I can’t recall encountering a Portuguese dud in 2022. And the best wine so far is not from the Douro but from Beira Interior. Alentejano wines are proving to be solid wines at more than reasonable prices. We try a 2019 Coutada Velha Signature 2019 which is a Vinho Regional Alentejano.
There is some Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend as well as Aragonez and Trincadeira. It has been aged 8 months in French oak.
As for aromatics a good deal of blackberry, blueberry jam and black cherry. Minor notes of root beer and blueberry pie. The nose is assertive.
On the palate there is no doubt you are staring a full-bodied wine in the eyeballs. Fresh picked blueberries, dark chocolate and some black licorice. There are moderate tannins to a wine that verges on the descriptive term of “juicy”. I sense a straight at you wine with no intricacies hiding in its fold. I think this wine might cruise into 2025 and improve slightly on its journey. A prime example of a judicious use of oak that nurtures and does not overpower a wine. The label states that meat and game are good matches which makes sense but says “oven fish dishes” would also be good food pairings. With red wine and fish one has to be careful as too tannic a wine ruins both the dish and the wine. So I will say try with a Bachalau which has more ingredients than “pure fish”. And with over 300 recipes for that Portuguese “national dish” many will suit the wine particularly if tomatoes and black olives are in it!
(Coutada Velha Signature 2019, Vinho Regional Alentejano, S.A. Diniz Arraiolos, Portugal, $15.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 11152, 750 mL, 13.5%, Robert K. Stephen A Little Birdie Told Me So Rating 90.5/100)