Dom Rafael, Mouchao, DOC Alentejo, Portugal, 2010
The Alentejo is in southern Portugal stretching from the Tagus estuary on the Atlantic coast to the Spanish border in the east. A continental climate with cold winters and hot summers. The land is gently undulating at about 500m altitude, which gives a diurnal range helping to retain acidity. The soils in the north are granitic, clay and limestone to the south, and schist and clay between.
This wine is a blend of aragonez (aka tempranillo), trincadeira and alicante bouschet (a teinturier variety, adding colour) widely available, about £12.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity ruby, showing tears.
Nose: clean on the nose, with medium (+) intensity, developing with aromas, in order, of vanilla, sweet black cherry and blackberry, liquorice and savoury hints.
Palate: a dry wine with high acidity, medium (+) grainy tannins, medium (+) alcohol and medium (+) body), of medium intensity, with flavours of lifted ripe red cherry, blackberry, liquorice, and a woody note. A long length with a clean slightly bitter finish.
Quality: a good quality wine, with balanced acidity and alcohol, levels of which are harmonious with the intensity and modest concentration of flavour. Showing some signs of tertiary development with liquorice and savoury hints. This wine will cellar and improve for 2-3 years.