Saturday, 9 December 2017
Portugal still a treasure trove of old wines
1992 Encostas da Nave
It is good to see that Portuguese wines are now getting the attention they deserve. Doubtless this is, in part, due to the huge popularity of Lisbon and Porto as tourist destinations.
Much of the Portuguese wines drunk, both within Portugal and outside, are recent vintages. However, Portugal remains a treasure trove of old vintages. It is, of course, well known that Port, Madeira and other of this country's fortified wines age for decades and more. Less well known is the capacity of their white and red table wines to age brilliantly. Fortunately it is still possible to find old fine bottles at a very reasonable price if you know where to look.
Take this 1992 Encostas da Nave from the Távora Co-operative in Moimenta da Beira bought from a traditional grocery shop in a northern suburb of Lisbon for just 12 euros. Still quite youthful, although the colour shows some signs of age – not surprising after 25 years. It has lovely, softly textured fruit. Drunk without food the acidity in the finish shows but this disappeared with our duck dish. A delight!