When I want a wine for casual drinking, I can't help but to go back at Portugal. Aside from producing a very wide variety of wines with distinctive personalities, Portugal also produces some of the world's finest, unique and highest value-added wines. As in the case of this 2005 Quinta de Cabriz Dão Colheita Seleccionada that only cost $8 with fairly decent availability nationwide.
Quinta de Cabriz belongs to a dynamic wine company, Dão Sul, that makes a wide range of products. Although not directly mentioned the Colheita Seleccionada, Simon Goode,wrote an excellent article describing Quinat de Cabriz's portfolio back in 2004.
Cabriz Colheita Seleccionada is a blend of Alfrocheiro, Tinta-Roriz, and Touriga-Nacional which spent 6 months in 2 year old French oak barrels. It is lightly filtered prior to bottling and carries ABV of 13%. The US importer is Aidil Wines & Liquors.
Color: Clear Ruby.
Nose: Fresh cut pine wood, cherry and cinnamon. Quite aromatic.
Palate: High-toned cherry liqueur. Lively acidicty (although a bit high) and juicy fruit keeps it from being boring. Quite balanced. Notes of violet and some dark fruit flavors emerge as wine opens up. Tannins very light.
Finish: Short to medium. Mostly cherry and spice, notes of pine needle.
This is a fun and lovely everyday wine that can support a wide range of cuisine. Better with food than by itself. It does has the structure to support 1-2 years of bottle aging. Extremely high QPR value.