(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 a 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.
(2023) A lovely little wine and very good value at £11.50, this is 100% Encruzado, aged in French oak for four months, but only older barrels are used so the influence is subtle - but successful. A light almond creaminess to nutty, Cox's pippin aromas, flows through to the finish where pristine, white fruit (peach, pear) flavours are braced by a generous orange acidity, hints of the luscious and tropical licked into shape by the acid structure. A bargain.
(2021) A highly unusual white wine made from the black grapes, Syrah and Touriga Franca, and aged six months in French oak. With only 12.5% abv it is feather light and pale straw in colour, a sheennof almond and light buttery toast over pristine peach and line fruit. The palate is crisp, dry, and beautifully refined, the acids keen and sustained through the finish, but the fruit always adding ripeness and juiciness, underpinned by quite delicate oak. No UK retail stockists listed at time of review.
(2021) Ravasquiera suggest good longevity for this top wine, a single vineyard blend of Syrah and Touriga Franca, aged 20 months in new French oak barrels. Deep, deep crimson, the nose is so elegant: there's graphite and a hint of cigar box, refined but ripe black fruit and that little suggestion of florality in the mix. In the mouth it has the intensity and the concentration, but it has such a lovely fruit profile, juicy with blackberries and plums, edged with bittersweet dark chocolate and bolstered elegantly by smooth tannins and a ripple of acidity. A really very, very classy wine. Price and stockist quoted is for the previous vintage at time of review.
(2021) This blends Touriga Nacional with Syrah and spends 12 months in French oak. Another deeply-coloured red, this has a certain lift and elegance aromatically. There's something floral and minty, really aromatic garrigue notes. In the mouth this is soft and seductive. Whilst still bold in the style of this producer, there is something gentle about the black fruit quality here, but it is not jammy. The tannins and acids here are proportionate and give the wine very nice length, some spice and creaminess into the finish.
(2021) Heading away from Portuguese varieties for this bottling, 97% Syrah plus Viognier is a northern Rhône recipe, the wine aged 18 months in French oak. Deep crimson-black in colour, there's a little meatiness here, a little touch of meatstock and umami over black fruit. In the mouth the wine is positively chocolaty, with a great sweetness of dark fruits edged with a raspberry brightness. This is another concetrated wine, but a spine of acidity and really very nice, rich and ripe tannins give a certain sumptuous character. Bold, flavour-packed and quite long, it is a large-scaled wine, but well-balanced. No UK retail stockists listed at time of review.
(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 Seleção 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.