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Wine Picks July 6, 2010

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Note: This batch of wine reviews is not part of the bi-weekly Vintages Releases. Instead, it's a collection of wines outisde the Vintages section in store (general list) or wines sent to me directly from wineries that may not yet be available in liquor stores. Click on the Winery or Wine Agency link to get more info.

Dessert Wine

Dows Quinta, Symington Vintage Port 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: Luscious and stunningly ripe blackcurrant, blackberry liqueur and dark spices. Great purity of fruit with terrific length. Drink: 2016 - 2028 19% S 750 mL $50.00 Score: 92/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta De Vesuvio Symington Vintage Port 2007, Douro Valley, Portugal: Fresh fruit that doesn't taste a bit raisined. Fleshy blueberries rolls one after another across your palate with gorgeous blackberry perserves. Tannins are quite fine yet there's an underlying power and concentration here that's quite exciting. Drink: 2018 - 2030 19% S 750 mL $60.00 Score: 96/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fonseca Porto Vintage Port 1970, Douro Valley, Portugal: Still has 30 years to go. Amazingly fresh and vibrant fruit for a port of such age. No heat, just long sensual pleasure. Aromas of marzipan, dark chocolate. This was a hot vintage in the Douro. Drink: 2010 - 2040 19% S 750 mL $200.00 Score: 98/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fonseca Porto Vintage Port 1985, Douro Valley, Portugal: Dark plums nd currahts with a velvet smooth texture. Still has a lot of life in it and a long life ahead of it, if you have the discipline to age it further. Gorgeous layers of hedonsim. Drink: 2010 - 2035 19% S 750 mL $150.00 Score: 94/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fonseca Porto Guimaraens Vintage Port 1991, Douro Valley, Portugal: Mixed prunes and plums with some menthol and blackberry tart. Rich and unctuous. Drink: 2015 - 2035 19% S 750 mL $125.00 Score: 91/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fonseca Porto Vintage Port 1992, Douro Valley, Portugal: Crushed brlackberries and blackcurrants with a spicy backdrop. Tastes young still, give it time. Drink: 2012 - 2038 19% S 750 mL $125.00 Score: 93/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fonseca Porto Vintage Port 1994, Douro Valley, Portugal: Juicy dark berries buried in lusciously moist fruitcake. Dark chocolate-infused finsihed. Lively and irrepresisable… like you will be at any gathering after three glasses of this nectar. Drink: 2014 - 2034 19% S 750 mL $125.00 Score: 94/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fonseca Porto Vintage Port 2003, Douro Valley, Portugal: Round and oplummy and huge with a spice cake heart and a toffe finish. Bring it on! Drink: 2015 - 2040 19% S 750 mL $70.00 Score: 95/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fonseca Porto Single Quinta Guimaraens Vintage Port 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: Purple, rich and dark with plummy perserves and a spice line running theough its thrilling centre. Layers of velvet texture and goodness. Drink: 2020 - 2042 19% S 750 mL $60.00 Score: 93/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Fonseca Porto Quinta Do Panascal Vintage Port 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: Plummy fruitcake with lovely dried currants and and spices. Full-bodied and richly layered. Drink: 2020 - 2042 19% S 750 mL $60.00 Score: 90/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port 1977, Douro Valley, Portugal: This port comes from a cool vintage which produced an elegant wine with fine tannins, pure dark fruit and spices. Long on the finish and long lived. Drink: 2010 - 2030 19% S 750 mL $200.00 Score: 93/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port 1980, Douro Valley, Portugal: Round and supple with dark chocolate, plums and violets. A lovely after-dinner drink. Drink: 2010 - 2025 19% S 750 mL $150.00 Score: 94/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port 1997, Douro Valley, Portugal: Fine tannins with dark chocolate, blackberries and a spicy warm black cherry pie at its heart. Yum! Drink: 2010 - 2030 19% S 750 mL $150.00 Score: 93/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Taylor Fladgate Quinta De Vargellas Vintage Port 2000, Douro Valley, Portugal: So young and vibrant still; give this wine time. Big, black berry and cherry fruit with a long spicy finish. Drink: 2012 - 2040 19% S 750 mL $150.00 Score: 94/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Taylor Fladgate Quinta De Vargellas Vintage Port 1988, Douro Valley, Portugal: Toffee and mocha goodness with fine tannins