Another wine review now and this time we’re off for the first of the Aldi red wines offered up by their 16th wine club panel, and the north-eastern vineyards of Portugal.
Perhaps sometimes lost against the prolific and easily recognisable wines of Spain, I don’t tend to taste Portuguese wine half as often as I should. A conversation with a fellow wine lover this week confirmed that this was their lamentable stance too.
Bottled in Portugal by Vicente Faria, the 7th biggest exporter of Portuguese wine and a family vineyard since the early 19th century, this wine is a blend of three of the indigenous Portuguese red grapes: Tinta Roriz (30%), Touriga Nacional (30%) and Touriga Franca (40%).
Brightly adorning the front of the bottle were two stickers indicating recent successes at two of the world’s leading wine competitions: a commended medal at the IWSC 2017 contest and (since the pictures were done for the Aldi website) a Bronze medal win at the 2017 Decanter wine awards.
All hailing from specially selected plots, the intention of Vincente Faria is to make a ‘delicate’ but ‘complex’ wine with a ‘persistent bouquet’.
Let’s see how they got on.
Animus, 2015, Douro DOC, Portugal, 13%, £4.99
Rather than just doing a pure tasting note for the wine, which really only comes alive if you eventually go on to taste the wine, I always like to spend a little time evaluating the packaging.
As an aesthetic that can be appreciated online as well as in person, the label is used as a marketing cue for the consumer to highlight the brand as well as to help to visualise the quality aspirations and overall style of the producer.
Sealed under the merits of a fully branded cork there was the wonderful attention to detail in terms of the neck label, adorned with a crest to the top. In similar fashion, the label had a good contemporary line drawing design, not too dis-similar to the artist Matisse, depicting two people having a casual drink.
On to the tasting and, in the glass, the wine was a classic youthful and inky dark purple colour. The nose was incredibly intense and full of rich ripe fruits focusing mainly on the red (with a touch of black) cherry. This was backed up with a good wedge of vanilla florality offset by some stalky unripe, green pepper.
On to the palate, and there were light chalky tannins with a slightly chewy character. This gave way to a very fresh and youthful tasting wine full of juicy red and black cherry fruit, the blue fruit notes of plum, a fair whack of peppery spice and just a touch of menthol. A medium weight in the mouth and a driving medium acidity kept it refreshing to drink both with and without food.
The length carried well, lasting over 30 seconds. In the wake of Brexit and other economic factors in the UK, a £4.99 wine is becoming an ever-increasingly extinct artefact, well behind the current average UK bottle price of £5.60.
Aldi have, once again, managed to come through with the goods.
Already a firm favourite, scoring 4.4 out of 5 in customer ratings on the Aldi website, my thanks go to AldiUK for supplying the bottle used in this tasting.