Keeping it Confidencial
The cold winter months are the perfect time for hearty red wines to warm you up. Pinot Noirs, Cabs, Merlots, Red Zinfandels and complex blends provide just the right accompaniment to dinner or a night in with a good book. Part of the fun is trying out all the varietals from different regions of the world because you never know when you will run into a hidden gem. Such was the case with this red blend from Portugal.
Up until late last year my exposure to Portuguese wines had been limited to vinho verdes. Let’s face it, vinho verdes are not the most complex wines out there and their low retail prices are indicative of what you’re getting. As far as reds? They do exist, though from my experience they are few and far between at retail stores. So when I ran into this 2013 Confidencial Reserva blend I instantly wanted to get a taste and find out more about it.
The front label is written in Portuguese and it provides the name of the vineyard. Casa Santos Lima is located in Lisbon where red blends rule. The frustrating part about the label is that it does not list the varietals used to make the wine. I did some research only to come away with the fact that this wine could be made from either Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, Castelao, Sousao, Trincadeira das Pratas, Baga, Alfrocheiro Preto and many other varieties. So basically I don’t know what is in this wine!
Now on to the taste test! Dark fruits rule from the get-go, followed by notes of vanilla and smoke. This is an easy drinking red that is well balanced with light tannins, a bit of dryness and just the right amount of oak. I dug it from the first sip and it just got better as the evening went along. It is well suited to drinking by itself, though it could easily stand up to a nice grilled steak, or a rack of ribs! I think that it is also delicate enough to be paired with dark chocolate or even a sharp cheese. My conclusion is that this wine is very versatile and a good value at a $12 price point.
I should note that Portugal is well known for its Ports. With this fortified wine you’re truly dancing with a completely different animal though and my exposure to it is quite limited. But we’ll leave that for a future review!
In the meantime, go out and get yourself a bottle of this great blend. You won’t be disappointed!
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