Tasting Report: Wines of Portugal Showcase, Rainier Club Seattle

Bringing the Seattle wine community together, with a lively educational tasting of Portuguese wines.

The Medium Plus team attended a Portuguese Wine Seminar and Grand Tasting, hosted at the beautiful Rainier Club in Downtown Seattle.  This is an annual event from the Wines of Portugal association, hoping to increase sales, exposure, and promote small wineries from Portugal.   There was a mix of attendees, from sommeliers, wine buyers, wine educators, and wine writers who were eager to learn about the diversity of wines from Portugal.  The event was hosted by Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein along with Wines of Portugal US Ambassador Eugenio Jardim.  

 

Some fun facts gleaned about Portuguese wine:

  • Portugal has the 9th largest vineyard planting in the world, by acreage.
  • The United States is the 2nd largest export market for Portuguese wines.
  • Portugal is roughly the size of the state of Indiana, making the country very densely planted with vines.
  • In the Portuguese language, the emphasized syllable is indicated with an accent mark. Setúbal is pronounced seh-TOO-bal.

 

The seminar tasting included ten wines, from all over the country.  The below wines really stood out to us for being high quality producers and well made wines.  Each wine we tasted was quite good, however these four were the ones that we feel were the highlights.  

  1. 2015 Quinta de Gomariz Alvarinho – Vinho Verde DOC – 100% Alvarinho
    1. Tree fruit, ripe lemon, jasmine, elevated acidity, and a subtle salinity.
  2. 2014 Esporao Reserva Branco – Alentejo DOC – blend of Arinto, Anton Vaz, Semillon, and Roupeiro
    1. Ripe peach and tangerine, yellow apple, lees/yogurt notes, subtle touch of oak.
  3. 2011 Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas Tinto – Bairrada DOC – 100% Baga
    1. Dried cranberry and strawberry, dried leaves, mushroom, very ripe tannins.
  4. Caves Messias 10 Year Old Tawny Port – Douro DOC
    1. Lighter style port, lots of fresh red fruit, a hint of saline and a delicately sweet finish.

Following the seminar, the group proceeded to the big Grand Tasting, where many wineries were representing their selection of wines they chose to pour for us.  Plenty of wines from the regions of Minho, Douro, Lisboa, Setubal, and Alentejo were widely represented.  Snacks were provided, including a beautiful cured meat selection which paired elegantly with the robust and rustic reds common to Portuguese tradition.  A few wines were left out, most noticeably wines from Madeira, which were found ourselves wanting to taste a few styles; that’s our favorite style of Portuguese wine!
A big thank you to all of those who coordinated this event, including the Wines of Portugal, The Rainier Club, Evan Goldstein, Eugenio Jardim, and all of the wineries who traveled from their home country to come share their wines with us.