Indigenous wine on the sly: Fontanário de Pegões & Quinta do Côtto 2003

When I receive not one comment on a wine I review on this site, I'm bound to notice. I don't feel sorry for myself, I feel sorry for the wine.

I'm taking about a Portuguese wine I profiled three weeks ago. It's the only Weingolb post in a long time that hasn't received any comment and the first Weingolb review since January to go by uncommented.

Granted this Portuguese wine was not given a great review -- hard to spur on interest or conversion in that. But I think that it's the wine being Portuguese rather than it being less than stellar that explains why no one is intrigued enough to submit a response to it. I'm not sure what to do about this.


I did a Portuguese week in February and March of 2006 when this blog was officially renamed Doutor Golb do vinho. I think that caused more of a scene on BlogShares than it did among my few readers.

Nevertheless, a year and a half later, I'm still pursuing my fondness of good-value indigenous regional wine of Portugal. More than 5% of my posts deal with the produce of Dão, Douro, Alentejo and Ribatejo et al. I believe that's a lot for the wine market I live in.

I do appreciate other sites like Catavino which focuses exclusively on Iberian wines. They're a great place to go when you know you're looking for a Portuguese bottle. But how do you introduce Portugal to a wine drinker who might not think to go looking for it? [Update: this issue has been somewhat immediately remedied by Catavino announcing their Portuguese focus for WBW 38, just moments after I posted this entry! Well played Catavino!]

For one thing, Dr. Vino's hosting of WBW #37 is a wonderful and eye-opening look at indigenous wines and I'm glad such a big theme event has come along to profile wines like Portugal's -- which is exactly what Dr. Vino's own write-up tackled.

In the end, I think my 5% blog rule is effective. I think in particular of how RougeAndBlanc, which features a majority of French and American wines, manages the same kind of thing when he integrates a healthy dose of wines like those from Portugal and most recently, the Balkans -- which is cool -- into his regular lineup of reviews.

It's almost like blogging about wine regions ripe for discovery on the sly -- perhaps that's the best way to influence the masses. Do it in between the Côte-Roties and international Cabernets.

fontinario do pego pamela saq half bottle win image from online profile website offline temporarily unavailable 503 error message server not found unable to serve request service downtime capacity problemsSOME SLY WINES TO TRY

Fontanário de Pegões (tinto) Palmela 2003

A lighter and more inviting wine than you'd expect to dive into. It's a rare single-variety Castelão wine from a region which is named Palmela and whose reds I am not used to trying. It is a fruit-forward wine that is ready for instant enjoyment. No fretting over tannins. Almost too quaffable the way this wine flows and flows. But then Fontanário de Pegões gets its name from a fountain. I like a well-named wine.

Full descriptive information: www.cooppegoes.pt

SAQ product file: SAQ site is down on Monday morning! / Site web SAQ est en panne! Now available


quita di cotto doro red wine portuguese touriga nacionalQuinta do Côtto (tinto) Douro 2003

I was running into Kingston's LCBO with little time to waste. I picked up a couple Domaine du Ruault and then saw this bottle on the way out of the Vintages section. It was $21. I snapped it up. When I uncorked it, I knew I had made a hasty purchase. Though it possesses a lot more character, depth, body and tannic punch than the first wine, it is not any better balanced and actually has less personality. It may be a superior wine to the first (check the specs at www.quintadocotto.pt but it comes down to value and its $20+ sticker price is off.

Little did I know how prescient my notes would be. It turns out that Côtto is not a $20+ wine at all. It's available at the SAQ for $16.95, making it justly priced at $4 less than what I paid.

And that'll teach me for being such a sly wineblogger, thinking I'm entitled to reduced wine prices every time I pass through Ontario.


RougeAndBlanc said...

Buying (and consuming) wine is very much like gambling, you win some and lose some. However, If all of us only buy wine after conducting thorough researches, then the experience would turn into acamdeic experiments, what fun is that?
In our household, we admire (and enjoy) wines as they are and try to mix up the brands/varietals to keep things intersting. I used to think French wine is 'the thing' but lately I have ventured out more and more to experinence wines from other countries, especially from lesser know ones.
So many wines and so little resources.(Sigh!)
Again, thanks for the shoutout and sharing of your experiences. I really appreciate it very much.

ryan said...

Hey there, can't wait to see what you pop Open for WBW next month. Portuguese wine really is very interesting, but sadly to get to the rich core you need to visit the country where so many of the "secrects" never seem to leave!

Marcus said...

Ryan and RougeAndBlanc,

I thank you both for the synergy.

Hope to get to Portugal (and the Balkans) one day.


Joe said...

Sorry for the "no comment", I really know very little about Portugal beyond port.
Yes, you have learned about the new world order - Ontario is not cheaper by default - I could probably name 20 wines off the top of my head that are cheaper in Quebec, and many old Ontario faves are now the same price here.
I attended a neat tasting last night at McGill with the winemaker for Wyndham Estates, stay tuned...(CTV News was there, outing the very secretive Joe...)

Anonymous said...

I may not comment on your reviews, but I'm thinking about stalking you because you are REALLY HOT.

Marcus said...

Just once I'd like a cyberstalker who doesn't write anonymously.

Too much to ask?

How about a few more hits to my site? Not just when your Google reader links you here. How about some Firefox bookmarks and unsolicited emails to friends with many many hyperlinks.

Joe, what can I say?... Not a very auspicious time for you to reveal your full identity on national television.

Joe said...

Dude - it's that new hi-res photo! I only get stalked by people trying to score a free wine tasting score sheet. I don't think it was national TV, just the local yokels. I refused the interview request.