Aequinoctium Autumnus 2010 Grande Reserva

Something special for a winter evening

Many of us will have started the year by cutting back on our drinking. I certainly have. But allowing myself just a few drinking days a week has resulted in treating myself to some better wines on the days when I have been indulging. One such treat was this new arrival at Apolónia, costing €29.95 – not cheap by any means, but this is something very special.

The wine is produced by José Cavalheira at his quinta in the Bairrada region where he has so far made a name for himself producing some of Portugal’s best sparkling wines under the Hibernus label.

He is also producing a noble rot late harvest pudding wine named “Fungus” which is not yet available here in the Algarve, but if the quality of everything else I have tried from this producer is anything to go by, I expect it to be one of the very few Portuguese late-harvest wines worth drinking.

This premium red is a very successful blend of Baga with Touriga Nacional and Syrah, each making up around a third of the mix. This 2010 vintage is now well ready for drinking but it is by no means at its peak. A further seven years in the bottle should take care of that. But right now it is showing rich, upfront berry fruit on the nose mingling with subtle barrel notes. Silky and smooth in the mouth, the body is medium to full, showing great elegance and depth of flavour with a long clean finish. Best decanted and left to breathe for two hours before serving.

By Patrich Stuart
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