Premium without the price tag
Producing close to one million bottles of wine per year, the Fiuza winery located in the Tejo region, just inland from Lisbon, has long been known for its varietals made from foreign grapes. The Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay were among the first Portuguese varietals made from the two big name white grapes.
It is also well known as a label that can be counted on for value for money. They do not produce great wines but, considering the volume of production, they do maintain high standards, producing reliable quaffable wines that mostly cost around €5 in supermarkets.
At the top of the range, they have their “Ikon” label in red and white costing around €17 (which I have yet to try) and, in the middle, they have the strangely named premium range. Now, considering that the wine is labelled as “Premium”, we would expect it to be their first wine (i.e. the most expensive), but, in fact, it only costs around €8. But then I suppose labelling it as mid-range would not have been so appealing to consumers.
Anyway, whatever it says on the label, this is a very well-made wine that, as can only be expected from Fiuza, represents good value for money.
It is made exclusively from the red fleshed Alicante Bouschet grape, aged in new French and American oak for eight months followed by 18 months of bottle-ageing prior to release.
The 2016 currently on the market is ready for drinking but will still benefit from a few more years in the bottle. Deep purple in colour, there are toasty oak notes on the nose along with plums and spicy pepper, full bodied and rich in the mouth with a nice freshness and hints of chocolate and mint. All in all, a great wine for the money, ideal to enjoy with a hearty lamb dish or a nice steak as the nights grow cooler.