wine.jpg

Titular Jaen – An element of Dão

As I have said here many times, Dão is one of the regions to watch in Portugal at the moment, especially if you like elegant medium-bodied reds as opposed to the more powerful wines of Douro and Alentejo.

Most Dão reds are blends of at least three of the four main grape varieties: Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Aragonez and Jaen. The latter usually added as a relatively small percentage of the blend, contributing vibrancy to the colour and fruitiness to the nose.

This is the first time I have encountered a Jaen as a varietal (€10.95 at Apolónia). On the counter label, instructions are given that this wine should be served at a lower temperature than most red wines, and this is good advice.

I chilled it down fully in the fridge and then decanted it, with the main intention of slowly raising the temperature and trying it at different stages. In fact, the decanting was well worthwhile as the wine throws off quite a bit of deposit and it certainly benefited from the extra oxygen in the decanter.

I enjoyed it most at around 10-11°c, cool enough to soften the tannins which are quite evident (the wine is not oaked) and helping the jammy and fresh red fruit aromas come to the forefront. At this temperature it is well rounded and smooth in the mouth with a long and dry finish.

I would have liked to have discovered this wine at the beginning of summer, as it really would have been a great red to chill down for hot summer days.

By PATRICK STUART patrick.stuart@open-media.net