I was given a bottle of this wine last week by a friend, to try and to consider for inclusion in my column. Well, I have to say that I approached it with some reservations, the first one being, why would a Syrah made in Portugal be called a Shiraz?
Then the name “Fat Baron” got me thinking that this might be nothing more than a bit of sharp marketing. I did my best to put these preconceptions aside only to read the rear label and discover that the wine is made by Casa Ermelinda Freitas, actually a well-respected producer in the Setúbal sub-region, but I tend to find the wines they produce to be over-oaked (for my own taste). So, it was with some trepidation that I opened the bottle on Sunday afternoon ready to taste with some BBQ lamb.
I cannot say that I enjoyed the wine, but as I explained to the friend who gave me the bottle, this column really should not be just about wines that I like.
This is a full bodied, juicy Shiraz made very much in the Australian style. On the nose there are sweet aromas of chocolate vanilla and forest fruit jam, followed by a sweet chewy texture in the mouth with velvety smooth tannins making for very easy drinking. This is the polar opposite of the more elegant, dryer style of Syrah that I personally appreciate, but Aussie Shiraz fans will be pushed to do better here in Portugal at the price. The wine is not available in most shops here in the Algarve but can be found at (or ordered from) Garrafeira Rui (€9.75) in Vilamoura – Tel: 289 327 033.