6.13.09 Azamor & Mor, YWSF First Online Tasting

22 06 2009

The SF winos were proud to join the LA chapter and NY capital region chapter to taste the 2004 Azamor Red Wine during the YW’s inaugural online chat event. Here in San Francisco we gathered around a 42” flat screen, logged onto youngwinos.com, and started drinking.

Winos chat

Winos chat

The winemaker, Alison Luiz-Gomez, joined us all the way from Portugal and the importer, Tempe Reichardt of Bibola.com, joined as well. More on the Azamor winery: http://www.bibola.com/Azamor

We started off with the wine’s characteristics. On the nose the crowd picked up on raspberries, dark berries, figs, even some licorice. The raspberries seemed to be top of mind when tasting the wine, as well as some notes of leather and tabacco.  The palette was described as approachable and light bodied.

Azamor Red

Azamor Red

Production Notes: The grape varieties for this blend were fermented separately in 10-ton stainless steel tanks at relatively low temperatures for seven days. After pressing, the wines went through malo-lactic fermentation to increase subtlety. 15% of the wine was stored in stainless steel tanks. The wine was bottled in August 2005 but held for a full year before release.

Blend: Syrah, Merlot, Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouschet, Touriga Franca, Trincadeira, Mourvedre


After a good amount of tasting we got Alison to answer some interesting questions. Here’s a highlight of the Q&A:

Pairing Options:

Jesse: Does anyone have any thoughts about what they might pair this wine with?
Alison: Jesse love to hear what you would pair the wine with
Jesse: I, for the record, really enjoy a touch of “beetroot” in my wine.  And I only seem to ever find it in European wines, not New World.
Alison: Thats interesting . could it be variety or “terroir”????

Jesse: Oooh, a couple of us have a touch of sediment in the glass.  Pretty.
Don: Yes we too found the sediment. I saw on the bottle that it’s to be expected.
Katie: we’re having brie over here and it’s going really well so far
Alison: Look at the back label. This wine has only been lightly filtered prior to bottling and may leave a slight deposit with time. that mens its had minimum handling.
Jesse: We’re talking about food pairings.  Max suggests “pork belly,” because he thinks it would pair well with something “salty, with a crispy skin.”
Don: Ok we’re at 12 people in NY, in case anyone is counting.
Jesse: I was actually going to go more in the London Broil direction.  Like a nice cut of steak, well done, a touch of char.  Might match nicely with the slightly bitter earthiness of the wine.
Alison: Actually i did a food and wine pairing recently here with french food, and the Azamor came out best with bousault or camembert foods.
Jesse: interesting
Max: Something game-y would be good too.  Some venison or duck.
Tempe: I like it with “exotic” dishes — Indian in particular
Alison: Sorry what is London Broil. Pork is very typical here in Alentejo
Alison: Its really good with venison or duck… but try the Petit Verdot, thats amazing with game.
Max: London Broil is a lean cut of beef.
Tempe: Alison, tell us a little about how the wine is made.
Alison: OK thats cool, you imagine it with meat, and with fiarly distinct flavours
Jesse: Doug hasn’t said much yet, but he likes it — he appreciates the raspberry fruit and the spice.
Jesse: He also gets a “lipstick” character.  No one else knows what he means, though.
Jesse: Every once in a while he just goes his own way.
Alison: the spicy, and the “heat” it could go well with curry too, if not overpowering curry. Love the lipstick idea….. did I drop one in the barrel????
Jesse: Max thinks it might be a “chalkiness.”  That actually makes sense.
Alison: Its quite mineraly. our soils make the wines like this and at times freshe

Portuguese Climate:

Alison: The heat reflects the climate – it was 40ºc there today. the acidity is quite fresh but not overpowering. It supports the other flavours.
Jesse: That’s like 100 ferenheit, right? That’s insanity
Tempe: Does it cool down dramatically at night?
Max: It’s actually 104ºF
Don: Are the winters mild in your region of Portugal?
Max: Are there other vintages where you’ve used more Aliante Bouschet?
Max: And, if so, what was the result?
Alison: The winters can be quite cold 0ºc to -2ºc but the summer extremely hot up to 40-45ºc. The wines are better in alentejo (2004 and 2007 &2008-) when these temperatures dont last for longer than 5 days.
Alison: We tend to use more Alicante Bouschet Max in the “selected vines”
Tempe: You guys have to try the Selected Vines 2004 — amazing

Portuguese Wine and Azamor Winery:

Alison: In Portugal there are 200 varieties of wine…. many you may not heard of and appear in Blend. I love the Australan wines and thy are usually very well made. In Portugal because of varieties we will never taste exactly the same as anywhere in the world
Alison: The winery was built in 2005 and finished in 2007, it has 2 lagars, and the winery was build for the blocks that we have in the vineyard. Estate grape, made and bottled
Alison: the first year we equiped and Built the winery in 4 months, and had an Australian vintage winemaker Tim Smith to run the vintage. We didnt know if we’d be making the wine in buckets. that also may account for style.

Value of Portuguese Wines:

Jesse: Alison, do you feel like Portugal represents good value in European wines right now?  Have people not quite discovered Portuguese wines yet?
Jesse: Or are they just as trendy as French and Spanish?
Don: John from NY “This is quite possibly perhaps the best Portuguese wine I’ve ever had.”
Jesse: John’s our kinda guy
Tempe: Right on!
Alison: portugal does represent very good valuie wines… which should be good news in the US
Don: John just arrived and took a swig, haha
Max: from the bottle?
Don: We were able to provide a glass, luckily.
Alison: John enjoy your swig…
Jesse: Alison, of all the vintages of Azamor red, which one is your favorite?  How does the ‘04 stack up against other vintages?
Tempe: By the way you guys can get even better value on this wine.  Bibola.com offers 15% discount to the Young Winos.  Go to www.bibola.com/youngwinos to sign up for the discount when you order!
Jesse: Thanks for giving us our own page, Tempe!
Alison: Regarding vintages my favourite Petit Verdot is the 2005 (really red fruitish and beautifully fresh) The Azamor my favourite so far is the 2005 for the sames characteristic (the hot year) although I like the complexity of 2004, and it has a good few




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