(2018) A blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinto CÃ£o and SousÃ£o foot-trodden in lagares, before spending 18 months in barrel at the quinta in the Douro. Black as pitch, the nose is at once meaty and suffused with rich, dark, chocolaty berries, a little kirsch-like lift adds to the charm, elegance and complexity. In the mouth there's a very unforced feeling of concentration, the fruit deep and creamy, but the agile, mineral acidity and rasp of firm tannin giving a juiciness and length. Like all of these 2016's, Noval needs time, but is a beauty in the making. 82g/l Residual sugar.
(2018) Touriga Franca (40%), Tinta Roriz (30%), Touriga Nacional (20%) and Tinta Barroca (10%). Opaque and dark, there's a touch of meat-stock and woodiness, then dark-roasted coffee beans on the nose, but there is lift too, with a little floral and kirsch character to follow. Extremely rich and sweet on the palate, a real depth of raisin and Maraschino cherry fruitiness, backed up by chocolate and more coffee-bean espresso. A hugely ripe and sweet young Port this, of very good quality. 92g/l of Residual Sugar.
(2018) Touriga Nacional (50%) and Touriga Franca (50%), from vines more than 25 years old. Quite similar to the Barros, but with a lighter, more ashy quality to the aromatics, sappy and fresh, a touch rose-hip in an understated but attractive nose. Super-sweet and super-ripe again, but decisive, slightly higher acid character to this that gives light and precision, backed up with some tannin structure, but the very sweet berry fruit is buoyant and juicy, in quite a different style from the richer Barros. 91g/l of Residual Sugar.
(2018) Touriga Nacional (50%), Old mixed vineyards over 50 years old (50%). Arguably the darkest, most saturated colour of the four Sogevinus 2016s tasted, chocolaty, dark and brooding on the nose, meat-stock and a dark berry fruit coming through. Darkly-fruited palate, a real sense of tannic grip here, drying the mouth with concentrated black fruit essence, but there is a little violetty note here too, suggesting it has more to give. Could well be the wine in this line-up to benefit most from ageing. 91g/l of residual sugar.
(2018) Touriga Nacional (30%), Touriga Franca (30%), Tinta Roriz (30%) and SousÃ£o (10%). Not as flaboyantly fruit-forward as either the Barros or Burmester at this stage, classic young vintage Port notes of blue/black fruit, tight and supple, a touch graphite and slightly inky nose. On the palate filled with smooth, sweet fruit, unruffled by tannins, a keen cherry acidity, long and sweet, raisin flavours with a bittersweet edge and cherry acids. I suspect this had considerable potential but is possibly the most closed of the Sogevinus wines at this cask sample stage. 96g/l of Residual Sugar.
(2018) Over the past couple of years I have reported on a few wines being made by Scottish winemaker Andrew Norrie, who after spending some years working with Pinalta in the Douro Valley, moved there and is now making a small range of wines. Interestingly, this wine (and a whisky) was made/blended for a British hard rock band called Burnt Out Wreck, and is being marketed to their fans, I suspect a project and musical genre close to Andrew's heart. The wine is 80% Touriga Nacional and 20% Touriga Franca from the Tua Valley, foot trodden in lagars before four months in French oak. Deeply coloured, there's a lovely violet edge to the fruit, pepper and a sense of elegance to red and black berries. Very pure, essence of blackberry fruit on the palate, a nice biting edge of cherry skin and plum skin acidity. Tannins do a good job here, nicely roughening the vivid fruitiness, in a balanced tangy finish. Anyone looking for more information can link up with Andrew on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/andrew.norrie.3.
(2018) This wine was the ultimate winner of the Global Pinot Grigio Masters Awards 2018. No, I never knew such awards existed either. It comes from family-owned Slovenian winery, Puklavec, and was vinified in Slavonian oak barrels. It is, I have to say, an excellent Pinot Grigio, brimming with lightly nutty and smoky, but burstingly ripe fruit, before a palate where beautiful nectarine sweet juiciness meets a cool, icy river water clarity. There is texture and slippery weight in the mouth, but dazzling freshness too in this flavour- and personality-packed example. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2018) It's a full seven years since I last tasted this wine, when it was a relatively youthful three-year-old and scored 91/100. Now, with a decade under its belt, the blend of 38% Sauvignon Blanc, 35% Macabeu, 19% Vermentino and a handful of other varieties shows a slightly deeper colour and has a lightly sherried aspect on the nose, but still intense apricot and creamy, oatmeally character, the large, old oak barrels used for fermentation and ageing just adding to that. In the mouth a touch of bruised apple, but there is still real fruit sweetness there, allied to a citrus peel acidity and touch of phenolic grippiness, that gives structure and length. Drinking well, it is showing a little age, but hard to say where it will go from here.
(2018) Pouring much the same colour as the 2008, and with the same touch of age showing aromatically, this is a blend of 59% old-vine Macabeu and 18% Sauvignon Blanc, along with Grenache blanc, Chardonnay, Malvoisie and a touch of Vermentino. Mostly made in stainless steel, 28% saw time in new and old 500-litre barrels. Rich, golden in colour and aroma, leesy cream and baked apple, but a brightness to the fruit beneath a touch of oxidation, quite ethereal floral nuances flit in and out. Nice palate, again similar to the 2008, medium- to full-bodied, generous, but still with a core of excellent cirtus peel, fatter acidity.