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Portuguese Perfection

Back in the 1980’s when I was living in New York, my local wine store always had a great selection of mature, dry red wines from Portugal. And they fit my budget…..THEY WERE CHEAP & GOOD! So when I tried the 1994 Quinta do Poco do Lobo Cabernet Sauvignon from Caves Sao Joao it reminded me of old times. Except even better. A perfectly aged 24 year old wine, directly from the producers cellars. Provenance does not get any better than this. See the history of this winery below.

The wine comes in six pack cases and since there is very little available, I am limiting purchases to six bottles each. BUT, you get the case discount on six instead of 12. This won’t last long. Grab some while you can


S. Joao, established in 1920, became a dominant force in Portuguese wine making in the early 20th century with their houses Porta dos Cavaleiros in Dao and Frei Joao in Bairrada. Given the shifting trends in consumer preferences, Bairrada and Dao fell to obscurity in the 1990s when critical influence drove the demand for bigger, extracted, warmer climate wines. As in all things, however, what comes around goes around! Sure enough, 20 years later savvy consumers and food-conscious sommeliers are looking for finesse and freshness and heading back to Bairrada and Dao. In 2013, the Costa family, owners of the estate, decided to open their cellars and offer the old vintages in stock, ranging from 1959 to 2000. Wines that when young had a vegetal character, pronounced tannins and high acidity aged gracefully when kept in perfect condition at the winery for 20-40 years, and are now pristine examples of mature wines with profound finesse and irreplicable complexity. Caves S. Joao is the only winery in Portugal offering library releases of still wines commercially, with vintages going back to the 1950s

*1994 Quinta do Poco do Lobo
Cabernet Sauvignon
Caves Sao Joao
$49.50btl/$267.30 per case of six
(Jim Sirna 95)

I was blind tasted on this wine yesterday. My first impression from the nose was a nicely aged St Julien from Bordeaux. But in the mouth there was something different. Hints of Rioja, or maybe Barolo. WRONG JIM! Turned out it was a Cabernet Sauvignon from Portugal. It smells and tastes like a much more expensive wine. Aromas of leather, cedar, figs and dried cherries. Maybe a hint of curry or cardamom. The tannins were silky and supple with mocha and tobacco and some delicate floral notes mostly dried roses. After 30 plus minutes in the glass the wine kept improving revealing more complexity and substance. This wine is a rock star. There were only 7, six packs in the state. I bought them all. Some arrive today and the rest next week. If you enjoy a perfectly aged wine, I don’t think you could ask for anything more. Taking the price into consideration….this is a Must Buy.