Quinta dos Roques, Dão (Portugal) Reserva, Tinto 2011

($35):  The Dão region, located in north central Portugal, is among the first to receive official delineation, in 1908.  The quality of the wines suffered under the Salazar dictatorship, but quality and distinctiveness has improved notably over the last three decades.  Wine producers there often release the wines later than usual, opting to give them substantial bottle age to soften what could be otherwise ferocious tannins.  Take this beauty for example, ten years old and the current release.  The back label informs us that the Reserva always hails from a single site, the Pessegueiro (Peach Tree) vineyard.  It’s a blend of primarily Touriga Nacional with other autochthonous varieties, Jaen (also known as Mencía), Alfrocheiro, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Cão.  The wine delivers graceful power with a balanced mixture of dark fruitiness and smoky savory notes.  The tannins are fine, providing a suave texture.  Great acidity keeps it perky and lively.  It’s an excellent choice to match with whatever is coming off the grill this summer.
93 Michael Apstein Jul 27, 2021