The World Goblet Round 2: Spain vs. Portugal

by

world_goblet_logo.jpg

While scanning the World Cup groups in order to plan our daytime drinking over the next month, Gut Check noticed that most of the great wine-producing nations are represented in the tournament field, including all of those with a reputation for crafting good, value-priced wines. Because Gut Check never saw a value we didn't like, we resolved to stage our own tournament to determine the 2010 World Goblet Champion.

Neighbors Spain and Portugal are among the favorites for the World Cup, but when it comes to the Goblet, Portugal is the decided underdog. Today's Spanish representative features another of its indigenous white grapes: macabeo. Generally Spanish value whites are more interesting and distinctive than their red counterparts, but will this one follow that trend?

Up against it is a dry red from from the Dão, made from the major grapes of the great Oporto.

To view all 2010 World Goblet matches to date, click here...

Next: Twist that corkscrew!

DAVE NELSON
  • Dave Nelson

2008 Beso de Vino Macabeo Caniñena, Spain ($10) Pale yellow. The aroma, a subdued mix of ripe melon and lemon, is scrupulously clean, almost to a fault. Nice, but hardly captivating. The flavor is mostly fruit, but given the all-around lack of assertiveness, that amounts to damning with faint praise. There's a hint of mineral at the end, but by then the experience is merely a memory.

This one is the product of a super-cooperative -- a joint venture of five co-ops and the local government -- and, sadly, it drinks like the product of group consensus. Or maybe it's a bit boring of its own accord. If this tasting were a prom, the Beso would be a wallflower.

2006 Aliança Dão Reserva ($8.50) Deep ruby. Old World scents of meat and leather prop up ripe blackberry fruit. There is a touch of volatile acidity, which gives some lift to the aroma, but some might find it odd. Medium heavy body, but not a lot of intensity. The flavors that are there linger nicely, though.

Not what you'd call complex, but this would be really tasty with hearty fare off the grill. A blend of tinta roriz (tempranillo), jaen and the pride of Portugal, touriga nacional.

Result: Draw

Two good but not great wines. The Spanish contender is perhaps a bit too modern and clean; the Portugese is its alter ego, a touch too rustic and old-fashioned. We'd be happy to trade our Alexander Hamilton for either one, but neither is an obvious victor.

Group A Standings:

Country

W

L

T

Pts

Portugal

1

0

1

4

Spain

1

0

1

4

Argentina

1

1

0

3

South Africa

0

2

0

0

comment

Tags