LabROUS report Esoterica Port Medley
Since these are already sold out, I guess I can't be accused of shilling for my friend Kent or for wine.w00t. This has been a great opportunity to compare and contrast – I'll focus on that, since nobody will be making purchase decisions based on general style. Having said that, these wines do share a lot in style: similar extraction, alcohol and residual sugar levels. I'd guess the alcohol is un-aged, neutral spirits rather than oak aged brandy, thus allowing the nuances in grape character to fully show themselves.
Tempranillo (aka Tinta Roriz): Good aromatic intensity, with brown sugar, pepper, orange peel, clove and cinnamon. This wine has incredible viscosity with an almost syrupy texture, but is not overly sweet. Flavors include walnut “skin” and bitter chocolate. This is the most tannic of the lot and will probably age longest if anyone is so inclined. More enjoyable now with cheese than by itself.
Trousseau: Floral and tropical fruit aromas, along with hints of tobacco leaf and toffee. Medium body, not as deep as some of the others. I wouldn't be inclined to cellar this one – it's very enjoyable right now, even for sipping by itself.
Touriga: Very spicy, with plum and a bit of citrus peel. It seems little bit higher in acid, making it a little leaner in body. Very pretty aromas and flavors. It does have some structure and could be cellared, but not as long as the Tempranillo.
Souzao: The aromas are reminiscent of the KR Souzao that was part of a previous w00t offering, good intensity “grapy” fruit, with graham cracker/sweet biscuit and licorice notes. Good richness and viscosity, soft with a little more heat than some of the others. Drink soon, with or without dessert.
Tinta Cao: Somewhat subdued aromatically, but great body and viscosity. Smooth, structured middle, good acidity, mocha flavors and a long finish. I'm not a huge fan of the popular match of chocolate and wine, but this seems like a natural.
Blend: My favorite by a wide margin. Fruity and floral, with hints of licorice, tobacco, caramel, chocolate, spices... Good richness and balance, supple with a bit of tannin. This wine exemplifies the benefits of blending: complexity, balance, completeness. One can taste what the different components all contribute.