Marques de Montemor, 2009

So… it has been a big chunk of time since an update, and I’m backlogged by about 20 wines. These tasting notes just have to be shared in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, then I can forgive myself.

A quick one for what’s finally seeming like fall weather! Now that it’s getting cold again, the 99% need an affordable, rich red to quaff in their modest dwellings. As one of the more modest among us, I have a recommendation: Portugal. Wines from this tiny nation remain among the best values around, and there are so many grape varietals to choose from, you’ll rarely go wrong even below the $10 price point – if you know where to look. The region Alentejo in particular, where the subject of today’s post is made, produces extroverted “New World” style wines with big fruit and ripe textures.

The 2009 Marques de Montemor is comprised primarily of Aragonez (better known as Tempranillo in Spain), but also has some juice from another favorite Portuguese red grape, Touriga Nacional, and a grape I’d never heard of before: Trincadeira. To the point: when poured, it is pale brick red in the glass, bursting with ripe aromas of strawberry and cherry. Some loam or dry leafy notes in there as well. Very approachable, with a velvety mouthfeel and a medium finish. Totally unoaked, and reasonably balanced, with enough acidity to keep the fruit bright. Pair this fine example of Portuguese wine with burgers, or pork chops and roasted vegetables. $10.

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