Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Fasai Dao DOC, 2014

Dao is increasingly being recognized as a very good appellation for Portuguese wines. It is a mountainous region in north central Portugal, surrounded on three sides by mountains with a temperate climate and long, warm, dry summers leading up to harvest. The soil is sand on top of granite rock. Until the advent of the European Union, the wines were made by cooperatives who did not always establish a good reputation for either making or marketing the wines. Dao wines I saw on shelves in the 1980s often sold for less than $2 a bottle, and that kind of price did not establish a favorable view in the minds of consumers. Today, Dao wines are still inexpensive, and the ones I have tasted--such as this wine, Grao Vasco and Quinta do Cabriz--have been excellent--some of the best buys on the market. Brilliant color. Lovely scents of red berries, cherries and plums. As one reviewer (Wine Awesomeness) put it, "Think over-ripe plums cut in half and roasting over an open fire." Silky texture with sweet fruit countered by a bit of plum-like tartness. Peppery finish that reminds me of a very good Pinot Noir.

Fasai is the Portuguese word for pheasant and refers to a brightly colored pheasant imported from Asia. The finish, though, reminds me of the the bright plume of a peacock's tale. I paid $7.99 for this at Binny's in Chicago; wish I had bought a case. It is a lovely wine.


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