November 12, 2018

We’re on an Alentejo roll, prompted this week by a gift of wine that we really enjoyed. Featuring the native Moreto grape, the Granja-Amareleja 2016 tinto seduced us with its rich berries and perfumed aromas. The adega at Granja-Mou is now on our list to visit, as it houses a museum that takes a deep dive into the history of winemaking in the Alentejo.

In the meantime, we popped open the Premium blend to have with chicken stuffed with a mix of Parmesan, turnip greens, and breadcrumbs–deeply satisfying, as we also found the wine. The nose of blackberry confiture and leather balanced the palate with a hint of cassis and game meats. Produced from small lots, this tinto is one we’ll seek out again.

Vintage & Producer: 2016 Cooperativa Agrícola de Granja

From: DOC Alentejo

Style: Rich, layered, medium-bodied red

Varieties: Moreto, Aragonez, Trincadeiro, and Alfrocheiro

Price: €18 retail; up to 50% discount at some stores

November 5, 2018

As the evenings get cooler, we turn back to some favorites on the richer end of the spectrum, like the hearty reds from Alentejo. We’ve been fortunate to find the range of Piteira wines on sale at Continente from time to time, and a couple of weeks ago, we scored again. From Encostas do Alqueva’s relationship with Amareleza, the Piteira DOC wines showcase the traditional grapes of the Alentejo; in this case, the Aragonez, Trincadeiro, Alfrocheiro, and Alicante Bouschet–an international variety that sees good expression in the heart of Portugal.

The deep violet Premium tinto from 2017 shows depth for its youth, and its past presence as a award winner. With black currants on the nose, and a taste of almond cake and blackberry confiture on the palate, this smooth, fruity wine goes with a beef roast, or other meaty dish and potatoes.

Vintage & Producer: 2017 Amareleza Vinhos, Ltd.

From: DOC Alentejo

Style: Rich, fruity red

Varieties: Aragonez, Trincadeiro, Alfrocheiro, and Alicante Bouschet

Price: €4, on sale at Continente (regularly around €7)