Thursday, February 17, 2011


Capote Velho

A recent jaunt across Southern California - actually just a little bit east on the Ventura Freeway - landed me at Rosso Wine Shop in Glendale.  The store had undergone an expansion since my previous visit, so it was nice to get a look at the new space.

It's always nice to visit Jeff Zimmitti, owner of Rosso, who has never steered me wrong on a wine recommendation.  This time, he cited a big value wine, Capote Velho Tinto Vinho de Mesa.  This $10 bottle was not only full of good wine, it was one full liter instead of the usual wine bottle size of 750ml.

The grapes are 100% Tinta Roriz, one of the top grapes of Portugal’s Douro Valley and the only one not native to the country.  You might be better acquainted with the grape under its Spanish name, Tempranillo.  It's a modest 11.5% abv, so those who shy away from high alcohol wines will want to look into this one.

The red table wine shows an oily nose with aromas of cherries and cola, along with a slight trace of a musty attic.  The palate rocks big red fruit flavors cloaked in earthy tones.  The structure is great, and so is the acidity.

I expected a bigger flavor based on the smell, but what’s there is nice.  The wine has a medium red hue and a medium mouthfeel.  In Goldilocks terms, that's "just right."  The tannins make themselves known, but they don’t get in the way.

This Portuguese drink finishes dry with a red licorice aftertaste I really loved.  Don’t overthink it though - it’s simple and rustic and priced right.

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