I was in Porto at the end of February for Wine and Travel Week. Then after three days it was off to the Azores. I have never been to the Azores so I do not regret my decision. I had the choice of several wine regions Alentejo being one of them but I have visited that area years before I had a keen interest in wine. Perhaps next year if I am invited to Wine and Travel Week again. While there is much red wine in Alentejo there was virtually none in the Azores. In fact I tried two red wines one from the Pico Island Co-op which was anemic and another bought in demijohns from a neighbour of our host. While it was not eyepopping the wine made from Isabella grapes was the perfect match for a local fish soup.
So we try a 2019 Portas da Herdade from Alentejo. It is a Vinho Regional Alentejano and is a blend of Syrah, Tricandeira and Touriga Nacional.
Aroma: Blueberry, black cherry, raspberry and a hint of rhubarb.
Palate: The wine presents a stiff upper lip perhaps protesting it is a bit young to drink needing some time to flesh out. It is taut as it slumbers in the bottle. You have all the fruits you detect in the aroma but they simply aren’t coming out right now. My motto is rate what is in the glass now but I have a small window of awarding points for potential which I will give this wine. I’ll say it is a cellar dweller.
Personality: I will be the belle of the ball at my coming out party but at that time there will be many eyes on me saying how ravishing I look.
Food match: The wine would be happy to rumble with some steak Florentine and when it matures with some duck breast.
Cellarbility: Wait until 2024 to open and watch it improve and hold until 2029.
Price: $21.95 (Ontario).
RKS 2023 Wine Rating: 90/100. Roger Voss 92.
(Portas da Herdade Reserva 2019, Vinho Regional Alentejano. Comphania das Quintas, Portugal, 750 mL, 14.5%, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 44418).