In a nutshell: A full bodied, concentrated, yet fresh and very drinkable Portugueuse red blend from the central Alentejo region.
The lowdown: The warm and dry region of Alentejo, south and east of Lisbon is, these days, where some of the best value and quality can be found in Portugal. And this meaty number from Herdade de Sao Miguel shows this off well. It's a blend of Touriga Nacional, Alicante Bouschet, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon among others - the exact proportions varying from vintage to vintage - which, after fermentation, is aged in large French oak barrels for 4 months before bottling. The dark fruit is beautifully well defined with notes of cassis jumping out. This sits alongside a nice touch of toasty oak, smooth tannins and with enough crunchy minerality and crispness to give it a good balance and lively character.
When to drink: A generously plump and excellent all rounder this suits lots of food like pasta, lamb, poultry and soft cheeses.
Located in the Rendondo sub region of Alentejo, east of Evora. Alexandre Relvas Jr runs this typically sprawling Alentejano estate, originally established by his father in 1997.
In this warm and dry part of south central Portugal the range of varieties and wines can border on the bewildering, but there is a core of excellent winemaking here, assisted by renowned consultant Luis Duarte.
Out of a total of 175 hectares vines are planted on 35 hectares with nearly 100 hectares of cork oak. On the remainder of the land they breed local Mirandela donkeys and Garrano horses which, in pre-mechanised times, were common in the Alentejo.