Lello Douro Vinho Tinto 2010

Lello Douro Vinho Tinto is made from Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca grapes that come from producers in the Cima Corgo and Douro Superior sub-regions of the Douro River Valley in Portugal.  Although the Douro Valley region is most famous for another fermented grape product (Port/Porto), it produces quite a bit of non-fortified wine as well.  The history of wine production in the area goes back a number of years.  Archaeologists have discovered evidence of wine-making as early as the 3rd century AD.  This modern example is from a label in the Vinhos Borges stable of wines, Lello, which was evidently relaunched in 2006.

Winemaker:  Lello (by Vinhos Borges)
Wine:  Douro Vinho Tinto
Varietal:  Red Blend
Vintage:  2010
Appellation:  Douro, Portugal DOC
Price:  $8.99 at Whole Foods ($4.99 for 375 ml)

Notes:  The color of this Portuguese red blend was a dark garnet.  In the bouquet I smelled berries and a dustiness.  It was a light-weight offering (not a pejorative comment here) with good acidity and moderate tannins.  Flavors for me were bright cherry with raspberry notes, plenty of oak, a dash of pepper, and hints of sweet tobacco.  On the finish I found some dustiness and a slight touch of carob.  Alcohol is 13%.  When first opened, the oak was overbearing.  But with some time to breathe, it settled nicely.  I haven’t had many Portuguese wines.  That’s one of the things that attracted me to this Lello.  This vinho tinto made a good enough impression to ensure I’ll be back for more in the future.

If you’re looking at the photo and thinking the proportions might be just a little off — that’s because this is a picture of the 375 ml bottle.  Both the 750 and 375 ml bottles were available at Whole Foods.  Given that I wanted to taste it but didn’t have a group of friends coming over that evening, I grabbed the smaller bottle.  I think it’s a great option for folks who just want a couple of glasses of vinho.

Important: I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.

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