Friday, February 22, 2008

Twelve Under $12: 2005 Marques de Marialva Reservera Tinto

A common theme for my Twelve under $12 has been a return to the familiar - random acts of wine buying result in too many bad surprises, so my fear is heightened in the $12 aisle. Tonight's selection follows a familiar path, as I have enjoyed a prior vintage at the recommendation of Malcolm Anderson, the former wine writer for The Gazette.

The red 2005 Marquês de Marialva Reserva comes from Portugal's Bairrada appellation. Light cherry red in the glass, an unexpectedly terrific nose of spicy oak and vanilla, black earth and truffles leapt out of the glass. Simple, crisp and light bodied on the palate with decent fruit - a "Bojo meets Rioja" treat. Probably the best wine I have ever tasted at this price point, and a wine that should pair easily with lighter or heavier meat dishes.
cork. 12.5% alcohol
Score: 15.5/20
Price: $10.95 (SAQ)

To quote my wife: "These have been really decent wines this week and there is no point in spending more on everyday wines." 'Nuff said


Edward said...


Your wife sounds strangely like mine. When I took some wine to the auctioneer last week she said - "and make sure you don't buy any more!"

Are we really that easy to read?

Marcus said...

You know, this is really interesting. One of the bottles I kept in mind for any kind of $12 tasting with Joe was this one. And it's because these Baga-heavy Bairradas are what I think are the most potentially undrinkable of the Portuguese wines.

This almost proved to be the case when I drank the $17 Marquês de Marialva 2003 varietal version -- same looking bottle but this one comes in a box -- perhaps you have seen it. It was so tannic I found it overwhelming. But days later -- many days, like 10 or more -- it was delicious! I thought I was crazy for doing the whole thing and never took notes.

Joe said...

Hi Ed - Yes, "don't buy and more!" is a constant refrain here...

Marcus - I have seen that bottle, but not knowing anything about it I avoided it. When do you use your decanters? Wines that tannic need time in the cellar and some good air time. I suppose what you pair them with is also important...Anyway, I think I may try that varietal version just for fun. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Hello from Sonoma County!
Not to suggest my old man's wine again, but try to find a bottle of Marietta Old Vine Red.... should retail between 10 and 12. Zin blend with petite sirah and carignane. It would be nice in the under 12 line up. Hope the drinking has been good, nice to see the Unti on the reviews. A recent highlight was 2004 Clos Sant Michel CNP, a bit harsh on the finish but very nice over all. I think I found it for about $28 or so. Great luscious mouthfeel and many layers over the hour it was opened.
Take care.
-Sam (from Healdsburg)

Joe said...

Hi Sam, great to hear from you, loved your Unti recommendation. No need to apologize - I would try the Old Vine Red if I could find it. Marietta's wine is not available in Ontario and Quebec, so I will have to get a bottle on my next trip south of the border. I do have a bottle of Amelia's Cuvee hostage in Manhattan - as soon as it is liberated I will open 'er up. Cheers!