If there is one winemaking region in Portugal that I, as a consumer, tend to avoid when buying wine, it is the Alentejo.
This, however, is not about what the region is in essence but rather what the recent wave of producers over the last few decades have made it.
There was a movement in the Alentejo to produce new world-style wines, especially the reds that are often very full bodied with too much fruit for my liking and usually a slight sweetness.
All this said, I have always appreciated the wines of traditional Alentejo winemakers, the likes of Mouchão, Cartuxa and Quinta do Mouro, from whence this wine comes.
Quinta do Mouro’s main label red is for their premium wine, costing around €30 and very highly rated.
This wine, Zagalos, which is named after the wealthy Alentejo family that owned the estate and manor house over centuries past, is their mid-range label, priced at €14.95 (Apolónia) for the 2017 Reserva red.
This is a subtle and elegant wine which, being from the 2017 vintage (a good year for all of Portugal), has already benefited from a few years of bottle ageing.
The wine displays gentle berry fruit and spicy notes on the nose, is medium bodied in the mouth, with well-rounded tannins leading to a nice dry finish. A lovely red that represents good value for money.