Price is not determinative when it comes to quality of a wine. I had a buddy over for dinner last Saturday. He was happily ebullient over a $90 Pinot Noir from Prince Edward County in Ontario. Knowing that I write about wine and have made several recommendations to him for wine purchases he looked at me with plaintive eyes saying how awesome the wine was. Being polite I nodded and said good stuff and it was good but far from a $90 bottle of wine. I tried it again the following day and my opinion had not waivered. At $90 I thought the poor fellow had been taken advantage of. I have had many superior Pinot Noirs from British Columbia at a third of that price.
So I remember this incident upon trying a “lowly” $12.95 Portuguese wine from the Lisboa region called S. Sebastião a red blend of Syrah and Tinta Roriz.
On the nose with persistent and forceful blackberry, black cherry, cactus pear and milk chocolate. On the palate huge ghost of a blueberry pie slice reigns supreme. Immediately accessible and tasty. Not much of a finish. The wine would make a good sipper and pair with a multitude of foods. May I suggest Pasta a La Norma to take advantage of local eggplant in good supply until the end of October. Field tomatoes may last a couple more weeks. If you are having a prime rib roast on New Year’s Day this may be your wine. Best consume by the end of 2022.
(S. Sebastião, Vinho Regional Lisboa 2019, Multiwines, Portugal, $12.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 632869, 750 mL, 13.5%, RKS Wine Rating 89/100).