The first one is a Terra Lenta Premium 2018 from the Alentejano region in Portugal. It is a blend of Trincanderia, Aragonez and one of my favourite blenders Alicante Bouschet.
On the nose concentrated black cherry with some blackberry and blueberry. There is a bit of red plum and the tiniest bit of cinnamon. Not a great amount of tannin in this wine and a long slow burn of a finish. Dare I say peppery? Mostly black cherry, licorice and a hint of chocolate.
As with most Portuguese reds this is best with food and I am thinking of a traditional Douro duck casserole although this would pair well with roasted pork, those incredible Portuguese roast potatoes and shredded cooked cabbage. Not having been invited to a media tour of the Alentejano which means lots of food with wine I am not sure what local dishes would suit the wine. That is part of a good wine media tour and that’s local food on the Quinta where the grapes are grown and food offered is usually prepared by a group of local ladies that are feeding both you and the field workers. Save the fancy restaurants for the evening in town unless of course you are visiting a commercialized winery with its own restaurant. I fear the local ladies may disappear one day like manual foot crushing of wine. Progress?
I would say no benefit in ageing although it will happily sit in the bottle for a couple more years.
A good wine and for the price it shows Portugal can produce quality wines for Canadian pensioners.
(Terra Lenta Premium Alentejo 2018 DOC, Carmim, Reguengos, Portugal, $13.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 646083, 750 mL, 14.5%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating, 89/100).
Again we turn to Alentejano for an Album Reserva Red 2018. This is a blend which includes for the first time I have seen in a Portuguese wine some Petit Verdot. There is also some Syrah, Alicante Bouschet and Aragonez.
On the nose black cherry, blueberry, blackberry and fig jam. On the palate moderate tannins with blackberry jam, blueberry pie, cooked rhubarb with a long finish. Give me some rare ox filet in Portugal or a rib steak or prime rib. Great with food but also by the glass without any food or with some nibbles like mushroom paté. The wine was aged in French oak but skillfully so and certainly not new oak. The price point is eminently reasonable.
(Album Reserva Red 2018, Vinho Regional Alentejano, Lua Cheia, Portugal, $19.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 477711, 750 mL, 14%, Robert K. Stephen A little Birdie Told Me So Rating 92/100).