Tasting Millésime Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

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Tasting Millésime Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

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Here in Brazil, I’ve been drinking the Aurora Reserve edition – Cabernet Sauvignon and Tanat. They’ve shown to be a very good wine, even better when you consider the price range: R$25 (€9.50).

I did try the “Pequeanas Partilhas” but it didn’t impress me, so I didn’t bother even mentioning it. Now I tasted the special edition Millésime, a top-line from Aurora winery. They made this wine from 5 harvest only – 1991, 1999, 2004, 2005 and 2008. This particular vintage has been aging for 10 months in American and French barrels.

This is an Aurora’s Millésime Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, produced in Serra Gaúcha, Brazil. It’s priced at R$54 (€20). The tasting took place in my parent’s house, on 16/11/2012.

It’s a clear, deep garnet colour, with a orange-ish halo in the borders.

It’s a clean smell, with pronounced intensity and notes of ripped fruits, blackberries, blackcurrant, coconut, oak and cedar.

Dry with a medium to high acidity, and elegant tannins. Medium to full body, with medium to long lenght. Jammy fruits, blackcurrant, oak and vegetables (green bell pepper) on the palate.

Still a good wine, showing more herbaceous and vegetables notes than fruits, but a nice fruitty nose. 89/100.

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Tasting Elos 2007

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Leia em Português

Once I’m in Brazil, I felt almost obliged to taste something national.

I always had in mind that Brazilian wines are not good, mainly because of the value rather than the quality. Now is time to check.

I got into a nice wine shop, in a beautiful shopping center. The attender, very friendly and helpful, seemed desperate to help me – what I allowed. I told him I’d like to prove a good brazilian wine! As any other salesman, he brought me the top line ones, which I politely declined. I was looking for something honest, as honest are the Argentine and Chilean wines in the 40 to 50 reais range (15 to 20 euros). He suggested me with a Elos 2007, Lidio Carraro, which tasted in my parents’ house in São Caetano do Sul, SP, Brazil.

The Wine:
Elos 2007, produced by Lidio Carraro in Terras de Encruzilhada do Sul, Bento Gonçalves, Brazil. It has 13% of alcohol and is made from the Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, without stating the percentage. It cost me R$65 (€ 25).

On the eye:
The color was not very clear. Suggested to be a deep yellow-brown, but actually was a little hazy, almost bricky.

On the nose:
The aroma was somewhat unclear, without much definition. Medium intensity, with subtle notes of blackberry, raspberry and a bit of cooked red fruit jam.

On the mouth:
Dry, medium acidity, medium body and low tannins. Little fruit on the palate (blackberries, jammy) and vegetables (cabbage, asparagus).

Could be a good wine, on the boundary of the medium, but considering the price, I rate it average, verging the border of a good one. Acceptable. (EM-78/100)

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Tasting Scottish Highland Whiskies

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These whiskies were tasted during an Irish Whiskey Society meeting, where different whiskies and whiskeys are tasted every month.

Scotland is devided in 5 whisky regions: Highlands, Lowland, Islay, Speyside, and recently the re-instated Campbeltown. This month’s taste covered some Scottish Highland distilleries.

Here is my notes, taken during the tasting, on 25/10/12:

10yo – 40% – 40€

Malted barley and cereal in the nose.
A touch of fruit peels and raisins.
There is oaken sweetness and richness
in the palate, with a slightly menthol note,
and a medium-length finish.

14yo – 43% – 59€

Sweet potatoes and malted barley on
the nose, with some aniseed hints.
On the palate there’s vanilla and
faintly sherries. Mineral texture, if not
creamy, with a nicely long finishing.
The water didn’t add much on it.

12yo – 40% – 42€

On the nose, a saline sensation
after the fruitness. Easy drinking
sweet’n’dry on the palate. A pleasant finishing,
leaving a subtle honeyed aroma and neutral oak barrel.
Not a complex dram, though.

15yo – 43% – 45€
Light gold coloured,
and sweet malt on the nose,
with honey and hints of wood.
Medium body, honey
and salty palate, with hints of vanilla,
butter and smoke. Hint of salt and honey
with a decent finishing.

14yo – 46% – 46€

Light brown-deep yellow colour,
salty, spicy and fruity on the nose,
lingering prune and sweet dried fruit.
Sweet, citrus and silky splendid long finishing.

Old Pulteney
17yo – 46%

Fresh on the nose with fruits and dried fruits
with some salted hints. Sweet on the palate,
with some citrus peels and liquorice. Notes of
malted barley and cereal sweetness.
Long finish brings menthol and silky oak.

Glenglassaugh Revival
6yo – 46% – 48€

This one was my favourite! Aged on Oloroso barrels,
it’s sweet with notes of honey and barley malt on the nose.
Ripe plums, raisins and orange peel on the palate,
with walnuts, spices, sherry and caramel.
A rounded and creamy finishing.

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Tasting Girlan St. Magdalener 2010

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This is another wine I brought from Italy to some friends, and I’m posting my impressions even before they’ve tried the wine! Sorry guys, but I couldn’t wait to try this one: after so many unexpected events they eventually arrived!

This wine is made from Schiava grapes, a reference in South Tyrol viticulture, and it charms by its freshness and bright ruby red colour. It’s lightly tannic, low in acidity and slightly alcoholic – 12,5%. With delicacy, comes aromas of red berries on the nose, intense strawberries, and a hint of cherry, gooseberry and floral, and a discreet persistence. It goes divinely with cold meats and smooth cheeses.

Aged in barrels of cement, it’s ideal for the end of summer / beginning of autumn season. Made to be consumed fresh, could be served between 14ºC and 16ºC.

So if you are not feeling like Summer anymore – definitely not here in Ireland! – you can keep it until next year, but it would pleasure you equally if you drink it now!

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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