16 Apr 2015: Tasting Organic Wines from Cortém Vinhos
The Royal British Club Tastes Organic Wines
The Hotel Baía, Cascais was the venue for a special tasting of organically-produced wines. Chris Price and Helga Wagner travelled down from the Caldas da Rainha region to entertain, educate and inform Members of the processes and procedures necessary to produce Cortém organic wines of marketable and remarkable quality.
Chris explained that he and Helga came to wine making late but their small retirement project soon turned into a full time job. Not only did they need to acquire the skill and knowledge of wine making, but also to gather the energy and strength to engage in all phases of the establishment of the vineyard, harvesting the crop and development of the wine to its full potential. The enthusiasm for their product was very much in evidence.
A selection of 5 wines were presented for tasting:
1. Jaen 2010 13% alc. A burgundy-style wine.
2. Touriga Nacional Touriga Franca 2011 14% alc. Very strong with exciting flavours.
3. Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2010 14% alc. A very dry fine wine with smooth tannins.
4. Tannat 2009 14% alc. A real "Macho" wine, full of strong primal flavours and tannins.
5. Syrah Petite Sirah 2010 14.5%. A very strong wine with the taste of Petite Sirah predominating.
On completion a straw poll was taken and the Syrah turned out to be the most popular. Wine sales, to almost everyone that attended, were a testament to the popularity and quality of the tasting.
At the presentation of each wine Chris explained the processes that were required in their production. He also went on to explain all the requirements, restrictions and checks that are carried out by external authorities to be able to register his wines as ‘organic’. He considered that the location of Cortém, with its cool and temperate Atlantic climate, plays its part in helping produce wines where one can, above all, taste the grape variety and enjoy the special flavour of Cortém.
Throughout the tasting Olives and cheese snacks were provided by Helga and the Hotel Baia provided a colourful and tasty selection of tapas and savoury treats.