Wednesday, February 11, 2009

2003 Bacalhôa Vinhos de Portugal Touriga Nacional Só

Type: Red
Producer: Bacalhôa Vinhos de Portugal
Variety Touriga Nacional
Vineyard: Só
Country: Portugal
Region: Terras do Sado
Appellation: Vinho Regional Terras do Sado
Price: $27.98

The Big Wooden Guy is doing a little dance. He's just excited to find something this interesting.

Night One

A very light sniff near the rim brings the smell of cherries to the nose. If you put your nose in the glass and inhale deeply, though, coffee and the clear scent of hazelnut liquor fill the back of your sinuses.

The palate opens with tart red fruit, sour cherries and cranberries. On the mid-palate it changes, the tartness remaining as background but the fruit disappearing replaced by coffee and chocolate, coarsely ground medium roast coffee and very high cocoa content barely sweetened chocolate. The finish is very long. Chocolate an coffee linger, joined by the hazelnuts from the nose. Tannins are very firm, leaving the mouth with a sense of chewed leather.

This is a startling wine with amazing clarity in the coffee and chocolate flavors. I am actually excited to see how it will change from Night One to Night Two.

Night Two

What a difference a day makes. The nose is entirely different from the nose on Night One. Now it opens with a blend of dark cherries and cherry candy, with hazelnuts, and enough tobacco you might easily mistake it for cabernet franc.

The palate is not as radically different from Night One as the nose. It still opens with sour cherries and cranberries. This time, on the mid-palate, as the fruit fades tobacco starts to come forward, followed by much lighter coffee and cocoa. The finish remains long, and the tannins firm, though not overpowering, leaving a mouth feeling of leather.

On Night Two the wine seems to have settled down a bit, moving smoothly from attack to mid-palate, and then finish. Flavors don't change quite as rapidly or radically as on Night One. Even with that, the tannic structure still hints at some more cellar time and improvement. This is good, and perhaps even more important, interesting, wine and one worth spending some time exploring.

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