Cedro de Noval 2007
Portugal’s been taking it on the chin in the world financial markets of late (Greece exists so they can say “Well, I suppose it could be worse”), but their wine industry is doing remarkably well. Port prices are steady (and expensive), and while they’ve ceded a huge portion of the under-$15 market to Argentina and Chile, they seem poised to make a serious move into the premium red wine market, especially with wines from the Douro valley (where port is grown). And while the wines are relatively new, the vines aren’t—they’re easily some of he oldest in Europe and the wine they produce has depth, structure and intensity that belies the young pedigree of some of the wines. Take this week’s pick: Cedro de Noval. The label is relatively young, and at $35 its the winery’s entry red, which seems a tad ballsy until you realize the winery is Quinta de Noval—arguably the world’s greatest Port producers (they’ve been making it since 1715). The wine has a dose of syrah to go with its native grape varieties, Touriga Nacional, Tintao Cão, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz. The result is a unique blast of plum and cherries but a good wallop of acidity and structure. In a world where wines are all starting to taste alike, this guy stands out.