Creative Juices Wine Blog

Grão Vasco 2007-Dão, Portugal

Posted in Dão, Jaen, Portugal, Red Blend, Tinta-Roriz, Touriga-Nacional, Wine Reviews by CreativeJuicesWine on February 12, 2010

Last night we tasted a bottle of Grão Vasco Dão, which is a Portugese Red blend of Jaen, Tinta Roriz, and Touriga Nacional. We procured this gem for $7. In the glass, Grão Vasco has a few transitions in color, that range from a dark cherry color to a more vibrant ruby.

On the nose we got a lot more than we expected with highlights such as leather, wet soil, black pepper, strawberry, and a little cedar or tobacco box on the end.

On the palate, Grão Vasco is a dry, medium-bodied red that exhibits spicy, earthy, and mineral flavors up front and then transitions with a bit of plum on the mid-palate, and then finishes with sea-buckthorn (which Olena, or Wikipedia can tell you more about.)

In the end, this wine was pretty straightforward, and had a reasonably long finish that we enjoyed. Everything seemed to be in balance, and we were impressed with this bottle. It’s a great find at $7, and we ended up scoring it 87 points. Saúde!!!

If you’ve tried this, or other Portuguese wines, please share your experience with us.

Zak & Olena

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Gazela Vinho Verde-Portugal

Posted in Minho, Portugal, Vinho Verde, Wine Reviews by CreativeJuicesWine on November 22, 2009

When we think Portugal, we think Porto. Secondarily, we think Vinho (“Veen-yo”) Verde. What’s that? Glad you asked.

Vinho Verde is a white wine made from Loureiro, Arinto, Trajadura, Avesso, and Azal grapes. These grapes are grown in the Northern regions of Portugal, and have made Vinho Verde a staple since the 12th Century. It is very close to being semi-sparkling, yet lacks the carbon dioxide pressure to classify as such. We like to think of its frizzante nature as being one of the dimensions of its youth and freshness. Vinho Verde means “Green Wine” and refers to the fact that these wines are to be drunk in their first year after release.

Gazela Vinho Verde has become a frequent guest of honor in our household. We generally do not go back to wines we have consumed before, unless it is a different vintage. This wine has been one of few exceptions. This is now the fourth bottle that we have purchased, and to be perfectly honest, we probably should have just bought a case of it. Gazela retails for $8 a bottle, and if you are in the right place, even less.

This wine barely possesses any color at all. If it weren’t for its pale yellow outer rim, it would look like mineral water. On the nose, there is a light hint of citrus fruits and green apple. The palate carries out the flavors consistent with those from the nose, adding a bit of minerality. The natural acidity gives the wine a crisp finish.

We would recommend pairing this food with oysters, scallops, or possibly cod.

Vinho Verde drinks like nothing else, and although the United States gets a good portion of Portugal’s exports of this wine, finding one may not always be that easy.

Gazela gets 88 points from us, and will no doubt make a few more appearances.

We challenge you to expand your palates, and if you have not tried this bottle (or any other Vinho Verde) go out and pick one up. Let us know what you think via comments. Cheers!