Wine Experience of the Week – Adegga Wine Market 2010

I was in attendance at the Adegga Wine Market in Lisbon over the weekend. The second event of its type wet up by the Adegga team brought together 30 wine producers and over 150 wines to sample and buy. The concept was simple; turn up, get a glass and sample the offerings. If you like a particular wine (or olive oil), then you could get a little sticker which will let you remember it when it came time to purchase it at the end of the evening.

I have been to similar events before, however this one had something different about it. The interaction between the producers and tasters was the highlight of the evening for me. The producers were out in front of their wines, rather than standing behind a stall or table as you find in most events. Wine producers are a passionate bunch, especially when they get to talk about their wines, so this set up allowed them to get out among the people and their enthusiasm was fantastic all evening. I managed to talk with many of the producers and for most of the evening they seemed to be having as good a time than I was.

As for the wines, there were too many very good ones to name them all. The whites I enjoyed were the Quinta dos Cozinheiros 100% Fernão Pires, the Vale d’Algares 2009 Viognier and surprisingly there was a 2004 Chardonnay from Mark Stephen Schultz which I wasn’t expecting to like – but I did. As for the reds; the 2009 Rubrica from Luis Duarte, the Anima L7 with 100% Sangiovese from Herdade do Portocarro and the Paulo Laureano 2007 Reserva were all very different and excellent wines.

For this post however, I would like to focus on a wine that was not for sale at the Adegga Wine Market, but I was lucky enough to get a small taste of! So, this week’s Wine Experience of the Week is the 2008 Petit Verdot from Cortes de Cima. Why was it not on sale I hear you ask! Well they have only made 800 bottles of it. The Petit Verdot grape itself is becoming more commonly grown in Portugal, particularly in the hot and dry Alentejo region. It’s usually found in blends in Bordeaux, (mainly in the Medoc) and here in Portugal, too, it is usually used for blending. I have tasted one or two 100% Petit Verdot’s from Australia, but this is the first from Portugal for me – and it is interesting. Lots of red fruit and a touch of mint in the aroma, with a fresher fruit in the taste mix with some toasty oak. The finish is fresher with some good acid there. It would be great with roasted meats with the acid cutting through the fats at the end. So it is perfect for this time of year when Christmas dinners are approaching. For around €30 it is good value, especially if you want something new and different to try. They do sell it online from their web site, but check where they can send it to. If you are looking for it be quick – they are selling out quickly.

It was a tough choice to select a wine out so many good ones for this week. I hope to get to some of the wineries who were represented at the event in future. If so, I will be sure to share more experiences with you.

Most importantly, thanks to Andre and the Adegga team for putting on the event. I think it was a great success. I had a very good time, met some very nice people and had some great discussions with the producers. I look forward to the event next year already.

By Chris Metcalfe

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