Sociedade Agricola do Vale de Joana Grou 2005, Alentejano

It's been a while since my last publicly drunk Portugese red blend. For today’s wine I made a little imagined detour to Alentejano in sweltering hot centre of Portugal. The Grou 2005 wine is a red blend made from the autochthonous grape varietals Aragonez (Tempranillo), Alicante Bouschet, Touriga Nacional and Trincadeira. It was produced by a local cooperative in Cabecao and aged in French oak for a couple of months. What else is important to know? Enormously heavy bottle, pretty heavy wine and plenty of solid matter within. Let’s check this heavy fellow out …

Well, there are only two things to know about the colour of heavy Grou: black as hell and totally opaque. Haven't had that in a while! The nose was surprisingly fresh, absolutely not bold nor brute, really fruitful and to a certain extent even a bit little classy and graceful. Indeed an interessting combination. The actual aromas were dominated by fruitful scents of black currant, bramble (a bit jam-like), traces of lime, hints of spearmint and balm as well as a proper portion of beacon’ish smoke. A couple of hours later the heavy diverse party was joined by some ethereal fragrances (no real alcohol issues from the 14,5%), tart liquorice and dried moss. I might describe the nose of the Grou as pretty refined, slightly seductive with a cool temper, maybe a bit crowd pleasing and very Portuguese indeed. On the palate the Grou appeared rather hard and snappy in the first hour. Plenty of semi smoothened tannins and quite a lot of sheer acid made it a bit hard to break the ice. Within hour two to five far more accessible tart, a bit oaky and smoky flavours evolved. Even some clear aromas of liquorice and a slight impression of not so dark and stimulatingly sweet black currant flavours showed up. On the next day there were more and more indications towards a more balance structure. Then, some more roundness, definitely more smoothness and length were added to the overall picture. Evidentially a very Portuguese red blend (also evidentially not from the high slopes of the Douro river) with a certain cool character and a hot powerful heart. I could not help myself but there were a few similarities to a well know cartoon character with the same name. Just like Gru from "Despicable me" this wine was dressed in black, seemed cunning, refined, heavy and big (with very lean invigorating legs), a bit deviously cool and with the right prospects for a mellow and warm-hearted finish to the end! Um, whatever ... you better neglect this last comparison. What is more important: Right now the Grou seems to be a bit too young to enjoy. I should have known that earlier, but I was simply to grabby. In two to three years this one will be a very decent piece of Alentejano wine. Right now it is a bit too reserved and hard to be more than a most definitely decent **** wine!

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