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.
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.