Written by: Richard Hemming MW – JancisRobinson.com – 29 Mar 2019
Prices for several vintages of this Portuguese wine of the week are presented below.
2015 from 225 Ukranian hryvnia, €7.95, £16.99 (magnum), NZ$21.95 2016 from HK$85, 85 Polish złoty (three-litre bag-in-box) 2017 from €3.95, £9.29, 13.50 Swiss francs, 2,160 Icelandic kronur, 129 Norwegian kroner
Unspecified vintage from CA$13.99, 45.99 Brazilian real
In the week that my vinous alma mater, the UK’s leading chain of specialist wine stores Majestic Wine, announced its imminent sell-off (https://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/a-naked-wedding), there was only one option for my wine of the week. It is one of their top-selling reds, and deservedly so – a brilliantly crowd-pleasing Portuguese blend with a memorable label that represents excellent value for money, both in Britain and around the world (note all those currencies above).
In recent years, many people (myself included (see link)have expressed dismay at the direction that Majestic has been taking, especially regarding its selection of wine, which has become increasingly reliant on own-brand labels. Over the past ten years, their retail model has changed significantly from the one I knew. This was doubtless necessary in an evolving (and challenging) British wine market, but none of those strategies seems to have done enough to save Majestic. Consequently, their recently announced plans are to sell some stores, rebrand others and redirect funds to the group’s Naked Wines operation.
So one afternoon this week, I stopped in at one of the oldest branches of Majestic, at Vauxhall in south-west London, where I worked many a shift in the past, to buy a wine that is the star of their range – and to remember everything that we once celebrated about this retailer.
Made by Vidigal (http://www.vidigalwines.com/portal/eng/company/), whose motto is ‘the best possible wine at the lowest possible price’, Porta 6 is a blend of 50% Tinta Roriz, 40% Castelão and 10% Touriga Nacional from the massive Vinho Regional Lisboa area. There is nothing especially remarkable about that, so the explanation of the quality in the bottle must be down to prudent grape sourcing and canny winemaking.
The quality on the palate really is impressive. I purchased a bottle of the 2017 vintage and a magnum of the 2015 vintage, at £9.29 and £16.99 respectively, and I’m tasting them as I write this. In both cases, there is a clarity and ripeness to the fruit on the palate that delivers sheer, pure deliciousness. The 2017 is more vivid and expressive, while the 2015 still has enjoyable exuberance – although in both cases, the aromatic impact on the nose is rather understated.
However, the acidity and tannins are incredibly fine-tuned, giving mouth-watering crispness and a well-judged floury grip to the structure. They remind me of the best Côtes du Rhône – bursting with ripe red fruit but savoury to finish, with a liquorice note, sweet spices and a touch of menthol.
It is exactly the kind of wine that made Majestic such a great place to shop – and to work. So, while British drinkers still can, I strongly recommend stocking up on Porta 6, especially because the cost is £8.28 and £14.99 when six or more bottles are purchased from Majestic. For me, the 2017 would be the one to go for, but the strength of the 2015 today (and when I tasted it two years ago (see link) makes me confident in recommending any vintage. Around the world, several different vintages of Porta 6 are currently on the market, packaged in a variety of formats, from half-bottles to three-liter bag-in-box. They are available widely across the Eurozone, with decent distribution in Canada, the Nordic countries and Brazil, but it is not currently available in the US, it seems.
Whether you have a sentimental attachment to Majestic or not, this wine stands as a brilliant buy.
Nossa vinícola é orgulhosamente certificada pelo Bureau Veritas com selo IFS FOOD
VINHO PORTUGUÊS É UM DOS 5 MELHORES PARA PROVAR ESTE ANO, DIZ REVISTA BRITÂNICA
Prova de que os vinhos nacionais são uma referência no estrangeiro, o Porta 6 é conhecido por ter “crashado” um website de vendas no Reino Unido devido à sua procura exaustiva, desencadeada devido a um programa televisivo da BBC, como refere o website da Garrafeira Nacional.
O Porta 6 é um vinho de 75cl da Região de Lisboa, produzido pela empresa vinícola Vidigal Wines e feito com base em uvas de Tinta Roriz, Castelão e Touriga Nacional. O seu teor alcoólico é de 13,5 e deve ser servido entre 12 a 18ºC. Em Portugal, custa 3,80€.
Para enquadrar a referida lista, o vinho ao qual se atribuiu uma pontuação de 90, foi testado por Chistelle Guibert – a diretora de prova de vinhos da Decanter -, em Londres, no mês de maio do presente ano.
Para além do Porta 6, da lista fazem parte os seguintes vinhos:
- Domaine Carobelle, Gigondas da região de Rhône em França;
- Domaine Jomain, Bourgogne, Chardonnay, da região de Burgundy em França;
- Olivier Dubois, Touraine, Cuvée Prestige Sauvignon Blanc, da região de Turena em França;
- Agricole Vallone, Salice Salentino, Vereto, da região de Apúlia em Itália. “
Brutalis 2013 – Medalha de ouro – Challenge International du vin
MundusVini Spring Tasting 2017 (Alemanha)
– Brutalis 2013: Prata
– Porta 6 (lote noruegueses) 2015: 86 pontos
CWSA Best Value 2017 (China)
– Porta 6 (lote normal) 2015: Duplo Ouro
– Dona Belmira Douro 2015: Duplo Ouro
This budget-friendly red blend will give you a ‘chewy’ taste of Portugal, writes Neil Pendock
There are three lazy ways to experience Lisbon without leaving your couch.
If you’re arty, watch Lisbon Story by Wim Wenders on YouTube – a moody flick which put the fado/folk group Madredeus on the map. Fans of Jeremy Irons can hire Night Train to Lisbon for a soppy romantic story, while the thirsty can quaff this delicious red blend with a cartoon of an iconic Lisbon tram on the label.
A chewy blend of Aragonez, Castelão, and Touriga Nacional, this wine shot to prominence when it was featured on a BBC Saturday morning cooking programme. Celebrity chef James Martin raved about it and even bought three cases. He must have paid close to £7.50 (R125) a bottle, while in Lisbon it changes hands for €3.80 (R54) – only 10% more than at Checkers.
Great with Nando’s chicken, leitão assado (roast suckling pig) or feijão (black bean stew). Aragonez (also known as Tempranillo) is from Aragon, the medieval Spanish kingdom at the foot of the Pyrenees, while folks in Calitzdorp will be more familiar with its Port persona: Tinta Roriz.