70% Castelao, 10% Touriga Nacional, 10% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from Fernando Po, Palmela, Portugal. The wine was aged for 12 months in French oak half barrels, followed by 8 months in the bottle before release. The wine has residual sugar of 3.8g/L.
The Dona Ermelinda Reserva has an SRP of $15 and is available for as low as $12. Sample submitted for review.
From the bottle:
Established in 1920, Casa Ermelinda Freitas is a winery of long standing and great tradition in the Fernando Po wine producing area, in the south of Portugal. This wine uses at it's base traditional nacional varieties such as "Castelao" with an added touch of "Touriga Nacional", "Trincadeira" and "Cabernet Sauvignon". Stored for 12 months in French oak barrels, this is a complex, elegant and smooth wine which goes well with all red meat dishes, game and strong mature cheeses. Ready to drink or store for maximum 8 years horizontally in a cool and dry place. Should be served between 16-18C.
We've said it many time here at Reverse Wine Snob - there is tremendous value to be found in Portuguese red blends. We've always been a bit perplexed why these wines seem to fly under the radar of most wine lovers although we suspect it may have something to do with the unfamiliar grape names. Today's wine is a perfect example. It is made from 70% Castelao which is a dark-skinned grape that is one of the most planted in Portugal but is virtually unheard of outside that country. That's too bad because it certainly makes delicious wine.
The 2013 Dona Ermelinda Reserva from Casa Ermelinda Freitas begins with a very pleasant aroma of ripe dark fruit plus a little spice. The wine tastes rich, savory and smooth and is packed with blueberry, prunes, cola, spice and more. There are also some great earthy notes that come out mid-palate. It ends dry and even a bit chewy on the long spice-filled finish. I love big, tasty wines like this!
See a listing of local retailers selling the Dona Ermelinda Reserva here.