THE ALGARVE Wine Society succeeded in getting three of the top vintners of the Northern Alentejo together in the Algarve for a tasting of their products at the Hotel Garbe in Armação de Pêra recently. It was a remarkable first and the huge crowd of members and their guests benefitted by being able to see, taste and compare eight of the very best wines of this lesser known part of the Alentejo.
Leading off the presentations was Luís Louro, son of Miguel, the owner of Quinta do Mouro. His Casa dos Zagalos Reserva 2003, followed by his Quinta do Mouro 2002 were two perfect examples of the wine-making philosophy of quality over quantity and were much appreciated by the assemblage.
José Duarte, owner of Encostas de Estremoz, and his oenologist Miguel Reis Catarino, were next. They offered the only white of the evening, Terras de Estremoz 2005, followed by three reds, a Touriga Franca 2003, a Touriga Nacional 2003 and, finally, their pièce de résistance, an Encostas de Estremoz Reserva 2003. All four wines were exceptional and, as it transpired, great value.
Rounding off the tasting were Thomaz and Maria de Lima Mayer. This charming couple presented their new Subsidio 2004 and their absolutely superb Lima Mayer 2004. When all was said and done, everyone had their own favourites, but agreed that this tasting had introduced the Algarve Wine Society to some outstanding wines.
A dinner was served after the tasting by the attentive staff of the Hotel Garbe. Paté de casa, roast beef in red wine sauce, well garnished with roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables and salad, a lovely cheese buffet and, lastly, an apple tart were all beautifully complemented by the Terras de Estremoz Branco, the Lima Mayer Tinto and, finally, pleantiful lashings of port.
The Algarve Wine Society has a full programme of events for the next several months, including a gourmet dinner at the Jardim do Vale restaurant in Almancil on April 7, a tasting and dinner on May 5, a trip to the Setúbal wine producing area between May 23 and May 25, and a music and wine evening at the Sheraton Pine Cliffs on June 16. The traditional Summer Party is pencilled in for July 2.
Those interested in finding out more information about, or joining the Algarve Wine Society should contact the Secretary (be sure to include your e-mail address): Larry Hampton, Quinta da Mesquita, Cerro da Mesquita C.P. 310-A, 8150-025 São Brás de Alportel. E-mail: [email protected]