A midsummer night’s delight
The Reynolds family has been involved in wine production since 1850 when Robert Reynolds came to the Alentejo to start a cork business but, at the same time, became involved in viticulture.
Today, Julian Reynolds is a sixth-generation Reynolds family member with a prestigious winery in São Mamede, north-east of Portalegre. He is now assisted by seventh-generation son Carlos.
Julian made the trip from the northern Alentejo last week to attend a Midsummer Night’s Gourmet Dinner at Restaurant Florian (Almancil) in order to present his superb wines to the Algarve Wine Society.
Entry-level wines are labelled “Carlos Reynolds” and the evening started with a Carlos Reynolds Rosé accompanying an excellent selection of amuse bouche from Chef Piet Warink.
Carlos Reynolds White followed, paired with a fusion-style crab cake, then next level Julian Reynolds White, a single varietal Arinto, with tuna tartar.
Homemade pastrami, for which Piet is famous, followed with Julian Reynolds Red 2016.
Then came the serious wine tasting and the wines of which Julian is most proud. A superb Julian Reynolds Grande Reserva 2013 (Wines of Portugal Gold award-winner with a Robert Parker rating of 91), a blend of Alicante Bouschet, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Gloria Reynolds Art and Tradition 2011 (bearing Julian’s mother’s name and Robert Parker 94), a 50/50 blend of Alicante Bouschet and Trincadeira. This wine is only produced in years of an exceptional harvest and, along with its sister wine, Gloria Cathedral, is much sought after in fashionable Lisbon restaurants.
Julian was able to proudly tell Society members that it was his family that introduced Alicante Bouschet grape to Portugal many years ago.
These delicious wines were tasted with a tournedo of beef and green asparagus.
Finally, the evening under the stars ended with Julian’s grandfather’s Robert Reynolds Vinho Licoroso with a caramelised baked cheesecake and homemade blueberry ice cream. A wonderful combination.
It was an excellent evening attended by true wine and food lovers. The Society was delighted that the charismatic and entertaining Julian Reynolds was able to attend and personally introduce the wines of which he is fittingly proud.
The winery recently won the 2021 Grandes Escolhas Wine Magazine 2021 award for the Most Singular Winery of the Year. A fitting tribute to a great winery and an exceptional winemaker.
By Gaynor Stapleton