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New Era for Dao Reds but a White that Just Needs More Friends

OK Dao reds have changed for the better as this post illustrates but, come on guys, this white really has no need to do so.

Producers in Portugal’s Dao region began to recognise a potential mismatch between their traditional red wines and current consumer tastes.

So, they began what trendy marketing folk would now call a “pivot”.

Out went burly, rustic and often tannic versions and in came accessible, fruitier, terroir driven alternatives.

I feature one of the (kindly priced) replacements today.

Its companion white represents a style that, personally, I do not think needs to change.

Unfortunately, riesling sales generally suggest that not so many people agree with me.

Here, then, is a great value example that – with luck – might alter a few minds.

Once again, pictures and hyperlinks are included where possible to make it easier to track down the wine in question.

First a look at that “pivot”

2021 Extra Special Dão (£7 at Asda and 13.5% abv):

Last year, I recommended an earlier vintage of this nicely balanced Portuguese red, and this latest version is equally good.

Smooth and medium bodied, its main feature is intense cherry, plum and pomegranate flavours.

These are neatly coupled with suggestions of cocoa, mint, minerality and allspice with firm tannin – but it also has lively acidity to set against it.

And a “blast from the past” too often overlooked

2022 Thornicher St. Michael Riesling (£5.29 at Lidl and 11%):

White wines with a little sweetness are great “drink anytime” options provided there is contrasting acidity.

Happily, this inexpensive German example offers us exactly that.

Its sherbet lime acidity refreshingly counterbalances the wine’s melon, pink grapefruit and red apple flavours.

The result is clean, unashamedly off-dry wine with tropical fruit hints.

News from Eddie

Morrisons inform us that their 25% off buy-3 of their ”The Best ” range has been extended until the 26th September. They flag-up typical popular lines like …

The Best Provence Rose – normally £10, now just £7.50

The Best Marques de los Rios Rioja Reserva – normally £9.75, now just £7.31

If you’re after more recognisable labels, there are also plenty on offer such as Oyster Bay Sauvignon for only £6.99 or McGuigan Black Label Merlot for just £6.

Join me again next Thursday (remember no Monday post this time) when my ongoing monitoring and scrutiny of supermarket wine aisles yields up another set of Top Tips.

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7 Responses

  1. Hello Brian
    Your recommended Asda Dao red is a terrific wine at an appealing price.It is a bit unfortunate that Asda very rarely give much information on their wines.It seems this is a Portuguese blend of Touriga nacional,Tinta Roriz – Tempranillo? and Jaen – Mencia? Made by a yet another talented female winemaker Antonina Barbosa.A wine that tastes as good as the label looks.
    While in Asda and indeed Portugal, I very much enjoyed their Torre de Lapela Vinho Verde which is a Decanter Silver Award winner and a bargain at £5.50.Light and fruity but less ethereal than many over delicate versions; tasty in a good way.
    Going to Lidl tomorrow to try out your Riesling.

  2. Hi Brian, hope you are well and coping with the current living arrangements whilst the east and west wings of the castle are renovated.
    Anyway, that Riesling always manages to hit the spot and can be a great “first timer” for those that don’t think they like the grape or are fortunate or unfortunate enough to remember it the first time around………………….

  3. Thanks for the background on the Dao, Paul. I would have guessed the Touriga Nacional but would not have spotted the Jaen (Mencia) although the rich plum components should have been a clue. As for that Vinho Verde, Eddie the eagle Eyed is a great fan of that one too. Hope the riesling hits the spot too as a good value, reliable and nicely refreshening choice.

  4. Thanks for the good wishes about the new build – although I not sure we shall achieve the grandiose heights you suggest.
    Good point about long memories – modern riesling has changed so much from the bland blends of our parents’ generation – and this is an inexpensive illustration of the point.

  5. Hello Brian

    Yes, the Asda Dao I thought when I first tried it last year? was very good especially for the money, plus a deal, but to be honest I didn’t have more later!! That’s not to decry the Dao in any way; it’s very nice.

    As much as I enjoy almost all the Portuguese wine we can have easily here, it’s comparatively few that there are from the less well-known regions when considering rammed shelves in supermarkets in that country with their multifarious, home-produced offerings. Twas ever thus with most Euro destinations, I know.

    But when in Asda I can never avoid picking up a Bodacious red, from Tejo, north of Lisbon, currently down to £6.50. It just rocks my boat and importantly that of my wife’s too when she’s not a fan of more tannic red wine offerings. Interestingly there is one on-line detractors/review I noticed … but it’s been one of my go-back-to-reds for several years now.

    Yes, that Portuguese white Torre de Lapela Vinho Verde that Paul Davis mentions, I did indeed say to you how much I’d enjoyed it, from our August Asda Wine Club case! Astonishing money at only £5.50! I went and bought some more the other day and will have one this evening as an aperitif! Good old Asda and its Portugal interest.

    But then there’s Aldi’s own, lovely Lisbon contribution to the ”Porta 6” style genre, but more of that later maybe.

  6. Ah! I didn’t know that so the timing is even better. Prices may, of course, vary where minimum pricing rules are in force. Thanks for pointing that promotion out Hans – much appreciated.

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