First impressions can be deceiving. That is especially true when it comes to wine. I grimaced when I pulled the cork out of the Paulo Laureano Singularis. Immediately, rustic and stinky notes wafted out of the bottle. I feared that, despite what I had read about the renowned winemaker’s modern approach to Portuguese wine, this was going to be a powerful country (by that I mean barnyardy) red. Lucky for me, I was wrong.
A blend of 70% Aragonez (Tempranillo), 20% Trincadeira, and 10% Alicante Bouschet, the wine is a dark, but not opaque, ruby that still looks fresh. Raspberry, cherry, and plum combine with mocha on the nose and palate. After some time in the glass, the initial off-putting rustic quality evolved to a more pleasant earthiness. Very well balanced, with acidity, tannins, and alcohol creating a solid, but not overbearing, structure for the fruit. The red fruits linger on the palate, as do the fine tannins.
Paulo Laureano is committed to producing wines from Portuguese varietals, bucking the trend of planting international grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. With hundreds of indigenous varietals, the vast majority of which we will never see in the US market, I hope that he continues to make wines that showcase the rich diversity of grapes growing in Portugal.
I think this is a very good wine that strikes a balance between being true to its origins and being appealing to drinkers who are increasingly accustomed to wines made in a “New World” style.
At Wine Nation for $14.99.