Quinta de Sant'Ana Pinot Noir 2014, Lisboa

With today's post my absolutely non-disturbing Pinot-dependency is getting more and more obvious! I really must be totally Pinot-driven! Well, to most of you this won't be real news. Anyway, but who on earth is drinking Pinot Noir from a wine country with such a rich and diverse bounty of grape varietals like Portugal??? This, or something like this, must have been on the mind of the clerk in a rather well known wine shop in Lisbon a couple of weeks ago when I explicitly asked for all Portugese Pinot Noirs they have. Perhaps he even had something a bit more "graphic" on his mind. Well, I surely would have deserved such thoughts. Ok, let's stop this Pinot-induced-paranoia and conclude with another filling anyway … Today's Pinot Noir is my third from Portugal in total. The first one was the remarkable Casal Sta. Maria Pinot Noir 2011 a bit north-west of Lisbon. And there was Niepoort's slightly tricky Projectos Pinot Noir 2011 from Douro region. Today, I am back in Lisboa. Round about 30 minutes north of the Portugese capital the Quinta da Sant'Ana produces an assessable range of wines made from quasi locals like Verdelho, Alvarinho or Touriga Nacional as well as "aliens" like Merlot, Pinot Noir and Riesling since the year 2004. The grapes for my Pinot Noir were culitvated on steep slopy calcareous-clay soils in a quite cool hill region just about 12km from the Atlantic Ocean. The grapes were hand-picked, partly crushed by traditional foot treading in Lagares and macerated before allowing natural yeasts to begin the fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The subsequent one year ageing took place in used French barriques. And here we go. Pinot No. 3 from Portugal ...

Transparent the Quinta da Sant'Ana Pinot Noir 2014 surely was! Well, sort of! It showed rather vivid seeming viscosity, too. Its actual hue was pretty dark though, slightly faint and in the coronal region already dark-red-brown'ish. An unusual colour (-combination) for a Pinot Noir. Its nose was dominated by – for my understanding, which is of course highly limited and totally stubborn – a bit too warm appearing dark berries (all the way up to blueberries). Even slightly boiled ones, I am afraid. The whiff of pimento sardines (quite suitable in this case … believe me), thyme, some salt and some black pepper were much more likeable than these rich and fruitful attributes. Luckily its taste wasn't that boiled at all! Even the fruit seemed slightly brighter … brighter in many ways. I thought I was under the impression to taste very ripe strawberries, some cassis and ripe – not too juicy – plums. Besides these fruitful components I got a certain hint of caramel, a bit of tobacco, some shy autumnal foilage and most thankfully – on my behalf with given time (about 2 hours after opening) a slight pinch of Lisboa sea salt. Overall I got a quite soft and mostly velvety oral sensation. Perhaps a bit too soft and polished. Anyway, the Pinot's acid was relatively mild, oak as well as alcohol not all too ubiquitous and the finish was all in all pretty fine. Not really long, nor really subtle … but fine! To me a slightly too warm and easy-going Pinot, however absolutely worth to try. Well I guess, perhaps I am not that mad at all. So far I had three mostly interesting Pinots Noirs from Portugal on my tounge. Really quite good ratio considering that there probably no more than ten different Pinots in Portugal. I will continue. I'd see this one something between so la-la*** and decent***.

Next time I will send my tongue to Bella Italia. More precise to Chianti, and not really to Chianti ... you'll see.

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