Continuing on the Wine Spectator theme of "top 250 picks" for less than than 20 bucks I found their top Portuguese pick in our wine monopoly - for $20 Canadian instead of the $15 US retail, though (not as much as a ripoff as the Tres Picos, though). They nailed this one - gave it "91" points. The Quinta de la Rosa, Douro, 2004 is a worthy wine. A rather stiff, leathery nose leads into a full bodied mouth coating wine with chunky tannins. No finesse or fruit bomb here. A cocoa earthy mid palate leads into a bitter chocolate finish. After some "air time" in the glass, some unusual spicy notes appear. A very interesting, fairly complex wine. This is a good wine, but doesn't have that in-your-face "wow" factor. But well worth the money. Jimmy, you'd really like this one.
Of interest (to me!), I would have picked this as a syrah in a blind tasting. It is made of the port grapes, Tinta Roriz/Barroca and Touriga Nacional/Franca and I could almost imagine this as port with the sweetness and grappa stripped out.