8 Great Wines of Portugal's Alentejo

Discovering Portguese reds


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8 Great Wines of Portugal's Alentejo 2007 Monte da Cal Alentejo 13.5%, $10
A very direct note of sweet, toasty oak almost wrapped in sweet black fruit; but this is just a spice rack on the nose with nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and dried ginger galore. There is a nice bed of black raspberry fruit lurking under the surface. With air, the spice does dissipate revealing more fruit with an attractive leathery edge.  In the mouth, this is a bit stiff with vibrant acids and some imposing wood tannins framing the minerally, tense, almost hard fruit. This is oakier than I generally enjoy but the fruit shows remarkable energy, all things considered. There’s a lot of spicy toasty oak on the back end as well, but the fruit remains there just under the surface. Medium-bodied with a traditional feel and modern flavors, a good wine to try if you like Bordeaux. At this price, a ridiculous value. 89pts

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