We celebrated a friend’s birthday a while back. The birthday gal chose a dinner party at Casa Lisboa, a Portuguese restaurant in LKF, Hong Kong. Since this is a Portugese restaurant, the wine menu has a few pages of Portugeuse wines. Well, for the uninitiated, Portuguese wines uses different wine varietals – so it’s not like ordering a merlot, cab sav or shiraz!
So high time to take out my wine tasting notes from my wine masterclass!
Casa Ferreirinha is the producer of the iconic Barca Velha – one of the most prestigious still wine in Portugal, as well as one of the rarest wines from the Douro Valley (akin to Grange from Penfold’s in Oz!).
The Douro Valley in Northern Portugal is one of the most beautiful wine region in the world. The grandiose landscape of the steep-terraced vineyards valley is upheld by the schist mountains – imagine an unpolished granite mountain rising above the majestic ribbon of water (Douro River) far below.
An interesting thing to note about Portuguese wines is that they are all blended wines from 3,4 or 7 wine varietals. There is no single varietal. This is to ensure the continuity of the wine production in case a vine of single varietal fails.
Casa Ferreirinha Planalto White Reserva has a bright hue with greenish hints. Slight minerally notes with bursts of citrus and white fruits (melon and pear) which gives a clean, refreshing palate in a long delicate finish.
CF Vinha Grande White also has a bright yellow hue with greenish hints. There is a prevalence of white fruits such as pear and melon on the nose as well as a discreet french oak bouquet with floral tea accents. A white of fine acidity and structure, finishing long and complex.
Best with: Bigger more flavoursome dishes e.g. Fish Bacalao or Chicken with cream
Vinho Tinto = Red Wine (in Portuguese) 😉
The main varietal in CF Esteva Tinto is Tempranillo with 35% Tinta Roriz.
It is a fruity raspberry plum wine with a nose of floral violets. It is a popular wine and can be found everywhere in Portugal. It is best drunk young. I love the gentle attack on the palate and especially its nose. Of lower price point but without compromising on fine structure and quality tannins. This is definitely a highly recommended quaff! 👍
CF Vinha Grande Tinto was first released in 1960s. It has 35% Touriga Franca.
Deep ruby hue with an intense bouquet of mulberry and red currant. It has floral notes of rock rose supported by cedar and tobacco. This is a plummy wine with discreet oak. It has undergone stainless steel fermentation then aged in French oak for 12 months ensuring a lively acidity and long firm finish. Ready to drink in 4-5 years and can be cellared for up to 10 years.
Best with: Meat, cheese, flavoursome pasta
In 1997, the company introduced a new wine into the market : CF Quinta da Leda Tinto. It is made from 50% Touriga Nacional (the best varietal in Portugal), 10% Tinta Roriz for structure, 40% Franca. It has an intense ruby hue with a palate of ripe red fruits of strawberries and raspberries. The complex bouquet has a prevalence of floral notes especially violet. Obvious oaky tannins ensuring a long harmonious finish and longetivy.
Best with: Duck