Wine Review: 2011 Herdade do Esporao Reserva, Alentejo, Portugal
This unique blend showcases the broad styles of non- fortified red wines from Portugal that compete for national allegiance with the pedigreed wines from the Douro.
The wines from southern Portugal can certainly hold their own with Douro wines if this example is any indication of the viniferous ability of Alentejo winemakers. It should also be mentioned this particular Alentejo winery Herdade do Esporao dates back to 1267 so 748 harvests later they should know how to make good wine by now. Light on its feet but full-bodied and well-structured the Esporao captivates with its fruit forward flavors. Balanced with snappy acidity in a soft, pleasurable, easy drinking wine, most wine enthusiasts could not, or would not, identify this as a Portuguese wine. As Gomer Pyle used to say, “Surprise, Surprise.”
Aragonez, Trincaderia, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Alicante Boushet are the grapes blended for this unique and rare bottling. An aroma of juicy red fruit, (so ripe it’s falling off the vine) assaults your olfactory receptors; another swirl of the glass reveals baking spices and vanilla to complete the bouquet. The flavors exhibit sweet black fruit and savory herbs creating a balanced complex wine with good density and structure. The long seductively pleasurable finish holds your attention while enticing you into the next sip. I would recommend pairing this wine with Cabrito Assado no Forno com Esparregado e Hortelã (oven roasted kid with spinach purée and mint) a classically prepared Alentejo regional dish.
Rating: Excellent (91) | $25 | 14.5 % ABV