Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Monte das Ânforas 2006

Vinho Regional Alentejano
Vino Tinto
Aragonez 60%
Trincadeira 30%
Alfrocheiro 10%
13.5% alcohol

This is such a bright ruby red it sparkles and dances with the light.

Big black cherry, nutmeg and cinammon blast out of the glass straight into the nose, followed by cranberry and orange peel. This is fantastic, like fresh-made cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. Now sprinkle some unsweetened cocoa over the top, as the nose makes its third big change.

Bummer. The palate doesn't meet the promises made by the nose. It is good, even great for a $12 wine (some people on Cellar Tracker got it as cheaply as $8), but it is then and far more one-dimensional than the nose. Blackberries and raspberries are followed by leather and tar. The finish is medium-length, tannic and tart (have you ever had wild strawberries? Like that).

Will the palate meet the nose's promise tomorrow? Or will the nose flatten down to the palate? Stay tuned, and we will find out together.

Are you back? Welcome back.

Pinecones and pepper, blackcurrant and raspberry, followed by last night's cinammon and orange peel. This nose is still terrific. Let us see if the palate is any better.

Definite blackberry and blackcurrant, cigar box and leather up front. Now, though, there is a distinct petroleum chemical taste and some menthol.

Another hour and a bit warmer (it sent the night in the cellar) and the chemical smell is gone but the menthol stuck around. Black fruit and cigar box remained, plus some plums and spice on the midpalate.

The verdict? This is a very good wine for the money, but quite young. Will it ever be great? I don't think so. Will it get better and be good for quite a while? Yes, I think so, and at a price from $8-$12, it is certainly worth putting up a few bottles based just on its early promise.

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