A Gifted Wine


I am very lucky with the customers I receive for visits to the wineries here in Portugal. I have not had a bad time on any of the trips I have taken. There are days we get stuck in traffic, or need to rush between wineries which can be a bit stressful, but that is nothing to do with the people I have met.

Recently I had a group who, apart from having a great time with on the visits out into the Setubal Peninsular and Alentejo wineries, gave me an extra bit of pleasure after the tour. As a thank you for our day out, they gave me a bottle of wine from one of their favorite wineries in California. As it was such a nice gesture I promised Elizabeth and Yvon that I would try it and put it on my site.

I have written before about the price vs. quality of wines from the USA compared to European wines, especially with the added costs of importing them to Europe. The cost is restrictive for me to try a lot of good wines from the USA. However, in this case it is the perfect chance to take about a wine, because I have no idea how much it costs.

The wine I received was the 2009 Hovey Barbera Walker Cuvee El Diablo. The name is a bit of a mouthful, but that is fitting because the wine is very similar. Firstly it is a big wine, 15.5% alcohol. The nose carries blackberry, cherry and some soft oak. But that does not prepare you for the explosion of juiciness that you get when you take a sip. Then that sensation settles down to a long spicy finish. It is different to Italian Barbera’s I have had, but quite similar to some form Australia. This wine would have been better with a year or 2 in the bottle, but it was very enjoyable paired with a robust pasta as it was. If I had easy access to this wine, I would definitely try it again, but after a but more time in the bottle.

Thanks to Elizabeth and Yvon for the great day out and this great gift I very much appreciated!

By Chris Metcalfe

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