and a polished finish. Lovely length and depth. Drink: 2010 - 2030 19% S 750 mL $150.00 Score: 95/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Taylor Fladgate Quinta De Terra Feita Vintage Port 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: Round and supple with blackberry perserves, fruitcake and polished black plums. Top me up! Drink: 2018 - 2040 19% S 750 mL $100.00 Score: 94/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Croft Port Quinta Da Roeda Vintage Port 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: Lovely depth and length with big, beautiful aromas of fleshy blackberries, plums, spicecake and walnuts. Perfect by the fire. Drink: 2018 - 2040 19% S 750 mL $100.00 Score: 93/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Croft Port Vintage Port 2003, Douro Valley, Portugal: Gorgeous, round, supple and deep, with aromas of big, black fruit and spices. A dark core of molten blackberries and plums keeps you coming back for more. This wine needs time. Drink: 2013 - 2045 19% S 750 mL $100.00 Score: 95/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta Do Vale Meao Vintage Port 2007, Douro Valley, Portugal: Bursting with blackberry, marzipan and dark spices. Lovely core of dark fruit concentration. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2014 - 2035 19% S 750 mL $70.00 Score: 91/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta do Crasto Late Bottled Vintage Port 2005, Douro Valley, Portugal: Blackberry liqueur and fruitcake with a silky texture. Great balance and richness. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2015 - 2025 19% S 750 mL $70.00 Score: 91/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta do Vallado 10 Year Old Tawny Port, Douro Valley, Portugal: Toffee-nutty goodness: this lovely tawny is young and vibrant but will give pleasures for years to come. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2010 - 2030 19% S 750 mL $35.00 Score: 88/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandeman White Port, Douro Valley, Portugal: Fresh and fruity with a nutty undertone. Some dried apricot. The brandy spirit has been beautifully integrated in this port. Mouth-filling! Drink: 2010 - 2014 19% S 750 mL $20.00 Score: 88/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandeman Ruby Port, Douro Valley, Portugal: Fresh and feminine with aromas of vibrant red fruit and berries. A touch of mint and spice make this port racy and refreshing. Drink: 2010 - 2014 19% S 750 mL $20.00 Score: 88/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandeman Founder's Reserve Ruby Port, Douro Valley, Portugal: Beautifully polished and rounded with attractive aromas of rich red cherries, cranberries and spices. Mouth-filling and delicious with a raspberry liqueur finish. Drink: 2010 - 2025 19% S 750 mL $20.00 Score: 91/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandeman Late Bottled Vintage Port 2005, Douro Valley, Portugal: Great depth with black plums, pepper, spice and fruitcake aromas. Perfect for after dinner. Drink: 2010 - 2020 19% S 750 mL $20.00 Score: 90/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Sandeman 10 Year Old Tawny Port, Douro Valley, Portugal: Lovely fresh port with luxurious caramel and toffee layers. Lively acidity. Finished with a pleasing toasted almond note. Drink: 2010 - 2025 19% S 750 mL $20.00 Score: 90/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kopke Colheita Tawny Port 1941, Douro Valley, Portugal: Old and lovely with toffee depths and a savory carmelized character. A nutty profusion on the finish. Truly magnificent. Drink: 2010 - 2020 63669 19% S 750 mL $640.00 Score: 94/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Calem Lágrima White Port, Douro Valley, Portugal: A lovely bitter almond sprinkled hazelnut toffee aroma and richness. Like tawny port but lighter and drier. Drink: 2010 - 2013 912568 19% S 750 mL $16.95 Score: 87/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kopke Full Rich Ruby Port, Douro Valley, Portugal: Lovely plummy, dark raspberry flavours with lots of length on a plum and spice-infused finish. Drink: 2010 - 2013 35766 19% S 750 mL $14.80 Score: 87/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kopke 30 Year Old Tawny Port, Douro Valley, Portugal: Rounded caramel gorgeousness in a glass! Toffee flecked with hazelnuts and happiness. A long honeyed finish. Drink: 2010 - 2020 19% S 750 mL $100.00 Score: 92/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Calem Rosé Port, Douro Valley, Portugal: A basket of full-bodied strawberry and raspberry aromas, medium dry and very interesting. Serve chilled over ice for a terrific, drier long drink. Way better than sangria. Drink: 2010 - 2014 19% S 750 mL $20.00 Score: 87/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Red Wine

