By James Johnson [email protected]
Whilst the Algarve Resident’s usual wine columnist Patrick Stuart is away for a couple of weeks, James Johnson will be putting forward a few offerings to keep the column going
Lenda de Dona Maria, or The Legend of Dona Maria. No space to relate the legend here but really worth while is finding out for yourself with a visit to the magnificent eponymous Quinta, otherwise known as Quinta do Carmo (confusingly the family owners of the estate parted company with the label of that name and it now belongs to the Bacalhoa group).
The quite beautiful and historic house and the adjoining winery, on the outskirts of the Alentejo town of Estremoz, belong to the Bastos family. Julio Bastos of the current generation makes a really excellent range of wines starting with the Lenda label.
This wine is priced at a very modest €5 and is an excellent example of what the Alentejo can produce at that price.
It is chock full of red berry and blackberry flavours with rounded and discrete tannins in the background, and the alcohol is a modest 13.5º.
I am quite certain you will enjoy this wine, either by itself or with lighter meat dishes, and it might also encourage you to lash out a bit more and try their quite splendid more upmarket labels Amantis and Dona Maria, not only in red wines but white, rosé and some varietals as well … a really classy range.