Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes

90

2017 Tapada de Villar , Vinho Verde

£9, 10.5%, Marks & Spencer

Vinho Verde is one of those styles that's often dismissed by wine experts for frivolity, but I'm a huge fan of the style when it's properly made. This Atlantic-influenced cuvée of Loureiro with 40% Arinto and 10% Trajadura is just off dry, with lots of spritz and zing, notes of white pepper, lime and boiled sweets and alluring frehsness. 

Fish

 

 
 

94

NV Taylor's, 20-Year-Old Tawny Port, Douro Valley

£35, 20%, Amazon, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Wine Society, the drinkshop.com

Taylor's isn't as well known for its Tawnies as some houses are - its LBVs and Vintage Ports are up there with the very best - but it should be, based on the quality of this 20-year-old release. Figgy, sweet and complex, with beautifully integrated spirit and notes of umami and orange zest. One of those Ports that you don't want to pass to your neighbour. 

CheeseDesserts

 

 
 

93

1998 Fonseca, Guimaraens Vintage Port, Douro Valley

£27.99, 20.5%, Waitrose

Mid-way between a single quinta and not-quite-a-vintage Port, this is rich, sweet and easy to drink, but with more structure and concentration than is immediately apparent. Spicy, peppery and showing a little bit of fiery spirit, this has dark, creamy fruit flavours and a complex, chocolatey finish. 

PorkCheeseDesserts

 

 
 

94

NV Quinta do Noval 20-Year-Old Tawny Port, Douro Valley

£54, 21%, The Wine Society, Gereral Wine Company, h2Vin, Tanners, Soho Wine Supply

Tawny Port doesn't get a whole lot better than this incredible elixir of a wine. Fig, Christmas cake and rancio notes combine beautifully in this savoury/sweet delight. The fortifiication is perfectly judged, while the finish lingers enticingly on the tongue. 

CheeseDesserts

 

 
 

88

2011 Falua, Terius, Touriga Nacional, Tejo

£8, 13.5%, Marks & Spencer

The Tejo is not the first place you'd go in search of Touriga Nacional (a grape that's more often associated with the Douro and Dão), but this is excellent value and packs a real punch at the price. Full bodied, firm and concentrated, it's floral and perfumed with appealing balckberry fruit and good underlying structure, relying on fruit rather than oak for its appeal. 

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90

2013 Quinta de Azevedo, Vinho Verde

£7.25, 11%, The Wine Society

The price of this eminently gluggable Vinho Verde has crept up in recent years (although it's sometimes on a deal at Majestic), but it was almost too cheap before, given its quality. It's light and refreshing, with appealing spritz, a whiff of the Atlantic and delicious peach, guava and citrus notes. Just as good as many more expensive Spanish Albariños produced on the other side of the border. 

ChickenAsianFishVegetables

 

 
 

90

2012 João Portugal Ramos, F'Oz , Alentejano

£8.49, 14%, Waitrose

João Portugal (yes, that's his name) Ramos makes some of the best value reds in Iberia. This southerrn Portuguese blend of Aragonez, Trincadeira and Castelão is well up to his usual high standards, combining flavours of blackberry, bramble and orange zest in a wine that's fruity, refreshing, yet substantial enough to serve with red meat. 

PastaBeefLambSpicyBarbecue

 

 
 

92

2013 Filipa Pato FP Branco, Beiras

£11.75, 12.5%, Oddbins

Filipa Pato is one of the most dynamic winemakers in Portugal right now, crafting wines that are every bit as good as those of her father, Luis, albeit in a different, more modern style. This blend of Arinto and Bical, this is tangy, sappy and refreshing, showing the Atlantic influence that colours the wines of Portugal's coastline and flavours of fresh herbs and citrus fruit. Just the thing to drink with a seafood platter, especially if you're in Portugal. 

 

 

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93

20 Year Old Tawny Port, Douro Valley

£33 down to £24.75, 20%, Marks & Spencer

Made for M&S by Taylor's brilliant winemaker, David Guimaraens, this is the kind of Tawny Port that makes grown men (and women) cry. It's a very fine fortified, with a delicious balance between nutty, figgy fruit, added spirit and mature, barrel-aged rancio notes. Very sweet and very long on the palate, it would make a perfect Christmas treat. 

CheeseDesserts

 

 
 

89

2011 João Portugal Ramos F'Oz, Alentejo

£9.99, 14%, Waitrose

The Alentejo is becoming more and more impressive with each vintage as a source of southern Portugal's best red wines. This great value, under-a-tenner blend of Aragonez (aka Tempranillo), Trincadeira and Castelão is a case in point. It's aromatic and refreshing, with no sign of sun-baked, raisiny flavours, fine tannins, notes of chocolate, black cherry and plum and a firm, but well balanced finish. 

BeefLambBarbecue