Bruce’s Pick: 2013 Quinta Vallado, Vallado Tinto, $14.99

I don’t have a lot of experience with Portuguese red table wines, but in a couple of weeks, my wife and I are traveling there for the first time, so I thought it was time to try some.  This wine hails from the heart of the Douro wine region, certainly Portugal’s most famous. The Quinta Vallado estate has been in the Ferreira family for six generations, producing wine from the native grapes of the area: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Franca, and Sousao, all of which contribute to this red blend. I found the wine to show intense dark fruit aromas, good structure with round tannins and a long persistent finish. It was aged in stainless steel tanks and neutral French oak, which I think suits its punchy but easy-going fruit-forward nature. It is no wallflower however, as it has enough concentration and depth of flavor to pair with hearty dishes and red meats. This was an auspicious introduction to Portuguese wines, and I think I’m going to enjoy expanding my experience with them during our upcoming trip and beyond.