Wine Review: cough syrup or Portuguese red? YOU DECIDE

Wine Review: cough syrup or Portuguese red? YOU DECIDE

As we hunkered down on the couch last night to watch an old episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the 17th time, my husband and I decided to have a glass of red wine. We pulled the cork on a bottle of Feuerheerd’s “Anchor Wine” Reserva which is a label under the venerable Barão de Vilar, a Portuguese wine family that has been making wine in the Douro Valley for hundreds of years. 

I enjoyed the entry-level, non-Reserva version of this wine a couple years ago. Both have the same paper wrapping, though the entry-level bottle has white paper with black writing and the Reserva has grey paper with gold writing. OK sure, I thought. The packaging is more elegant so maybe the wine is too. 

NOPE. This was nigh undrinkable. It tasted eerily like cough syrup, with candied cherry flavours and overwhelming menthol overtones. That menthol character increases the more you drink and though I tried pushing through, I just couldn’t make myself like it. I didn’t make any more detailed tasting notes than this because I just couldn’t get over the cough syrup vibe.

Sure it looks fancy, but don’t be fooled – this is basically a big ol’ bottle of cough syrup.

I’ve read some glowing reviews of this wine, though not from this particular vintage, so maybe this was a phenomenon with the 2016 only. So this was perplexing, and also very annoying. Resigned, I opened a mini bottle of moscatel to sip instead. That was also kind of cough syrupy, now that I think of it, but at least that was like a sweet candy-flavoured children’s cough syrup and not a gross “I can only swallow this if I’m super sick” adult cough syrup.

The open bottle is still sitting on my counter and I know I should try it again today – for the sake of science – to see if the menthol magically disappeared overnight.

Or maybe I’ll just open something else.

Name: Feuerheerd’s “Anchor Wine” Reserva

Vintage: 2016
Region: Douro, Portugal
Grape: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz
Taste: Robitussin DM®
Texture: who cares
Rating: no

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