(2023) An organic certified wine from granite and schist soils in the Alentejo, a big blend of Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez (Teempranillo), Syrah, Trincadeira, Cabernet Sauvignon and Touriga Franc. Having fermented each variety separately, the blend is aged 12 months in American (60%) and French (40%) oak barrels. A lovely nose, so fragrant with wild strawberry and black cherry notes, a potpourri of spicy, floral overtones and a creamy underlay of oak. In the mouth it combines sweet, ripe and glossy fruit with a bit of solid structure. There's an intensity here, a bittersweet concentration that dries the mouth with extract, tannin and acidity. This should soften over five or six years in the cellar, or match it to aÂ steak or something from the char grill now.
(2023) A new wine from the respected house of Cartuxa, this is an unoaked blend of typical Alentejo varieties Aragonez (Tempranillo), Trincadeira and the red-fleshed Alicante Bouschet, along with Syrah. The wine is a medium to dark and quite vivid crimson. The nose is really attractive: vinous, so fresh and grapey but plummy too, more of a red fruit character than black, with a nice floral lift. Super sweet and ripe, creamy and mouth-coating as it hits the palate, the tannins are very fine and soft so this is a real pizza or barbecue glugger, but the pert acidity and touch of peppery spice does enough to also keep it fresh. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) I always think of Touriga Franca adding fragrance to the wines of the Douro valley, and here in the Alentejo that is the case too. From clay and limestone soils, it spent 18 months in French oak. Very saturated deep crimson, there are kirsch-like and violet lifted perfumes here, over a core of darker fruit and polished oak. In the mouth the sweet edge to the fruit is lovely, and acidity adds a keen edge to give energy. Medium-bodied, there's a little more flesh on the mid-palate, cherries and black plums, and a dry, sandy tannin finish that nevertheless is elegant. No UK retail listing at time of review.
(2021) The SeleÃ§Ã£o de Ano - "Selection of the Year" wines are small batches made as one offs when fruit and conditions are right. This spent 12 months in French oak and only 3,600 bottles were produced. Made from the red-fleshed Alicante Bouschet variety its a striking vibrant crimson in colour and offers vinous aromas of cherry and vine fruits, a darker charry tone beneath. In the mouth it is quite a strident, concentrated wine. There's plenty of liquoricy bite to this, firm in terms of tannins and acidity, and quite a big mouthful that needs the barbie fired up perhaps. No UK stockist listed at time of review.
(2019) Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouschet and Aragonez. Perfumed and quite leafy, a vegetal hint to floral and cherry. Deeper and meatier than the Sossego Tinto, a liquorice twist of bittersweet tannin, acid and dark fruit.
(2017) A blend of Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), CastelÃ¢o, Syrah and Alicant Bouschet, this is dark in colour and aroma with damson plum and blueberry, a touch of chocolate, and a touch of Indian ink. In the mouth it is smooth, silky and offers a deep pool of glossy black fruit. There's a nice inky dryness from the Alicante Bouschet, and good levels of acidity and creamy tannin. It's just grippy and rustic enough in the finish to nicely offset that suave character.
(2015) Significantly cleaner than the 2003, with some currant and cherry and some herb and cedar notes coming through. The palate has a drying but balanced character, and very nice harmony with enough juiciness and fresh red fruit aromas. Long and the most complete wine so far.