There were several
things which recommend
ed this Portuguese
red wine to me. I had no intention of purchasing
wine (not to be confused with the Spanish red wine appellation Ribera del Duero
I was also intrigued by the name "Charamba," which sounds about as un-Portuguese as you can get. As it turns out, the charamba is a folk dance that traces its origins to the slave culture on the island of Madeira.
Anyway, I was a little disappointed upon opening the bottle, as it seemed to be in the process of becoming corked--a spoilage which occurs when mold growing on the cork filters through the wine, leaving a corky taste and smell behind. I think I caught it in the early stages, so the wine was not wholly ruined, but it would be interesting to try a fresh glass and compare.
It was a nice, light- to medium-bodied red wine overall. The color was a transparent, light red, but the aroma was stronger, featuring a fruitiness (that was somewhat clouded by the cork) and backed by a nice oaky smell and taste. The acids were innocuous, and it seemed to have a nice bit of tannin (though, again, some of that may be from the cork). The wine was troublesome at first sip, as I recoiled at the corky hints, but by the second or third sip I failed to even notice it. I don't think I would have been happy paying more than $6 for this wine; but it was, in the end, a red wine, and that was OK.
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