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Portuguese Wines

We were delighted that Wines of Portugal recognised our love affair with Portuguese wine, when they named us Best Independent Chain earlier this year.

We take no small interest in Portugal and are pretty damn excited as we believe that, like fans crammed into The Cavern Club to hear The Beatles or the first person to put sea salt in caramel, we are about to watch something explode in a big way.

Why so? Portuguese vintners have been quietly working away at what they do best – wine made from unique, local grape varieties that tastes unlike pretty much anything else on the market – for a long time. Which is wonderful, as they have really honed the art over the last 4,000-odd years. Lately, we’ve seen more exciting producers pop up than we’ve had hot meals, and we’ve been adding our favourites to our ever-expanding Portuguese range.

We are glad to say that we think there’ll be a lot more people banging the drum for Portugal now, as it has invested heavily in its wine export industry. Producers used to concentrate on exporting Port, keeping their wine for their home market, but they are now on an export drive.

They are jazzing up their labels; including more product information; there is even talk of anglicising grape names; and this year’s Portuguese Wine Fair was veritably buzzing.

But enough PR: let’s get down to the wine. Its closest equivalent, by way of a reference point, would be Spain or Italy. It has the rustic qualities of the former, with the food-friendliness of the latter. Word on the street is that Vinho Verde is reinventing itself and you can now find some seriously, er, serious wines from this northern Portuguese region. Ana, our Buyer, reckons the more southerly Alentejo is the region-to-watch for top value. You heard it here first…

  • Casa Santos Lima Espumante Brut 2013

    £12.50

    £12.50

    A Champagne method sparkling wine busting with the flavours of soft brioche and citrus fruits.
    Champagne taste at only £12.50
  • Monte Das Promessas 2014

    £8.50

    £8.50

    A fruity, elegant and well balanced wine from the producers of our best selling Quinta Bon Ventos.
    An absolute bargain at only £8.50

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14 Item(s)

  1. Cigarra Portuguese Red Wine Portugal

    Cigarra Red 2015

    £7.00

    £7.00

    Portuguese wines are increasing in popularity and, going by this example, it's little wonder. Offering extremely high quality, distinctive wines at fantastic value for money, this country certainly deserves to become as well known for its table wines as for its ports.

    This particular red is a smooth, easy-drinking blend of little-known yet fantastic grape varieties, including Castelão, Camarate, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Miúda.

  2. Cigarra Rosé Wine Portugal

    Cigarra Rosé 2016

    £7.00

    £7.00

    Casa Santos Lima seem to have the Midas touch. We have half a mind to take all our jewellery over there and see if they can turn it all a shimmering gold. This is why we are stocking as many of their wines as possible, including the best-selling Quinta de Bons Ventos.

    This rosé wine has a beguiling, deep pink hue that, on the palate, reveals intense aromas of strawberries and raspberries, with excellent structure and balanced, refreshing acidity. All for £7.

  3. Duas Quintas Portuguese Red

    Duas Quintas 2014

    £13.50

    £13.50

    We have a recipe for you. Take one world famous Port house (Ramos Pinto) and one incredibly prestigious Champagne producer (Louis Roederer). Add two very different vineyards in the Douro Valley, one hot, one cool. Stir in an even mix of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) and simmer gently in the Portuguese sunshine. Transfer part to French oak barrels and leave to relax for at least 12 months. The result is Duas Quintas. A red wine served heaped with praise and seasoned with medals and scores of 90/100.

  4. FP Branco by Filipa Pato Portuguese Wine

    FP Branco by Filipa Pato 2015

    £13.00

    £13.00

    Luis Pato is one of Portugal's leading winemakers. Comparing him to Darth Vader seems cruel, but the force is very strong with his offspring. His daughter, the rebellious Princess Filipa Pato produces the FP Branco using Bical and Arinto (indigenous Portuguese grape varieties, not moons of Tatooine).

    It cuts a line as clean as a lightsaber and explodes on the palate like a proton torpedo in a Death Star exhaust vent. Please note Filipa isn't an actual princess and has no affiliation with George Lucas. However, judging by this wine she'll soon become as legendary as Star Wars.

  5. Manz Penedo Do Lexim 2015

    Manz Penedo Do Lexim 2015

    £9.00

    £9.00

    The myth of Sisyphus is well known. A man punished by the gods for his deceit, doomed to spend his days pushing a boulder up a steep hill, only to watch it roll back down each time he got it to the top. What's less well known, the Greeks being fairly free with other people's stories, is that the original Sisyphus was Portuguese.

    It is said that the huge limestone rock in the centre of the Mansz vineyards is the very boulder, serving as constant reminder to those making this delicate, complex red that perseverance is key. Each morning, workers embrace the stone with such gratitude and vigour they encrust themselves with limestone dust; and so, from their thankful hands, a compelling minerality is transferred to the wine.

