2016 Adega de Penalva “Indigena Blend” Vinho Tinto, Dao, Portugal.
While I try to avoid co-op made wines and focus on small family estates, it is impossible to do so all together and especially when the wine is as delicious as this well made and irresistible deeply purple hued and medium bodied Portuguese red blend from the picturesque Dao (DOC) region with its granite hillside vineyards above the river. The price and grapes lured me in and I was not disappointed in this Adega de Penalva Indigena Blend Vinho Tinto in any way shape or form, it is impeccable stuff, made from 40% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinto Roriz (A clone of Tempranillo) and 30% Jaen, which is the Portuguese name for Mencia, that was all hand harvested and de-stemmed and then fermented and aged in a combination of stainless steel and concrete tanks. This is pretty stuff with dark florals and a jazzy spiciness with smooth layers of ripe fruits including blackberry, plum, morello cherry and tartly fresh blueberries, plus snappy herbs, mineral tones, a hint of earth and lilacs. The tank raised 2016 vintage Vinho Tinto is still vibrant and crisply detailed with a nice burst of natural acidity and a well judged balance between ripeness and refined alcohol, coming in at 12.5% it feels vinous, but not heavy, making it easy to quaff and very good with an array of food choices.
The very noteworthy Adega de Penalva has a solid reputation for quality and value, it is thought of, as one of the top cooperative producers in the Dao region, which certainly seems well justified when you taste this wine, a remarkable bargain for the level of pleasure and purity it delivers in the glass. The 2016 vintage is drinking quite impressively and I see that this Adega de Penalva Indigena Blend is being discounted as the new release is out from Penalva’s importer, Skurnik Wines, making it an even more savvy wine to stock up on, as it will drink nicely for another 2 to 3 years with ease, though immediate use is advised! This tasty stuff opens up further with air and adds a few charms to its performance and again it is complimentary to a variety of dishes from simple burgers, hard cheeses and cured meats to rustic seafood stews, there’s a joyous supple texture and an underlying vitality, which is helped by the good dose of Jaen (Mencia) that gives a lot of personality to this wine. Portugal relies on co-ops for close to 80% of the country’s wine production, estate wines are a rarity here, and while that looks a bit depressing, there are a ton of happy surprises from these operations, like this one from Adega de Penalva, and when you are looking for insane value in old world wine, you can find it here, with the Dao in particular a place to look!
($13 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive