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Portugal

Portugal

The people of Portugal are the second-largest consumers of wine in the world, a fact unsurprising in light of the quality and aplomb of the wine produced there.

Port and Madeira may hog the headlines, but red and white wines of great character and distinction are produced all over the country.

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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Douro Valley
    A wine of dark colour, resembling ripe cherries, with aromas of black berries and a slight florality. In the mouth it reveals the characteristic fresh... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £9.78 What is MIX6?

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    £8.15 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £10.96 £9.13
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Alentejano
    Fresh and aromatic with aromas of peaches, citrus fuits and and suggestion of florality.  Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £10.57 What is MIX6?

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    £8.81 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £12.24 £10.20
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    In stock
    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Peninsula de Setubal
    Deep amber in colour this wine is rich and smooth with a full flavour that has bags of raisin fruit character and a sweet yet refreshing finish. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £13.74 What is MIX6?

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    £11.45 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £15.50 £12.92
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    In stock
    • Origin
    • Portugal
    With this dryer style of Madeira, the palate is very clean tasting with tremendous purity of expression. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £27.36 What is MIX6?

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    £22.80 exc VAT
    Single 50cl bottle
    £29.95 £24.96
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    With this dryer style of Madeira, the palate is very clean tasting with tremendous purity of expression. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £27.36 What is MIX6?

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    £22.80 exc VAT
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    £29.95 £24.96
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    In stock
    • Origin
    • Portugal
    Aromas of dried white fruit and some light floral notes. On the palate sultanas, mellowed orange zest and a suggestion of burnt peanut. Luscious with ... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £39.74 What is MIX6?

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    £33.12 exc VAT
    Single 50cl bottle
    £45.14 £37.62
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    A medium-dry Maderia with good fruit content and a dry finish. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £14.22 What is MIX6?

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    £11.85 exc VAT
    Single 50cl bottle
    £16.00 £13.33
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    In stock
    • Origin
    • Portugal
    This Madeira wine comes from the now-rare Boal grape variety, aged 100% in cask by the natural canteiro method. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £14.10 What is MIX6?

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    £11.75 exc VAT
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    £16.00 £13.33
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    The lightest and dryest of Maderia styles, delicate on the nose and balanced with a natural acidity. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £14.33 What is MIX6?

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    £11.94 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £16.50 £13.75
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    Well balanced with smooth aromas and a non-cloying sweetness. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £16.74 What is MIX6?

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    £13.95 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £18.95 £15.79
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Dao
    Aromas of wild berry fill the nose, with a touch of spice also detectable. The palate is medium to full-bodied with rich fruit character supported by ... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £9.36 What is MIX6?

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    £7.80 exc VAT
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    £10.75 £8.96
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Alentejano
    Intense aromas of red berries with some spicy notes coming through the ripe fruit flavours. The palate is smooth with soft tannin supporting generous ... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £9.36 What is MIX6?

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    £7.80 exc VAT
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    £10.15 £8.46
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Alentejano
    Alfrocheiro is the Pinot of Portugal with the characteristic small bunches and berries, creating a wine redolent of black cherries and soft red fruits... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £10.57 What is MIX6?

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    £8.81 exc VAT
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    £12.24 £10.20
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Tejo
    Aromas of black fruit with some floral overtones fill the nose, there's also a hint of spice. In the mouth the wine is rich with a medium to full body... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £7.56 What is MIX6?

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    £6.30 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £8.00 £6.67
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Douro
    Floral aromas are present throughout with this fresh and vibrant Vinho Verde. There is plenty of citrus fruit, balanced by generous minerality on a de... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £8.58 What is MIX6?

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    £7.15 exc VAT
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Northern Portugal
    • Minho
    Often quoted as the standard bearer for this variety in Portugal, Luis Cerdeira is the surest pair of hands south of the Minho with Alvarinho. Fresh, ... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £17.46 What is MIX6?