  6. Manz Platónico 2015

    Manz Platónico 2015

    £11.00

    £11.00

    Hand-picked from a blind tasting line-up by the winner of The Palate 2013, Chloe Dickson (pictured), this wine has ringing endorsements from every corner:

    Chloe herself says “It’s perfect for the wintry festive period, when you need something rich, hearty, jammy and souly. When I drank it I could just imagine sitting next to a crackling fire, slippers on, snow falling outside and a roast in the oven. This wine has it all, it works brilliantly. It just works” What more can we say - we concur!

  7. Manz Pomar do Espirito Red Wine

    Manz Pomar do Espirito Santo 2014

    £16.50

    £16.50

    We all should perhaps take a leaf out of Andre Manz book when it comes to quality over quantity and appreciate the little things in life. Lucky for us there is enough of this stunning wine to go around, for us to fully appreciate the high quality that Manz has worked so hard on.

    Pomar do Espirito has a harmonious aromatic complexity, fresh acidity and a natural freshness allowing for great ageing potential.

  8. Niepoort Redoma Tinto 2014 Portuguese Red Wine

    Niepoort Redoma Tinto 2014

    £36.00

    £36.00

    Redoma is the perfect Douro ambassador and is often served with a towering pyramid of Ferrero Rocher. Well, that's not entirely accurate. But with a great balance of berry fruit and minerality, all bound up with spice, pepper and a hint of floral aromas, it's a great representative for the region. Try it with a game terrine and fruit chutney. Just don't spend too long trying to make a towering pyramid out of your terrine, it's not Ferrero Rocher. Crack on with the wine. Excellente!

  9. Paseo Red Portugal Red Wine

    Paseo Red 2015

    £6.25

    £6.25

    Like the bit in Beetlejuice when the eponymous, messed-up protagonist puts a spell on his visitors, making them sing Day O (The Banana Boat Song) against their will, whatever you're doing, Paseo Red Wine is sure to fill you with Harry Belafonte-esque feelings of elation. Partly because of the marvellous price, but mostly because of the vibrant, sweet cherry and cedar wood-flavoured, critically acclaimed wine itself. Altogether now, "Day O! Me say day, me say day, me say day."

  10. Paseo White 2015 White Wine Lisboa Portugal

    Paseo White 2015

    £6.25

    £6.25

    Paseo White Wine, we would be so bold as to venture, lies midway between the flavour profile of Vinho Verde and Albarino and we think it has the best of both, as a bread manufacturer once said. It has the fresh, breezy, lemony charm of Vinho Verde in northern Portugal and elements of the tangy, tropical flavours of Albariño, from over the border and up the Spanish coast in Rías Baixas. However, this wine has a lower price than the average rate for Vinho Verde and Albariño - it's win win, basically.

  11. Portal da Águia DOC 2014

    Portal da Águia DOC 2014

    £9.00

    £9.00

    The Portal da Águia winery's name translates to "Eagle's Gate". Although these mighty birds of prey deserve the accolades for their work in the vineyards (they are good at crushing grapes with their talons, quickly spot problems amongst the vines and keep the vineyards free of pests), we should not forget that this is a team effort. So as you sip this gorgeous Portuguese red, spare a thought for the wise owls in accounting, the flamboyant parakeets in marketing and the pelicans in logistics. The poor birds do really struggle with those corks though.

  12. Quinta das Setencostas Portugal Wine

    Quinta das Setencostas 2014

    £10.00

    £10.00

    Quinta das Setencostas is the big brother of our astronomically popular Quinta de Bons Ventos and bears a keen family resemblance, but is smoother, richer and a little less stout. Remember that Harry Enfield sketch, where a Brummy couple announce to their friends that they are "considerably richer than yow"? This is a bit like that, but in this case both parties have class and substance.

  13. Quinta de la Rosa 'Dourosa Tinto' 2013

    Quinta de la Rosa 'Dourosa Tinto' 2015

    £13.75

    £13.75

    It was an ordinary enough Sunday service in Oporto, with the usual stuff - christenings, BMWs in the car park, expensive gifts for the little treasures' 18th - vintage Champagne for Anna, tattoo removal cream for sweet little Damien and... hello, what have we got here... a whole vineyard for baby Claire Feuerheerd! Well, hang on to that one, love, even if the family flogs everything else.

    Because one day Portugal will join the EU. Then your son can start making table wine on your land, and your granddaughter can run the winery for him. And in turn, she'll explore the potential of the Douro region while making beautifully balanced, cherry, cedar and cassis-driven lovelies like this. Beats premium bonds don't it!

  14. Quinta dos Roques 2014

    Quinta dos Roques 2014

    £14.00

    £14.00

    Wine or maths? Not a difficult question, is it? We don't mind some algebra, fractions or long division occasionally, but the ratio of fun to not-fun with maths doesn't work in its favour in a head-to-head with wine.

    Luis Lourenco agreed with us, and promptly packed in his job as a maths teacher to become a winemaker. We applaud his choice because he went on to create this sumptuously chunky red wine. Although Americans say "do the math", we say "do the Quinta dos Roques", it's way more fun, you might even say it rocks.

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