Wednesday, 28 March 2007

TN : Chamine 2005, Cortes de Cima, Vinho Regional Alentejano , Portugal

This is a blend of Aragonez (Tempranillo) 50%, Syrah 41%, Trincadeira 5 %, and Touriga Nacional 4 %. The total acids are 5.0, final pH is 3.82 and the residual sugar is 2.6. It was bottled on the family estate in May 2006. The total production was 641,000 75cl bottles and 49,000 37cl bottles. There was no aging in barrels and the wine was released in July 2006.

In the Alentejo, rainfall since October 2004 was the lowest for more than a century, recorded at 219 mm, down from our annual average of 600 mm. The winter was not only dry but cold, with morning frost and temperatures as low as -5 °. Not surprisingly, bud break was delayed by a fortnight and the growing season was shorter than usual. The ‘ideal’ September harvest weather, brought along cooler nights and warm, sunny, breezy weather during the days, just was what was needed for the phenolic ripening of the grapes, to preserve some good fruit acid and flavor.

The fruit from local Portuguese varieties was handpicked at optimum maturity. It was fermented without stems at controlled temperature with frequent delestage (rack-and-return). This wine was lightly filtered and bottled early to maintain clean, youthful, ripe fruit flavours.

It received 87 points from Wine Spectator and 84 points from Robert Parker.

The grapegrower and head winemaker at Cortes de Cima is Hans Kristian Jorgensen who is Danish-born.

Colour : Plum red

Taste : Savoury red berries, slightly tannic, dry finish

Alcohol : 14%

Mark : C+

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