Altano Symington 2007, Douro Valley, Portugal: This organic wine is round, smooth, full-bodied and generous. If offers rich notes of ripe plums. Terrific value for the money. Serve it at your next casual get-together with friends. Food pairings: steak, sausage. Drink: 2010 - 2016 14% XD 750 mL $17.00 Score: 90/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Altano Reserva, Symington 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: This organic wine uses port-quality fruit and 100% new American oak. It's loaded with aroms of black plums, vanilla smoke, and a deep minerality. Terrific structure and length. Drink: 2010 - 2018 14% XD 750 mL $22.00 Score: 90/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vale Do Bomfim Symington 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: Dark, brooding black fruit and smoke with a firm tannic grip on the palate. Tarry and mineral notes. Decant 2 hours. Perfect for burger night. Drink: 2010 - 2014 15% XD 750 mL $15.00 Score: 87/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta Vesuvio Symington 2007, Douro Valley, Portugal: Gorgeous layers of blackberry comfort followed by signature plummy mineral depths. Plush elegance from start to finish. A magnificient dinner party wine. Drink: 2010 - 2020 14% XD 750 mL $50.00 Score: 95/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta Do Vale Meao Meandro 2007, Douro Valley, Portugal: Nicely balanced with black tart cherries and berries. Full-bodied and smooth with a cedary-mint finish. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2010 - 2014 14.5% XD 750 mL $15.00 Score: 88/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta Do Vale Meao 2007, Douro Valley, Portugal: Stunning aromas of violets, black plums and dark spices. Seductively texture like a satin and velvet robe, yet still has a good grip and a long finish. This wine was aged in new French barrels.This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2012 - 2022 14.5% XD 750 mL $90.00 Score: 94/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta Vale D. Maria 2007, Douro Valley, Portugal: This is a blend of 41 grapes. This wine offers terrific aromas of violets, plums and dark berries. A long, smoky finish is very satisfying. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys and is also the former owner of the renowned Quinta do Noval. Drink: 2012 - 2020 14% XD 750 mL $40.00 Score: 92/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rufo 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: A robust, peppery red with black raspberries. The wine spent only two months in oak to round out its fruit and tannins rather than give it a smoky aroma. Decant 1-2 hours. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys and is also the former owner of the renowned Quinta do Noval. Drink: 2010 - 2014 14% XD 750 mL $15.00 Score: 88/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Niepoort Vinhos Vertente 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: Cherry-berry aromas of fresh field fruit. This was a cold vintage and it shows in the freshness of the fruit and vibrancy of the wine. A peppery finish. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2010 - 2015 12.5% XD 750 mL $20.00 Score: 88/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Niepoort Vinhos Redoma 2007, Douro Valley, Portugal: Foot trod to crush the grapes for fermenttation and then aged 22 months in oak. Shows the wild side of the Douro with black plums, pepper, smoke and earthiness. Full-bodied and fresh. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2012 - 2020 14% XD 750 mL $40.00 Score: 90/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Vallado 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: Light red fruit and berries, very fresh. Only 5% of this wine was oaked. Decant 1 hour. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2010 - 2014 14% XD 750 mL $10.00 Score: 87/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta do Vallado Reserva 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: This blend of 20 local grapes comes from 70-year-old vines. Lovely texture with plush, round, ripe and mouth-filling dark fruit and spices. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2012 - 2018 14% XD 750 mL $50.00 Score: 93/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Niepoort Vinhos Batuto 2007, Douro Valley, Portugal: An elegant red with gorgeous depths of black fruit flavour. This wine spent 22 moths in barrels, 50% of which were new. Terrific length on the finish. