Classic Red wine from Portugal

Caves S
ao Joao makes a remarkably old-styled red wine out of Portugal Bairrada region which is also well regarded for its dry sparkling wine. This rare Frei Joao 2001 Reserva contains roughly 30% Baga, 40% Touriga Nacional and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. (The same producer makes a 100% Touriga out of Dao but I have yet to taste it.) This 2001 reminds me of Duro’s legendary Belca Velha which almost always tasted more stylish, elegant and esoteric than a full-bodied wine of concentration and rich flavors that its price tag would suggest. Invariably the thought after the first sip smacked of disappointment but after a few more sips, all negativities would be quickly replaced by an elated sense of discovery. Not that this 2001 Frei Joao Reserva can claim to be at par with the great Velha, it does share many of those qualities mentioned. I recommend it to anyone who has grown a bit tired of full-throttle, fruit-forward, concentration-driven reds. You might want to try the Frei Joao with slightly spicy food, Asian, Spanish or anything in between. Price of this 2001 Frei Joao Reserva is around p2,200.

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