João Clara Syrah 2014

I’m on a bit of a roll here writing about Algarve wines for the fourth week on the trot.

So here I am again with a wine that is good enough to convert anyone who still has any doubts about the quality of wine produced in the region.

João Clara wines won my heart a few years ago when they launched their 2011 varietal from the local Negra Mole grape – the first example of a wine made from this once-humble variety to prove that, when treated with the respect it deserves. It can produce wines very similar in style to a nice Pinot Noir.

More recently, they launched their 2014 vintages of the Negra Mole and Syrah varietals. The Negra Mole is every bit as good as it was. Look out for it with the same black label as sported on the bottle shown here.

And Syrah is equally impressive. A tiny production of just 800 bottles, it is not easy to find but should be making its way to the shelves of Apolónia some time soon with an expected retail price of around €20.

Of all the foreign grape varieties that have been planted here in the Algarve, Syrah has been the most successful with excellent varietals having been produced over recent years from leading producers in the region such as Quinta dos Vales and Adega do Cantor.

But what we have here is something quite different; a Syrah that reminds me of a high quality Aussie Shiraz with intense upfront fruit on the nose, medium to full bodied with silky smooth tannins and a juicy texture in the mouth. All in all, a perfect match for a nice medium rare steak.

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