I’m still working my way through some Portuguese wines for my upcoming piece in the new Palate Press. (See entry below)

I found one at a slightly higher price point that was big and bold. Pilheiros 2004, from J&F Lurton Winery, had the same earthy tones of my previous exploration of Portugal’s unique grapes but this one was bigger and bolder. Still, the tannins were surprisingly light after the wine had been opened for a while.

The grapes are Tina Francisca, Tina Roriz, and the predominant Touriga Nacional grape found in most Portuguese table wines. It is from the big red grape growing area of Douro.

This was a more complex wine than the Grilos previously reviewed here. I find myself still struggling for an accurate flavor description of these interesting grapes. It is a dark, spicy, even woodsy flavor.

The alcohol is at 14.4 percent and the wine spends some time in oak. There is no question big food would match nicely with this wine. I paid $19.99 for this wine but found it online for as low as $15.

If you like bigger red wines, you should give Portugal reds a try. I have one or two more in the rack I’m going to open over the weekend.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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