Too Classical? Caves São João Porta dos Cavaleiros Reserva Seleccionada 1995, Dao

Something aged for a change? There we go: The Porta dos Cavaleiros Reserva Seleccionada from Caves São João, one of the oldest large wine cellars in Bairrada, is one of the Dao Classics. In general this wine is produced from the autochthonous grape varietals Touriga Nacional, Jaen, Baga and Bastardo and sometimes stored in large Portuguese oak barrels and following bottle-aging for up to 10 years and more. Depending on the maturity and mellowness of the actual vintage.

My 1995 showed very mature characteristics. The colour was dark, murky or even muddy and decently discoloured (dark brick-red coloured) all over the surface. The nose seemed very manly and butch. Plenty of locker room nose, smoke, sandalwood, hints of tobacco and hardly any fruit. If so, mainly haggard dark forest berries. The taste was surprisingly acidic, still tannic and rather lean. The actual flavours were limited to a lot of bright brown earth, a few crushed forest berries, more than a few peppermints, other herbal aromas and maybe even some green beans!?! The structure and body wasn’t bulky, particularly concentrated or well defined. It appeared to be as a rather rustic and classical (in a negative sense) experience. My advice don’t keep it for all to long and if you open it get yourselves some solid meal and drink up within an hour. The long barrel aging sucked the life out of the wine. Then it might have been very tannic, austere and robust. For my understanding far more exiting than an over matured classic. According to that ... too classical!

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