A First Course in Wine: From Grape to Glass. Copyright 2013; Race Point Publishers, NY. 224 pages. Forward by Mario Batali.

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Wines for a Jack$on (Under $20) - Caves Primavera Special Selection 2005, Portugal

Caves Primavera Special Selection 2005

Caves Primavera Special Selection 2005

Portugal is one of the lesser-known countries for quality wine production, although just recently within the last five years many great wines have found their way to the marketplace.  Given their relatively new status in the American wine market, many great bottles of Portuguese wine can be found for under $20.

The country’s main contribution to the wine world was and still is port.  Port is a fortified wine, meaning that alcohol is added during the fermentation process.  The addition of alcohol kills the remaining yeast cells, thereby preserving the natural sugars from the grapes.  Thus, port is a sweet and unctuous wine with a noticeable” kick” (due to high alcohol content).

Built in 1944, the Caves Primavera Winery is located in Aguada de Baixo, 25 miles south of the city, Porto.  The “Special Selection” bottling is made from equal parts Touriga Nacional and Baga.  The grapes are hand-harvested and fermented in large stainless steel tanks, followed by six months in oak barrels.

The winery of Caves Primavera in Portugal

The winery of Caves Primavera in Portugal

The wine is full and rich in color with flavors of toffee, chocolate, and dark plum flavors.  Despite its inky and viscous character, the wine is surprisingly light and dry on the palate with smooth notes of coconut.  After 30 minutes, the wine begins to soften and more earthy and piney flavors eminate from within the glass.

Some friends and I enjoyed this bottle of wine with braised beef shoulder and pasta.  It was very complimentary to this dish, and would also be ideal with hard cheeses and even citrus-based desserts.

2 comments to Wines for a Jack$on (Under $20) – Caves Primavera Special Selection 2005, Portugal

  • Pie

    Are Touriga Nacional and Baga native to only Portugal? Does the fermentation in stainless steel tanks have anything to do with the inky taste?

  • winefor1

    Yes. For the most part, Portugal uses indigenous grape varieties for all wine production. It’s rare to see Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon used extensively to make the good juice.

    As for fermentation, stainless steel tanks aren’t so much responsible for the inky and rich color of the wine, as is the process of maceration. Maceration is the process of crushing the grapes to obtain the juice within the skins. The longer the maceration time, the more color and tannin the wine receives from the crushed skins. All the color and pigment is in the skins of grapes. Hence, maceration time has a direct relationship to the overall color and depth of a wine.

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