Palivou Estate, Ammos, 2006

Palivou Estate, Ammos, 2006

Read the background story to this wine here (be warned: It's quite a ramble)

A very dark cherry red in the glass, this brought sweet cherry juice, blackberries and a little fruit jam to our noses. The mouthfeel is, again, dominated by marinated cherries, dried fruit, and a chocolate pudding aftertaste.

It's a measure of the quality of the winemaking that this overripeness does not pull it out of balance, but a gentle tannic backbone wraps up the taste in the end.

We'll be honest: This is a convincing wine, very competently made, that blends mediterranean sweetness of fruit with new-world ripeness and juiciness. We were somewhat reminded of the (very few) portuguese wines we had tasted. Many will find it seductive, smooth and satisfying. It is, however, not our cup of tea. We can't find anything wrong with it, it's just that what we look for in a red these days is freshness, focus and a certain stony or earthy backbone, and we found too little of this here to really make us happy. This is not the "blood from the earth" that a certain german crooner was singing about. It's more like the sweet, sweet juice of the vines.

From Palivou's single vineyard range, the Ammos retails for around 15 €. We are looking forward to the other three bottles, from Palivou's more basic line, and will report on them in the coming weeks and months.