Rustic wine at it’s best? Maybe! Let’s have a look. The JPPrivate Selection from Bacalhoa, a bit large wine syndicate, was cultivated on the sandy soils of Peninsula de Setúbal a bit south of Lisbon. It is a 100% Castelão (aka Periquita) which was aged in oak barrels for 12 months. Castelão is a very notorious varietal for this underrated wine region of Portugal. Normally it produces rather tannic, slightly fruitful, a bit thin and one-dimensional wines. In this case, too?
The colour was very dark purple-red. Just the way a lot of people might expect from a Portuguese wine. I was a little bit surprised, because most Periquitas I had, were always a little bit transparent. Not this one. The nose appeared to show scents of cherry marmalade, slight oak, earth, leather, a bit of smoke, hints of pepper, maybe thyme, and good old horse shit (sorry). Not that one-dimensional I guess! The taste showed slightly set back flavours of seabuckthorn. A rather typical feature for Castelão based wines. For the unaware taster a very unusual feature I suppose. Beside the seabuckthorn, which eased after one to two hours, flavours of sweet red currant, dark and slightly artificial seeming cherries, earth and leather played Rugby in my mouth. Why Rugby? Well, it was a rather crude, butch and a bit violent wine. Maybe, due to the strong acid and raunchy tannins, a wild one, too. Not all too sophisticated, charming or elegant. It was a real, hard working farmer (or Rugby player) with prune’y hands and sweaty odour. I liked this wine. On the second day even a bit more. It wasn’t overwhelmingly fantastic or something. For sure! It just appeared to be an honest, favourably priced and well made, and of course well concentrated, Castelão! Period!