22/02/2015 – J.P Ramos, Smart Dog Syrah 2013

J.P Ramos, Smart Dog Syrah 2013, Portugal
Portugal has made enormous strides as a wine producing nation in recent decades, and the wonderful array of indigenous grapes offers something truly different. Yet despite that, and some solid inroads being made into the UK market thanks to coordinated action by the country’s producers, it seems the wines are still a little anonymous and few and far between on the shelves – certainly compared to their neighbours in Spain, or in Italy or France. One tool for unlocking the UK wine scene could be to establish really strong Portuguese brands, and this is a great example of that: a fun and distinctive package, but behind it a thoroughly modern Portuguese wine of excellent quality. A little Trincadeira joins the Syrah in this Alentejo red, which burst with a floral-scented, cherry-bright fragrance, and delivers a satisfyingly juicy, smooth and mouth-filling palate of cocoa-dusted berries. A solidly commercial but beautifully crafted Syrah, watch the video for much more information and food-matching suggestions. 87/100. £7.99, House of Townend