Iconic Alentejo red from the exceptional 2011 vintage "85% red-fleshed Teinturier Alicante Bouschet planted at 230 m on clay soils, plus 15% Trincadeira (aka Tinta Amarela in the Douro). Foot trodden and fermented in lagares, 2-3 years in large wooden vats and then 2-3 years in bottle before release. Inky black cherry. Invitingly warm and spicy on the nose - rich, ripe and generous but still with terrific intensity of Alicante Bouschet`s typical spiced dark fruit with a streak of small wild berries. Deep and smooth on the palate, the tannins still quite thick even though they are smoothed by the time in wood and bottle. The freshness is remarkable given the depth and generosity of the fruit, so that the whole has great balance and length. Much much more to come.
Score: 17.5+ Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, August 20