Friday, May 8, 2009


Yesterday, my former assistant and current RNDC-Cumberland rep Jen Thieman brought in some very cool samples sent to her by Megan Cushman, our regional rep for Quintessential Wines, a fairly new importer that currently handles the Henry's Drive and Pillar Box brands. Megan and I had been talking about bringing in some of the more esoteric stuff they carry from Italy and Portugal, and in particular, the wines of Malhadinha Nova.

Located in the Portuguese wine region of Alentejo, this amazing winery produces just two wines (both of which will be in this summer). There is a lovely white wine, and then the Malhadinha Nova Tinto 2005 - a rich, dense, complex blend of Aragones (Tempranillo), Alicante Bouschet, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.

An elegant nose of dark black and red currants, acai berry, blackberry and spice notes greets you, luring you in slowly. The seductiveness that you encounter on the palate is immediate and unrelenting. Thick, rich and concentrated, the ripe berry flavors intergrate with more spices, some oak, splashes of earthiness and minerality, and more fruit on the finish.

Though this wine hovers above the $80 price tag, it beats the pants off a $200 Napa Cabernet anyday. Word to the wise - Portugal is not just about port wine anymore.

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