The Porta 6 Red 2015 is a blend of 50% Aragonez (the Portuguese name for Tempranillo and in Portugal this grape is also known as Tinto Roriz. Wine can be confusing enough without having 2 names for the same grape), 40% Castelão, and 10% Touriga Nacional (both indigenous local grapes) grown in the Lisboa region (north and west of Lisbon, running along the Atlantic Ocean) of Portugal. This is a wine I found at Trader Joe’s selling for $5.99, but this is not a TJ’s exclusive, it is available at other wine shops in the Chicago area selling for around $10. The Porta 6 is made to be a value priced everyday wine, bright and fruit driven, it was fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks. The main claim to fame for the Porta 6 is a Chef on a BBC cooking show claimed this was the best-tasting wine he had featured on his TV show in the last 10 years. The next day there was so much traffic on the UK wine website that carried Porta 6 that the website crashed. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is dark plum red with cherry highlights. The nose is subtle, blackberry, spice, slightly savory, with a bit of mint. This is a very well-balanced wine, every part of this wine seems holds a specific spot in the structure. It tastes of blackberry and blueberry, Altoids spice, and black cherry. The mid-palate brings tart, slightly sour cherry and a hint of salty cashew. The tannins are there, you sense them but they do not infringe on the flavor. The acidity is solid, this is a $6 food wine (sips well on its own, too). The finish is full and lingers for a long time.
There has been a huge buzz about Portuguese wine for the last couple of years, it a Sommelier favorite. The problem is that few people in the US go to a wine shop looking for Tinto Ruriz, someone in that shop has to sell you on Portuguese wine since virtually all the grapes used are local varieties you may never have heard of. The Porta 6 solves that problem, it has a colorful eye-catching label and it priced low enough that taking a chance on wine made from unfamiliar grapes isn’t much of a leap. Not that there is anything to worry about, I don’t think the Porta 6 is the best tasting wine that I’ve tried in the last 10 years. But it is a well-made, delicious, very inexpensive Red blend and you can’t go wrong with that.