Day 9

Pinta Negra

I want to take some credit here. I went with Simon and Spike to the London wine fair in April this year and afterwards I insisted they should have this wine on their site, so you could call this the ambassador’s selection! I think my faith has been repaid as I understand the lads sell this at a fair clip.

The reason I wanted them to stock this was because I thought it was incredible for the money.

From the Lisboa region this is a blend of Aragonéz (that Tempranillo style grape) and Castelao. It has a beautiful roundness, with terrific berry notes, a lovely mouth feel and almost velvety texture. When I drink this wine I feel like I’m getting a massive hug!

Drink this with?

This is fantastic on its own, will match well with beef or a hearty casserole, and will stand up really well to a Xmas cheeseboard.

Value?

Abso-bloody-lutely. I think this is probably the best value red wine that the site sells. It’s so rich, delicious, and complex for a wine at this price (an unbelievable £8.50). It’s incredible quality at an entry level price. You have to try this. I’m sure you’ll be as taken with it as I am. Buy and enjoy.

Day 10

Vale d’Aldeia White

Ugh. Like ashes in my mouth. An insult to my palate. Need a shower after drinking it. Value? They should pay you to take this off their hands.

Obviously I’m kidding! I’m so glad that this one has landed early in the calendar as it’s my favourite white wine on the site. So much so that when Simon is doing street markets I literally beg him not to show this as I want it all for myself. But it’s Christmastime now. A time for sharing and goodwill to all men and women so I’m going to have to let you all in on the secret. This is a delicious wine. To quote my review on the site from May 2015:

“This is a really refreshing and crisp wine. Lovely colour and tropical flavours that dance in the mouth. A pleasing level of acidity with perhaps hints of passion fruit and pineapple. The flavour lingers pleasantly on the palate. If you like some of the decent new world Sauvignon Blancs on the market then give this a try and see how it compares. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”

This has lovely balance and structure and a brilliant example of what great whites can be made in a region best known for ports and full-bodied reds.

If I’ve wronged you in the past and you want to get back at me, I would usually say that you can’t harm me. But if you really want to hurt me, buy the remaining stock of this as I doubt Spike and Simon will be able to get it in again this side of New Year!

Drink it with?

I’ll happily quaff this on its own. It will pair well with white fish, shellfish, chicken or creamy pasta dishes. I’d say it would be a good match for light vegetarian dishes, salads, or starters with asparagus (when in season) or goats cheese in them. It’ll be pretty versatile, so buy a couple of bottles, drink one and then see what you think you should match it with.

Value?

At under a tenner this is my favourite white wine from any country that I’ve had in years. If Simon could breach the Data Protection Act and tell you my ordering history I’m guessing he’d confirm that I’ve averaged about 3 – 4 bottles a month of this since he started stocking it. I’d have to check but I think there’s a minimum of two of these in all my orders. My last order I got six (three are gone and one is in my fridge so I needed this calendar entry for my lungs!). Grab it before I finish it all!

6 stars; 11 out of 10; 110% and all those other mathematically impossible scores from me.

Day 11

Dona Santana

Three days on the spin and I get hit with three terrific wines. This is no statistical anomaly; it was bound to happen with the brilliant wines Simon and Spike are selling. Most wines, especially in this price range, would be a let-down after the Vale d’Aldeia, but this isn’t a bad follow up at all.

I wrote about what I think of Quinta de Lemos when I reviewed the Dona Louise (day 6). These guys make terrific wines and they deserve it for people to try them any enjoy them.

The Santana is a blend of the four red grapes they grow at the vineyard. The majority of the blend is Touriga Nacional, followed by Tinta Roriz and then a smaller amount of Jaen and Alfrochiero. It spends 18 months on French oak to round out its delicious flavours. Check out the site listing and see how many awards this wine has won

In my review of August 2015 of this wine I said:

“It’s powerful, rich in colour with a big hit on the nose. It has spices and a hint of vanilla on the palate. I drank it on it’s own but it would definitely stand up well to red meat or game. Perhaps with a sharp cheese (but probably not a creamy one).”

18 people have reviewed this on the website, some verified owners, others who have had it at tastings Simon has done. 7 people gave it 4 stars (out of 5), the other 11 gave it a full 5-star score. Perhaps they’re all wrong, but I doubt it.

Drink it with?

You’ve seen my original review and I stand by it. This is a powerful wine with a well balanced tannic finish which will stand up to strong flavours in red meats, game and strong cheeses. This is lovely to drink on its own as well.

Value?

When I first reviewed this wine a year and a half ago it was £10 a bottle and was stupidly good value. I said as much to the lads who run this site. Since then it’s gone to £12. You may have noticed a referendum earlier this year that affected currency values between us and the Euro. I’m not going to judge you on how you voted (actually I am; I hope you’re delighted you “got your country back” and the main impact will be that everything remains the same apart from we’ll all be economically worse off. Cheers for that). All the wine you buy will be going up in price soon. If you’ve got some readies on hand and some storage space then buy what you like as soon as possible, including a few of these.

This is still a mountain (lake?) of wine for the money at £12. This is a special vineyard and the wines they produce are all terrific. I hope the single varietals are coming later in the calendar!

Buy Pinta Negra
Buy Quinta Vale d’Aldeia White
Buy Dona Santana

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