.  Claret fans should definitely give this a try – far more wine for the money than is usual from Bordeaux.