TN: Quinta dos Termos O Pecado 2015

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Tomás Costa
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TN: Quinta dos Termos O Pecado 2015

#1 Post by Tomás Costa » May 23rd, 2020, 4:09 pm

Medium pale brownish ruby. Generous nose, at once elegant and decadent, with predominant notes of cocoa, cherry compote and varnish and hints of bay leaf, sweet chilli, cinnamon and white pepper. Satined mouth, only discreetly tannic, with fine balance and acidity, though with a relative lack of length and complexity. Appropriately priced at 25-28€.

Quinta dos Termos, in Portugal's mountainous Beira Interior region - roughly halfway between Dão and Alentejo - benefits from privileged 'climat': wholly South facing, in an incline protected by the Serra da Estrela at its northern edge, averaging 700 meters in altitude. They have been working very well with the traditional grape varieties of Beira Interior: the seemingly naturally oaky Fonte Cal (white), Rufete and Marufo (red). Yet the producers at Termos have decided that having an 'international' wine on their portfolio would benefit them commercially, and so we have here a 100% San Giovese! This flag bearer of Tuscan wine seems to grow very handsomely in the Beira Interior terrain, yet I'm inclined to agree with Termos' own oenologist, Virgilio Loureiro, who admitted very bluntly at an Essência do Vinho encounter in Lisbon that he only produced this wine because he was told to by his superiors, and believes it's nonsense for Beira Interior not to invest exclusively in its native grapes and in the development of a unique identity. The producers, perhaps sensing his discomfort, have baptized this wine as 'O Pecado' (the sin).

I would add, however, that it's even more nonsensical to field San Giovese as a global marketing weapon when Quinta dos Termos fails spectacularly at basic aspects of marketing and commerce: unclear labels (nowhere on their bottles will you find information on, say, grape varieties or vinification processes - you'll get that from retailers online), poor branching out to national and international retailers, with their biggest seller being Made in Beira, and - believe it or not - no website (although they claim it's under construction). No unaware consumer would bet his or her chips on such amateurism, which is a shame given how fine their wines really are.

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Otto Forsberg
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Re: TN: Quinta dos Termos O Pecado 2015

#2 Post by Otto Forsberg » May 25th, 2020, 1:35 am

I've had a handful of Termos wines and they've been consistently pretty great, ranging from the rather distinctive Fonte Cal and wonderfully brisk rosé to very stern and extracted reds. A Portuguese Sangiovese definitely sounds very interesting, but I'm not fully convinced that Sangiovese would be a perfect fit for the cliamte of Beira Interior.

And agree, they definitely could brush up their marketing side of the business.

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Tomás Costa
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Re: TN: Quinta dos Termos O Pecado 2015

#3 Post by Tomás Costa » May 25th, 2020, 3:46 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
May 25th, 2020, 1:35 am
I've had a handful of Termos wines and they've been consistently pretty great, ranging from the rather distinctive Fonte Cal and wonderfully brisk rosé to very stern and extracted reds. A Portuguese Sangiovese definitely sounds very interesting, but I'm not fully convinced that Sangiovese would be a perfect fit for the cliamte of Beira Interior.

And agree, they definitely could brush up their marketing side of the business.
I wasn't convinced either. Having tried before a Sangiovese from Herdade do Portocarro, in the Setúbal DOC, I didn't think that Quinta dos Termos' would be as successful. Yet the Portocarro Sangiovese was more Setúbal than anything else, whereas this was clearly a completely different wine from any of the other ones that Termos produces, and well made too. A Brazilian sommelier and importer I know actually mentioned to me that this is one of his favorite non-Italian Sangioveses. High praise.

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Otto Forsberg
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Re: TN: Quinta dos Termos O Pecado 2015

#4 Post by Otto Forsberg » May 25th, 2020, 3:54 am

Tomás Costa wrote:
May 25th, 2020, 3:46 am
Otto Forsberg wrote:
May 25th, 2020, 1:35 am
I've had a handful of Termos wines and they've been consistently pretty great, ranging from the rather distinctive Fonte Cal and wonderfully brisk rosé to very stern and extracted reds. A Portuguese Sangiovese definitely sounds very interesting, but I'm not fully convinced that Sangiovese would be a perfect fit for the cliamte of Beira Interior.

And agree, they definitely could brush up their marketing side of the business.
I wasn't convinced either. Having tried before a Sangiovese from Herdade do Portocarro, in the Setúbal DOC, I didn't think that Quinta dos Termos' would be as successful. Yet the Portocarro Sangiovese was more Setúbal than anything else, whereas this was clearly a completely different wine from any of the other ones that Termos produces, and well made too. A Brazilian sommelier and importer I know actually mentioned to me that this is one of his favorite non-Italian Sangioveses. High praise.
While I've had some, I can't remember tasting any successful Sangiovese outside Italy - apart from the positively burly Nielluccio wines from Corsica. Many of them are nothing like Sangiovese from Italy, but the best of them can be pretty thrilling wines all the same.

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