It’s not easy coming up with a different Portuguese wine to write about every week, especially after more than five years of writing this weekly column. Hence, occasionally I start browsing the top shelves to see what is going on in the premium price segment.
What I have noticed is that the selection of premium wines on the market, let’s say wines costing more than €20 in the supermarket, seems to be growing at a considerably faster rate than that of mid- and lower-priced wines.
I suppose the logic behind this is that so many new wineries have opened up in Portugal over recent years, and at some stage most of them feel they are ready to produce a premium bottling; a wine made from the best grapes on a select parcel of the vineyard with extensive pruning to reduce quantity and increase quality, followed by more lavish treatment in the winery. Of course, this costs time and money and, hence, high quality wines cost more than the mainstream stuff.
But I do find it annoying when I pay a premium price for wine, in this case around €25, and it leaves me feeling flat.
Yes, this Muxagat white 2014 made from the Rabigato grape, grown at high altitude in slate rich soil, is a lovely wine. But there are many other excellent Douro whites costing around €15 of less that are at least as good. So, this is not one that I will be buying again.