(2018) One of my all-time favourite wines from Portugal, Mouchão in 2013 is a bit of a stunner. A blend of Alicante Bouschet and Trincadeira, foot trodden, and made in a big, old oak vats, it always strikes me as a cross between Burgundy and the Rhône, with the perfume and soulful character of the former, and spice and juicy structure of the latter - while, of course, being entirely its own wine. A beautiful medley of ripe black berries, sweet earth, subtle spicing and floral touches leads on to a palate that is sumptuous and deep, yet light in both texture and its freshness: an alert, life-force of a wine, the tannins and juicy acids giving lots of attack and tension, and suggesting this will only improve with cellaring, but already giving great pleasure with its core of firm, savoury fruit.
(2018) A wine you won't forget, Amnésia is a blend of Aragonez (Spain's Tempranillo) with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, the sort of Portuguese/French mix that the Alentejo region does rather well. Unoaked, there's a bright blackcurrant and kirsch character on the nose, and the palate presents a straightward but juicy and highly gluggable raft of sweet, dark berry fruit, all balancing nicely into the finish which is smooth and elegant. Very nicely done, super-modern stuff.
(2017) A blend of Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), Castelâo, 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.
(2017) This rosé, or 'Rosado' is made from Touriga Naçional in the Alentejo region, a relatively deeply-coloured pink with perky aromas showing a touch of cherry bubblegum, bright and floral notes and a pleasing hint of tobacco and spice. It's bold and flavourful on the palate too, plenty of summery strawberry and raspberry fruit, a nice undertow of lemon and tart cherry acids, giving it both easy-drinking sweetness and a bit of genuine, food-friendly, spicy savouriness.
(2017) What a lovely white wine this is, crisp with only 12.5% alcohol, it's a blend of the local Arinto and Fernão Pires with Sauvignon Blanc and Marsanne, an unsual mix that brings bright, herbaceous and waxy tones as well as copious zingy fruit. Grapefruit and peach on the palate, shimmering between tropicality and something much more tersely delineated, a long, balanced finish with excellent acidity completes and impressive picture. Watch the video for more information and food-maatching ideas.
(2015) This blend of the native Arinto, Antão Vaz, Roupeiro and 10% Semillon is a fabulous wine for the money, and one I have followed for years. Retailers are stocking both 2013 and 2014 at present, and really either could have made this slot. It's a wine in a broadly Burgundian mould, barrel fermented with a lovely creamy almond and oatmeal character, the 2014 youthful and better in a year, the 2013 perfectly on song with wax and honey notes to the ripe apple and peach, the racy palate carrying through the lemon and gentle butter and wax, finishing clean and fresh.
(2015) 10%Aragonez, now mostly Alicante Bouschet and a touch of Trincadeira. 26k bottles and about to move on to 2008. Big fragrance here, a lovely cherry and incense lift and there is a touch fudge And sweet stewing blackberries. The palate has lovely fruit, with masses of sweet fruit and powerful concentration into a long finish.
(2015) Juicy, dry and appley, with a very distinct clarity and white fruit dryness, a little star fruit and Asian pear freshness but hinting at the tropical, before a really good, fresh, long and gently spicy finish.
(2015) JP Ramos of the Alentejo produce a number of brands appearing under their own name, or bottled and labelled for retailers. Red Leg is one such brand, and this blend of the native Arinto and Antão Vaz with Viognier has an appealing nose of rosy red apple and lime, with a touch of almond and a little herbal nuance too. In the mouth it is quite fresh and zesty, fairly anonymous in some ways, but balanced and highly drinkable.