A friend who knows my taste in wine and always makes a point of reading this column recently accused me, over a glass of wine, of only ever writing about wines that I myself like.
Why does the Alentejo not feature more regularly, he asked? And I fell straight into his trap, explaining how I find the Alentejo to be Portugal’s least interesting wine region these days and am not fond of the robust style of reds, especially those with exuberant upfront fruit that make the Alentejo so popular.
So, how does this relate to the bottle of Dão I am writing about this week? The answer is that I did not particularly like it, in fact I had no intention of writing about it, until I reminded myself that I should not be writing this column thinking about my own taste.
Dão, as any regular reader of this column will know, is one of my favourite Portuguese regions. I love the modern style of Dão reds, medium to full bodied, fresh, elegant and dry.
This wine caught my eye whilst scouring the shelves at Apolónia last weekend for wines that had at least a few years of bottle-age on them – a 2010 from my beloved Dão region, costing €7.99.
The wine is a blend of Touriga Nacional, Rufete, Jaen, Alfrocheiro e Tinta Roriz, the Touriga coming to the forefront in big, bold style. In the mouth, this is a full-bodied wine with real structure, tannins still firm, oak still present on the nose and palate and the dry finish so typical of Dão reds. For the money, this is a wine of considerable depth and structure, not entirely to my taste but nonetheless a well-made Dão in the old style.
By Patrick Stuart