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2012 - 2020 13% XD 750 mL $80.00 Score: 93/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Niepoort Vinhos Charme 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: This was foot trod to crush the grapes for fermentation and then aged 14 months in barrel. There was no racking to maintain its freshness. Lovely aromas of violets, cranberries, crushes roses. Medium body: a lovely lighter style for the Douro, with leanings to Burgundian pinot noir. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2012 - 2020 13% XD 750 mL $80.00 Score: 92/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta do Crasto Flor 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: A blend of different vineyards and grapes with fresh dark berries and a toch of pepper. Good grip and full-bodied. Decant for one hour. This wine is unoaked. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2010 - 2014 89870 13% XD 750 mL $11.00 Score: 86/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta do Crasto 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: Fantastic value for this lovely unoaked red with good balance and concentration. This blend of four indigenous grapes offers aromas of cedar, black cherry and cranberry. Plushly textured. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2010 - 2016 81588 13.5% XD 750 mL $14.95 Score: 87/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta do Crasto Superior 2007, Douro Valley, Portugal: A blend of Tinta Nacional and other indigenous varities from old vines. This wine was aged in 30% American oak and 70% French oak. It offers aromas of dark cherris and violets with a highly seductive texture. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2010 - 2020 14% XD 750 mL $25.00 Score: 92/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta do Crasto Reserva 2007, Douro Valley, Portugal: This field blend of 35 grapes from 70-year-old vines and was aged in 85% French oak and 15% American oak. It's loaded with spics, black plums, violets and cherries. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2012 - 2020 14% XD 750 mL $35.00 Score: 93/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta do Crasto Reserva 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Mocha rich red with spices, dark berry fruit and smoke. Full-bodied, smooth and sexy. Bring it on! Drink: 2012 - 2020 14% XD 750 mL $35.00 Score: 92/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta do Crasto Reserva, Vinha Maria Teresa 2007, Douro Valley, Portugal: Voluptuous layers of mocha-smoke, black plums and cherries and a deep vein of minerality. This wine was aged for 20 months in Frencha nd American oak. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2012 - 2022 15.5% XD 750 mL $120.00 Score: 95/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta do Crasto Reserva, Vinha De Ponte 2007, Douro Valley, Portugal: Peppery-rich blackberries and black raspberry spice pie. Terrific balance, depth and length. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2012 - 2022 15.5% XD 750 mL $120.00 Score: 93/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Vz Van Zellers 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: Hazelnut goodness wafts from the glass with green apple and peach notes. Lovely luxurious texture. This is a blend of 41 whites grapes. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys and is also the former owner of the renowned Quinta do Noval. Drink: 2010 - 2016 14% XD 750 mL $40.00 Score: 90/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta do Vallado 2009, Douro Valley, Portugal: Fresh melon aromas with white grapefruit. Great aperitif. This is a blend of four local grapes. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2010 - 2012 14% XD 750 mL $12.00 Score: 86/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Quinta do Vallado 2008, Douro Valley, Portugal: Good aromatics of field flowers, citrus blossom and some hazelnut. Refreshing yet rich and full-bodied. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2010 - 2015 14% XD 750 mL $25.00 Score: 88/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Niepoort Vinhos Tiara Branco 2009, Douro Valley, Portugal: No masceration (skin contact with fermenting juice) when this wine was made gives extra freshness and fruit purity. It's completely dry, refreshing and floral. It's a blend of 20 indigenous grapes.This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2010 - 2016 14% XD 750 mL $25.00 Score: 88/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Niepoort Vinhos Redoma 2009, Douro Valley, Portugal: Refreshing acidity with white grapefruit and melon notes. Very fresh; good aperitif. This producer is one of five in the Douro Valley known as the Douro Boys. Drink: 2010 - 2016 14% XD 750 mL $20.00 Score: 87/100. July 2010. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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