(2018) A lightly spritzy, fresh, and just off-dry white wine from Lisboa, much in the style of a Vinho Verde perhaps, made principally from Arinto and Fernão Pires with some floral Moscatel, and only 9.5% alcohol by volume. Brimming with almost tropical fruit and herbal tang, it's a crowd-pleasing style with that hint of sweetness, but the balance of acidity is really very good making it mouth-watering and fresh too.
(2018) Like the Azulejo, from Lisboa just west of Lisbon, this time 100% Arinto and drier with 12.5% alcohol. Aromas are gently herbal, with cool apple fruit and a hint of almond in the background. Ripe, with creamy-sweet fleshy fruit, mouth-filling and rich but the fruit is focused on dry, firm apple and melon, a citrus pith and salty acidity freshening the finish in a cool and elegant style.
(2018) Well who'd have thought it? Pinot Noir from Portugal is highly unusual, this from Lisboa (formerly known as Estremadura), aged in a combination of French, American and Portuguese oak barrels. For Pinot lovers the search for affordable versions is always on, and this is a good little wine - indeed very good for its price: briarwood, roasted chestnut and some autumnal, woodland aromas join the red fruits, and the palate has juiciness and good balance. Even better, it's normal price of £8.99 is reduced to just £7.49 at time of review. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2012) Very pale, this sees oak but it is virtually undetectable on the nose with lifted, gently floral aromas that are delicate and spicy, quite exotic but utterly fresh. The palate has a freshness and mountain-stream clarity. It is fairly light and arguably just a touch dilute on the lemony, very clean finish, but then the hints of honeyed richness are there.
(2012) Beautiful nose, plenty of creamy, honeyed, gently toasty French oak but the freshness and clarity of the Cox's pippin apple fruit is there. Beautiful palate - so much freshness and citrus clarity. Intense, with juicy lemon and grapefruit flavours, but the light, oatmeally support comes through giving this a bit of honeyed depth.
(2012) A huge depth of coffee, chocolate and charry oak here is currently dominating. There is a delicate cherry and violet quality beneath, the fruit really quite fine and elegant. Beautiful seam of purity of the palate - a tunnel of focused, pure black fruits, edged with minerals and those herbal notes, but absolutely pure and supple into a long, long finish. A striking and beautiful wine.
(2011) CastelÃ£o, Aragonez, Tinta Miuda. Bright, focused, cherry-ripe and cola nose that burst with fruit, a little sappy Beaujolais-like note too. On the palate really focused and has masses of sweet fruit, gently flecked with spices and plum, but truly delicious, modern and bright stuff.
(2011) Lifted, waxy, delicately paraffin character and cool Asian pear fruit on the nose. A fantastically fresh palate with a big burst of fresh-squeezed lemon and lime, a nice parsley-like herby influence and cool, shimmering length. The pithy grapefruit dryness of the finish is mouth-watering. Riesling with genuine character and style.
(2011) Aragonez, Syrah, Touriga Nacional. The nose is quite discreet, with a cool, graphite minerality and sheen of tight-grained, cedary oak over refined black cherry fruit. The palate has creamy density, with sinewy texture adding lots of chewy grip, the tannins supple and chalky, but decisive and the acidity giving a keen edge. An intriguing and very composed wine.
(2010) A blend of Aragonez, Syrah and Touriga Nacional in this wine from Rocim's vineyards in the Alta Estremadura close to Lisbon. The enormous, heavyweight bottle show intent. The nose is lovely, quite discreet despite a sheen of tight-grained, cedary oak, with a cool, graphite minerality and refined black cherry fruit. The palate has a lovely sense of creamy density, with a savoury, sinewy texture adding lots of chewy grip, the tannins supple and chalky, but decisive and the acidity giving a keen edge. In the finish that mineral, smoky character reasserts, in a large-scaled but intriguing and composed wine.