An excellent Syrah from the Algarve

Algarve wine just keeps getting better and better, and one of the producers who has most impressed with their consistent quality is João Clara, located near Alcantarilha. They produce what is one of my personal favourite Algarve wines, João Clara Negra Mole, made from the local Negra Mole grape which, when treated with enough love and attention, can so easily be mistaken for Pinot Noir.

But this wine is a Syrah, and a Syrah in the style of a good quality Australian Shiraz. The winery first launched a Syrah varietal from the 2014 vintage, but this 2016 is probably their best yet.

On the nose there are the tell-tale peppery Syrah notes mingling with jammy dark berry fruit and a hint of toast from the barrel. Full and flavoursome in the mouth with well-rounded tannins and an elegant finish. This is not a cheap wine, costing around €20 in supermarkets, but correctly priced in comparison to other high-quality Syrah/Shiraz.

By Patrick Stuart
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