The 2011 Ciconia, The Reserva, is a wonderful example of what Portugal can offer the savvy wine drinker, Wine Wisdom columnist Kate Howe says.

Having worked in the wine business for more than a few years, I often find myself daydreaming about what the next big wine is going to be and will I be able to rightly predict it?

Perhaps it will be from some obscure country not necessarily known for wine, or maybe an even more remote region in a well-known wine country? It seems that neither of those ideas is the case however with this latest find.

Portugal has been well known for centuries because of its port wine, which is fortified with grape spirits then stored and aged. However, since the 1990s, dry red and white wine has become prominent, because of the use of more modern techniques, in the western European nation. A change in laws has given winemakers the freedom to pursue fresh styles while keeping the traditional grapes. Portuguese wine has recently found its place among some of the highest ranked wines in the world. The Wine Spectator's top 100 ranking for 2014 gave three spots to wine from Portugal.

The 2011 Ciconia, The Reserva, is a wonderful example of what Portugal can offer the savvy wine drinker. The traditional grapes used are aragonez, touriga nacional and trincadeira. Those names might not sound unfamiliar, however Aragonez is called Tempranillo in Spain and many will be comfortable with the medium bodied, fruity, low acid and aromatic varietal. The other grapes in the blend lend ripeness, color, aroma and good aging potential. With a touch of oak and dried sweet fruit this wine will please the palate of all those wine drinkers looking for a last go at a big red wine to finish off the winter season. With an easygoing price of $14.99 a bottle, the 2011 Ciconia, The Reserva, can be found at Gentiles, the Wine Sellers and other fine wine retailers in Columbus.


Kate Howe is general manager of Gentile's, the Wine Sellers.