Two things you notice when examining the wines offered for sale in Funchal:
- Almost everything is Portuguese except that mandatory shelf with one Spanish, one French, one….well you get the picture.
- Cork! No screw caps around here.
No breaking news exactly, not in Portugal. There’s no doubt the country will stand there as the last defender of the cork in the end, regardless of how many defect wines it brings us. But wait a minute; what’s that?
|I’ll say! Twist & Drink. On a Portuguese?|
I don’t know whether or not the screw cap might ruin Miguel Champalimaud’s renommé, or even if some patriots will consider him a traitor, but I salute the initiative and buy a bottle! The 2005 Quinta do Côtto is priced at EUR 9 (the current release, 2007, at EUR 7,50) and starts of sending me to an old school Bordeaux barnyardy Médoc. After fifteen minutes in the glass it is more of the leathery notes accompanied by the lovely floral scents so typical for the main grape in the wine; Touriga Nacional. A touch of smoke, dark plums and wet earth is is put together most elegantly. Not complex but for that price its an overachiever on the nose, no doubt about that.
Showing fine maturity but still with plenty of fruit to go it’s a most delightful drink. A more modern approach to Douro table wine and I like it, especially considering the contrast we had the night before in the more traditional 2007 Cabeca de Burro, also Douro. The fine fruit, the faded feeling of dusty roads and more elegant tannin structure appeals a lot to my taste. No great length but for a niner – what can one ask for!
(2005 Quinta do Côtto, Miguel Champalimaud, Douro, 87 points)