Azul Portugal 2008 Bairrada DOC Red Wine

Bairrada DOC, Portugal
made from Touriga Nacional, Baga, and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo); 13.5% ABV
$8 at the Berkeley, CA, store on 23 July

AzulPortugal_2008_BairradaThis wine was pretty tasty from the get-go, but it darkened and filled out a little after about 70 minutes in a decanter.  It’s very nicely aromatic, with the same complex flavors on a medium-weight palate, of light and tart to riper dark red / almost light purple fruits: cherry, red currant, dark raspberry / almost plum / darker hibiscus, roses and a little violet, black pepper, funky earth and a small amount of prune after a couple hours of air.  From my vantage point of not knowing much about contemporary Portuguese wine, I’d say this wine is mostly Spanish (aromatic with dusty tannin) but part Italian (tangy with darker, riper fruit than Spanish wines), with the ample acid of both.  If you only like ripe, jammy Californian, Chilean or Australian wines, stay away.  I drank it with beef steak and green beans and the food overwhelmed the subtlety of the wine.  I’d recommend pairing it with pork dishes, or maybe darker chicken dishes.

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11 thoughts on “Azul Portugal 2008 Bairrada DOC Red Wine

  1. PW

    I got back to the owner of the Salem store. She said she spoke with her buyer and these Portuguese wines aren’t going to be available here in Oregon. She didn’t say why.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      A GO employee with whom I once chatted about this, who is in no way involved with such decisions, remarked that if a wine originates in CA and they can sell it here, there’s no point in shipping some north. Maybe that’s it.

      Reply
      1. PW

        Ah. Interesting. Makes sense. Well, you’ll have to try the other one now, lol Just so we can know if it’s good! 🙂

        Reply
        1. BargainWhine Post author

          I will! The bottle looks impressive, interestingly a Burgundy-style bottle. I hope there’s some left if I wind up liking it. There wasn’t much there, but then again the 2009 Sagrantino I loved has stayed there for some time.

          Reply
  2. JoelA

    Recently I’ve had some Portuguese reds that I liked very much, but I’m not that enamored of this wine. Yes, it has a nice plum aroma and entrance, but it’s a bit tight and finishes a bit astringent. Takes several days being open to bring out the flavors.
    But maybe with my advancing age I’m losing some of my taste buds. They say it happens.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Joel. From this 750ml bottle I saved a single-glass screw-cap bottle, and I opened the latter tonight. It still needed about 90 minutes to show its stuff, but then I found the flavors about the same as the first night, although a bit more forward. (Dinner tonight was chicken drumsticks pan-fried and then simmered / steamed with green olives and garlic.) Is this apparent decline in taste and smell sense something you’ve noticed at times other than with this wine?

      Reply
  3. PW

    I really hope this wine comes to us. I have several Portuguese Touriga Nacional in the cellar. Most of these cabernet-style wines take years before they are really drinkable but when they are…oh gosh they are lovely. The last one I had was a 2009 (not from GO) and it was nice but easily could have spent another year resting. I REALLY hope we see these (this one and the other that was mentioned in What’s New) here.

    I honestly thing that Portuguese (non-Port) wine is such an un-sung beauty. I’m always watching WTSO or World Market for good deals on them. It’s the one thing that I will leave untouched for half a decade, because I think it’s worth it.

    Reply
    1. PW

      I just spoke to the Salem store (they are the best, locally, about searching out something someone wants) and she said that she suspects they are currently only available in CA but she’s doing some further checking with the buyer. I hope that won’t turn out to be the final answer.

      Reply
  4. michael

    Hi Folks: this Wine, Art & Music lover (& Cats) is a “newbie” to the G.O. world; stumbling upon the store in S.F. I favor Reds, know what I like: Pinot, Malbec, Zin, Syrah, Merlot, Chianti Classico’s etc & enjoy what I like. Admittedly, do not have the “deeper” insights / involvement to Wine that many of you do. I hope it is okay to ask some ‘simple’ questions? such as: when you talk about “airing it out”, which is a concept I believe in, do you mean “in the glass” or just “cork out of the bottle”? or something else? Thanks, DalyCityRed

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi michael (or DalyCityRed?) and welcome. “Airing” is literally exposing the wine to air, usually either in a glass or in a decanter (a glorified pitcher). If you just take out the cork, usually only a very small surface area of wine is exposed to air, just the cross section of the bottle neck. Many if not most wines don’t really need airing, and even for wines that taste better after some air, many people are fine just pouring out a glass and letting rest of the wine air in the bottle as it’s consumed. Right, Lim13?

      Reply
      1. lim13

        Correct, BW. I decant few wines…and mainly to get them off heavy sediment, which usually means only older wines that have thrown considerable deposits. I decant into a regular glass pitcher, old glass whisky decanter or whatever’s handy. But almost always, I uncork, immediately pour a glass or two (my wife gets one) and then let air do its thing with what remains in the bottle. Of course just pouring the wine aerates it too, so I try to pour with gusto. And lately I’ve been using colorful pour spouts made by Rabbit (the cork puller people) that help in aerating as the wine is being poured. For many years I have also used the Vacu-vin pump and rubber stoppers and also Drip-stop mylar pouring discs (which we used when pouring for 100-200 Society of Wine Educator conference seminar attendees, who often balked when a little wine got on their wine glass placemats when poured directly from the bottle). That’s about the extent of my devices and “gimmicks”. Oh…and of course some various sized relatively inexpensive crystal wine glasses. Bottom line…whatever happens to be “your thing”, Michael…is what is best.

        Reply

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