Tasting CR&F Aguardente Velha Reserva

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Tasting CR&F Aguardente Velha Reserva

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Another one from my trip to Portugal. Almost impossible, on holidays, don’t give yourself some treating! After those marvellous diners, divine wines and lovely desserts, the only things you need is a good expresso and a taste of a digestif! As I like to go beyond the standards, I surprisingly found this CR&F in a little restaurant in Lagoa. After having one at that night, I had to buy a bottle and do a proper tasting…

This Reserva brandy is made by Carvalho, Ribeiro & Ferreira (CR&F), in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, the same place were Porto wines are produced. The first thing that comes to your attention is the bottle, a unique design and semi-handmade production which gives its own distinctive identity.

Very clear ob the appearance and showing a beautiful medium-amber colour, after allowing the alcohol aerate a little bit, the clean aromas of nuts, almonds, nectarines are quite pronounced. In the palate it reiterates the nuts, opening to hazelnuts and a medicine-like taste which could recall liquorice and juniper, in a very dry sensation, medium body and length.

A very good brandy aged for years in national oak barrels, it has soft flavours and rich and complex aromas. A well balanced and potent brandy!


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Tasting Reserva Lagoa 2009

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This full-bodied Portuguese wine from PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) Lagoa, stands out for its price – a mere 2.20 euros! I bought it in Adega Única, where the Crato Preto, Aragonês and Castelão grapes are vinified, and then the wine produced and bottled. It is medium ruby in colour and it has pronounced aromas of black fruit and olives. Althought it is already quite mature, its tannins suggest that the wine could age a bit more. Drink it now or in the next year.On the palate, medicinal and mushrooms notes. There’s no much fruit, it’s true, but it’s still a little of blueberry, blackberry, and sometimes blackcurrants. A wine of particular characteristic, which left me somewhere between the deception and the curiosity. I’ve opted by the curiosity.

Its high acidity allows strong dishes matching, with intense sauces. I snacked a Wicklow Blue, one of many Irish delicacies, and the wine improved a lot in the palate!

As I said, a curious wine …

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Robert Parker’s rating points

Robert Parker

Robert Parker’s rating system employs a 50-100 point scale (Parker Points®), which is utilized only to enhance and complement the tasting notes, which is the primary meaning of expressing the tastings.Robert Parker is arguably the world’s most influential wine critic. His bi-monthly newsletter “The Wine Advocate” was first published in 1978, and now has a profound effect on both prices and market demand for fine wines around the world. Robert Parker’s influence on fine wine prices cannot be overstated. Historically, the wines that Robert Parker scores highest, particularly those awarded more than 90 points, tend to be the wines that show the biggest increase in value.

How it works:
Each wine is given an initial 50 points. General colour and appearance can merit up to 5 points. Aroma and bouquet are worth up to 15 points. Flavour and finish account for up to 20 points. Finally, the overall quality level or potential for further evolution and improvement-aging merit up to 10 points.

Many Bordeaux producers now wait for Parker’s ratings before setting the release price of their wines. Many wines are now produced in styles specifically designed to win ‘Parker points’, as well. Is the capital overtaking the art of wine producers?

The Parker rating explained:
An extraordinary wine of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine of its variety. Wines of this calibre are worth a special effort to find, purchase, and consume.

An outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character. In short, these are terrific wines.

A barely above average to very good wine displaying various degrees of finesse and flavour as well as character with no noticeable flaws.

An average wine with little distinction except that it is a soundly made. In essence, a straightforward, innocuous wine.

A below average wine containing noticeable deficiencies, such as excessive acidity and/or tannin, an absence of flavour, or possibly dirty aromas or flavours.

A wine deemed to be unacceptable.

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Tasting Llebre 2009

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I brought this wine from Spain recently, and offered it to some friends. The feedback was positive… No surprise, as it got a respectable 90 points Parker! So I decided to taste it.

Llebre is produced by Tomás Cusiné, which is located on the northern side of the Sierra de La Llena, part of the Sierra del Montsant. Its vineyards are situated at an altitude between 700 and 740 metres; the soils are limestone and the lands have gravel on the surface with clayey subsoil. Costers Del Sagres is a DO (Denominación de Origen) area.

Llebre 2009 is made from Tempranillo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Carignan and Syrah grapes, it was aged in French oak for 3 months before bottled, which brings toasty notes to the palate, and subtle oak to the nose.

The nose also is plenty of aromas of red fruits, and in the mouth it’s silky and fresh, with soft tannins and good acidity, plenty of red fruit jam, spices, and a discrete oak.

