Back-Vintage Wine That Won't Set You Back at Portugal's Quinta de Lemos
Mature fine wine really should be expensive. After all, only great — and therefore presumably expensive — wines are even capable of becoming fine and mature. Add in the cost of storing a wine in ideal conditions for 10-15 years, plus the cost to the winery of deferring a sale for that long, and you would expect things to really add up!
But Portugal, we have said again and again, is a wine land of incredible bargains. The bargains come not just in the cheap and cheerful category, but also in the category of fine and mature. Today’s bargains are truly astounding.
We have written about the gem of a winery that is Quinta de Lemos before. This Quinta sits high up on a plateau in the middle of the Dão valley, where grapes grow with that combination of ripeness and freshness that is possible when days are hot and nights are cool. Lemos works with indigenous varieties to produce wines with truly local character, but that will also manage to please palates more used to French or Italian wine.
One variety is Touriga Nacional, fairly well known abroad because it is a famous Port variety. But Lemos makes an expressive dry red wine entirely from this grape in a clean, polished style. Now at age ten, it shows lovely fruit peel and a touch of Earl Grey tea.
Going back even further in time, we have Lemos’ 2007, where Touriga Nacional is blended with several other local varieties, including Jaen, the local version of Mencía. This shows, as you’d expect, more maturity, with less fresh fruit, and more deep, earthier notes such as balsamic and leather.
These are wines that offer not just a voyage, of a sort, to an exotic Portuguese valley, but also a trip in time. Enjoy these mature wines at these fantastic prices:
Quinta de Lemos, Touriga Nacional, 2013 $37.99
Quinta de Lemos, Dao Dona Santana, 2007 $28.99
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