Black beauties in red and white

Black beauties in red and white

Pôpa Black Edition is one of the more recent releases from what is also a relatively new name in Douro wine. The first Quinta do Pôpa wine was launched in 2007, but some of the vineyards here are as much as 80 years old.

The project today is in the hands of the grandchildren of a Douro farmer who had always dreamed of producing his own wine and was affectionately known to friends and family as “Pôpa”.

The winery produces some excellent varietals, such as TR, abbreviated from Tinta Roriz, the grape known as Aragonez down south and Tempranillo in Spain. The varietals are premium wines, costing upwards of €30, and this Black Edition was launched to sit between the entry level Pôpa, costing around €10, and the more expensive labels. Both the red and the white are usually priced at €16.95 in Apolónia, on special offer this week (until Saturday) at €13.55 and €12.69, respectively.

The red, from the 2016 vintage, is made from a blend of old vine mixed grapes (30%), with 30% Tinta Roriz and smaller amounts of Touriga Franca, Tinta Amarela and Tinta Cão.

Unlike many Douro reds, this is an elegant and medium-bodied wine; on the nose there are ripe, slightly sweet, forest fruit notes. Having been aged in used oak, there is no noticeable oak on the nose, but the wine is extremely well balanced in the mouth with gentle tannins and a good depth of flavour.

The white, from the 2017 vintage, is made from a field blend of white Douro grapes, fermented in new French oak with bâtonnage before ageing in stainless steel. This is a wine to be enjoyed with food, well suited to cheese and richly flavoured fish or seafood dishes.

The wine is of a pale straw colour, showing mature notes of passion fruit and pineapple on the nose. In the mouth, there is good volume and great acidity with a dry and lingering finish. Both are fairly priced but, with the discounted prices on offer this week, it is well worth picking up a bottle or two.

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