A very good wine, which I enjoyed which I enjoyed with a wine-peppered sauced steak… Fantastique!

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Wine glasses

A different glass for each wine

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Wine glasses

Wine Glasses

My father would say this is very haughty, but it is true: the shape of a wine glass can alter the wine aroma – or bouquet – of the wine.In general, every wine glass will have a slightly different shape, depending upon the type of wine that particular glass is to be used for. The glass must be colourless and very thin as to not alter the taste of the wine. So, forget about that fancy decorated glass your aunt gave you… it might be gorgeous but it’s not for wines!There are many types of wine glasses. A wine glass can hold 125 ml, 250 ml or 350 ml. It is important to notice that a glass of wine should never be totally full. When pouring the wine you should allow some space to wine to breathe, with circular movements to aerate and reveal the subtlety of the bouquet, without being too wide to allow some blending of the flavours.

All good wine glasses are shaped in a way that will direct the wine to the part of your mouth where its flavor will be most appreciated. The glass also needs to be thin, and finally, the shape must be adapted according to the alcohol’s traits. Yes, almost a different glass for each type of wine!

The bowls of the most of the wine glasses will be tapered upward with a slightly narrower opening at the top than at the bottom, which helps to capture and distribute the wine’s aroma in the glass towards your mouth and nose.

In all types of wine glasses the bowl must be large enough to swirl your wine, opening it up to more air and allowing its aromas to be released. Swirling your wine is not just for the connoisseur or the haughty, it really does serve a very important purpose!

So, far beyond the usual red, white, sweet and champagne, there are many other specifics glasses which claim to make the wine smell and taste better. You just have to give them a try and prove by yourself!

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A Blog about Wines


Welcome to my wine blog. A blog to tell stories about wines, stories contained in every single bottle, stories that are revealed when you taste a glass…  You may just want to drink the wine without bothering about stories, and that’s fine too, but for those who are passionate about the wine, is almost impossible to have a glass without noticing what’s beyond it!
I got into wines a few years ago, reading about them. I was curious about the different countries, so many grapes, etc. When I moved to Europe, as part of my work I was travelling extensively around wine producer countries. I just took the opportunity to slake my curiosity, which have given me a fair idea on the regions, the people and the stories behind what goes into the bottle. Suddenly I realised I was developing a natural knowledge for the wines, and then the natural next step was when I decided to go seriously into it, and enrolled myself on a WSET course, which I did with Premier Wine Training. It was the beginning of everything!Although I have a lot to learn yet, the course has opened myself to broader tastes and experiences with wines, which I intend to continue, endlessly!

Because of my interest in wines, my friends usually ask me “what makes a good wine”. This is a question I cannot answer! Apart from the technicality of the structure, acidity, tannins, etc, a good wine is the one you happily buy and enjoy drinking! The technicality can help a bit, and even suggest some food pairing, but in the end, your pleasure is the most important thing when looking for a good wine!

In this blog, I’ll be writing about my personal taste, based on the knowledge I’m still acquiring. I hope you enjoy it, and hopefully we can learn a little bit more together…


Eduardo Miranda D'Agos Fine Wines

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Nietro 2011

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NietroA wine with character, with excellent value for money, it offers all the fruitiness of Garnacha old vines and transmits all the “terroir”.

In the glass, Nietro wears a cherry color, bright, clean, dense tear but medium-high. The first impact nose tells us that this is a wine with character: it is fresh, clean, Mediterranean, with spicy and black pepper. Attracts. With aeration aromatic drink increases its density, is opening gently, offering sweet notes of ginger, juniper … – Has a touch of Christmas! – Graphite mineral notes and subtle hints about parenting. All very well integrated and essentially and above all, a red fruit (cassis) and fresh.

His entry into greedy mouth, with volume, according to the nose but with a point of warmth. It is powerful, with notes of undergrowth, a gentle presence of tannin structure and maintaining promises a good performance, and a predominantly red fruit. It is soft and creamy. It enjoys.

Nietro leaves a good taste, is long and slightly bitter in the aftertaste, something that should not be associated with unpleasant, simply lengthens its persistence. Alcohol is well integrated and gives us a very good feeling of freshness on your end. To repeat.

Nietro is made ​​from old vines of Grenache, with a mean age of 40 years, grown at 950 meters above ground slate, in the municipalities of Castejón of Alarba, Alarba and Acered. Their name, Nietro, comes from a old unit of measurement equivalent to 16 wine jugs or 160 liters.

Sausages | pork | grilled meats