Wine of the Week: Vale do Bomfin Douro Valley 2007

This Portuguese wine is a gem, in its rich, jewel-toned color, its complexity and its price. From the Douro Valley in Northern Portugal (as the name states), this wine was originally produced only for the enjoyment of the Symington family, a renowned name in the world of Ports. After repeated compliments from visiting friends, the Vale do Bomfin was introduced to the public.

The Symington Family Estate is the oldest family-owned Port shipper and largest landholder in the Douro Valley, with more than 4,400 acres of vineyards. If this selection is any indication, I'd give my first-born child to have a taste of the Ports they produce, and if you've seen my firstborn, you know she's incredibly adorable. That's how good this wine is.

Although the nose contains notes of plum and berries, the wine is not very fruit-forward. With more spice, a deep earthiness and the warmth of its 14.5 percent alcohol, it's a big, full-bodied wine with lots of gusto. The tannins provide a great balance to the spice and leave your mouth with a dry feeling and hints of leather and black pepper. If I could take the elements of this wine and bottle it, I'd sell it as cologne. It's masculine, warming and provides a good amount of acidity for a wine of this depth.

This Vale do Bomfin runs around $12 (which is surprising considering there were only 5,000 barrels produced, with very few imported to the U.S.) and can be found at Spec's on Smith Street, Party Pantry Liquor and Houston Wine Merchant. Grab a few bottles in time for your Thanksgiving meal. It will be the perfect, affordable wine to stand up to all the heavy flavors and textures of a holiday feast.

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