We are in the middle of what the locals call, “June Gloom” here in Los Angeles. It's a wonderful time in which the sun doesn't come out, the sky is gray and the temperatures hover around 65. This might not sound great to people living outside of Los Angeles, but for those of us who live here, believe me, it's wonderful. A break from sunshine and hot weather is always welcomed here. I mean seriously, it doesn't rain here. EVER. Perhaps the best perk of this unseasonably cool weather is it gives us more time to drink red wine. Not that we completely stop during the summer, but a big red wine is far less enticing when it's 100 degrees out. So, hooray for June Gloom!
Portugal is best known for producing Port wines, the fortified sweet wines made famous by the English. But, they also produce the ever refreshing Vinho Verde (which we reviewed in March), and they do make their fair share of red table wines. This wine, the 2005 Esboço from Kolheita de Ideias, comes from the region Duoro, the area where Port originated, which is located on the river of the same name. The area has a very rugged terrain well-suited to the growing of grape vines which can thrive in rocky and barren landscapes. The area produces some of the best red wines in Portugal from a variety of indigenous grapes. This little blend is made with the trio of Tinta Roriz (otherwise known as Tempranillo), Touriga Franca and Tinta Barroca.
Kolheita de Ideias is a negociant style winery started by three men (Luís Soares Duarte, Francisco Ferreira and Rui Moreira) with the idea of making the best wines possible from the best grapes the region has to offer. All three have a strong background in wine and they work closely with their growers to ensure a top quality product. The Esboço is their entry level wine, coming in at around $15. It is a great example of what is coming out of Portugal these days. The wine has a dark purple, inky color. The nose is dark as well with strong notes of dark chocolate, black cherries and earth. On the palate we get more of the fruit which is surprisingly round and juicy. There are also some undertones of coffee and a meaty smokiness. The finish is long and lip smacking. A great wine and a sure crowd pleaser.