Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wine Blogging Wednesday - 2002 Cardeal Reserva from Portugal

Indigenous grapes for Wine Blogging Wednesday as hosted by Dr. Vino's Wine Blog (check it out - great site and fantastic wine educator if you can get into any of his NYC classes!)

Lots of choices. I settled on the 2002 Cardeal Reserva from the Dão region of Portugal. It’s made from 100% Touriga Nacional. A grape, if you believe everything you read on Wikipedia, is “considered by name to be Portugal’s finest.” I’d never heard of before today but that’s part of the point of this edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday!

Now, I understand that this is a grape more closely associated with Port, Portugal’s finest wine export, and is seen less in table wine. But as it shows in the 2002 Cardeal Reserva, I’m not sure if it exactly “Potugal’s finest.”

The wine is brick red in color with a nose of sour cherry and spices with an overall earthiness, a slightly weird mix of aromas that don’t entirely work in harmony. Medium bodied with a soft texture, the wine’s best characteristic. Dark fruits do come out on the palate. Possibly plum but it’s hard to tell. The earthiness also comes out in the medium long finish. However, all the elements on the taste seem as disjointed as the nose.

Overall, this is not a wine I can really recommend and I’d give it a C-. Although not undrinkable, it’s too disjointed to offer up real pleasurable drinking for me. In its best scenario, I can see consuming this at a party where conversation is the focus rather than what’s in your glass.

That said, I might be expecting too much from a $10 wine, actually $9.20 when factoring in the 15% discount I got from Astor Wines as Portugal was their featured region this past Tuesday. As for the experience of having an indigenous grape from Portugal… I’ll look for a good Port next time.


RougeAndBlanc said...

I am so happy that you choose the Cardeal Dao as the wine for WBW. Recently I also posted my notes on this wine here:
Maybe next time you should try it again with food (we paired it with fried pork chop).

ryan said...

Don't give up on Touriga Nacional, Hands down one of the greatest wine grapes out there. Make sure to explore blends, and Douro reds made with it. We just did a profile on it last month, and I've been drinking a lot of it lately.

Lena said...

You should really not stay away from Portuguese wines at all!! In fact,90% of our wines we drink are Portuguese red wines.
The particular Dao Cardeal Reserva which you tried is a fabulous table wine. We brought it to a friend's house (and he is from France!) and he made it their house wine.
Have you been to Alfama? That restaurant in the West Village is named after the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon. They have the most extensive wine list in the entire country and their menu doesn’t have any other wines besides Portuguese. They also have a very nice collection of ports, spirits and liquors of Portugal, for many simply unknown (except the ports).
One of the many examples of good Portuguese red wines is Quinta do Carmo. It is a blend from a different variety of Portuguese grapes, like the Castelao, Touriga Nacional, Aragones, Trincadeira, Periquita, Baga, Alfrocheiro, to name a few.
Another very nice one is the Quinta da Bacalhoa; Quinta dos Aciprestes (2001);try also the wines of Luis Pato; Cortes de Cima is nice as well, very fruity and silky, the little version to the Quinta do Carmo; Herdade de Sta. Marta (1999) is also a great simple wine. There are soooo many…