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    £14.55 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £20.00 £16.67
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Tejo
    A plethora of aromas are detectable on the nose with apple, citrus and tropical fruits supported by a hint of spice. The palate is elegant and balance... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £7.56 What is MIX6?

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    £6.30 exc VAT
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Tejo
    Bags of summer fruit character here with raspberries and strawberries in abundance. This is supported by some floral notes and a touch of spice as the... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £7.56 What is MIX6?

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    £6.30 exc VAT
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    £8.00 £6.67
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Douro
    Rich and fruity, a very good ruby port. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £11.94 What is MIX6?

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    £9.95 exc VAT
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    £13.75 £11.46
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Douro
    Dark red in colour with fresh fruit character, a slight mineral character gives it great drinkability. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £15.90 What is MIX6?

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    £13.25 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £18.00 £15.00
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Douro
    This is a careful blend of wines with an average age of 10 years sourced from vineyards in the upper Douro Valley. Smooth and complex, this refined po... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £28.20 What is MIX6?

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    £23.50 exc VAT
    Single 75cl bottle
    £31.94 £26.62
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Douro
    Brick red in colour and displaying dried fruit flavour with nutty subtleties. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £15.90 What is MIX6?

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    £13.25 exc VAT
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    £18.00 £15.00
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Douro
    Aged for about 8 years, this has bags of tawny character. The fruit is tempered by hints of nuts that are typical with this most underrated style of P... Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £21.18 What is MIX6?

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    £17.65 exc VAT
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    £24.00 £20.00
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    • Origin
    • Portugal
    • Douro
    Ageing in wood for an average of ten years makes this port mellow and elegant with rich aromas and mature fruit. Read More
    As part of a MIX6 £22.50 What is MIX6?

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    £18.75 exc VAT
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    £23.95 £19.96
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Set Descending Direction

Portugal is notable for resisting the world-wide trend of adopting international grape varieties and, accordingly, indigenous vines are responsible for almost all of its wines. Some of these vines are superb, but rarely have they travelled successfully abroad, and this makes Portugal a unique place to explore.

History

The history of Portuguese winemaking bears many similarities to that of Spain. The Phoenicians, the Greeks and especially the Romans established it here, a mid-20th century dictator damaged it hugely, and only since entry into the EU in 1986 has it revived. It may have been the British, however, who shaped it the most.

When Napoleon threatened the white cliffs of Dover, he inadvertently popularised Port and Madeira in Britain. Port, in particular, was already known at the Georgian table but when Bordeaux and Burgundy became out-of-bounds in the early 19th century demand for it rocketed. The fortification of these wines, so integral to their essence, was an innovation intended to preserve them at sea on their way over to Britain.

The Classification System

Paradoxically, the Portuguese system of classification is both one of the oldest and one of the newest, certainly in Europe. In 1756 the prime minister drew a line around the Douro to protect the quality of Port, but few further strides were taken until entry into the EU in 1986. At this time a system was drawn up in imitation of France's, but which suffered from all the bureaucratic inflexibility of the Italian attempt. Only time will tell whether the system comes to reliably indicate quality. 

Climate and Conditions

By a wonderful quirk of nature, Portugal has a varied climate working with a topography that frequently makes anything but vines a nuisance to grow. The Atlantic coast is wet, cool and a land of light reds and whites. Inland is particularly known for its reds, and in the high, hot north they can be powerful and impressive. It is here, in the inaccessible, inhospitable Douro, that the grapes for Port are grown.  On the volcanic soils of Madeira, irrigation is necessary except up in the clouds at high altitude.

The Wines of Today

Portugal, with its suite of indigenous grapes, traditional techniques and thirsty inhabitants, and with the exception of Port and Madeira, has always produced wine for itself instead of the world. Yet this is beginning to change, and the good news for the consumer is that the transformation does not involve vast plantings of international vines that have spread elsewhere in the world. Individuality has been preserved, and Portugal is improving and exporting whilst retaining its traditional and inimitable character.

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