Spotlight on Portuguese Dry Wine: Esporao Reserva Red 2005

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With this wine we move into the Alentejo region in southeastern Portugal. Warm and dry, the Alentejo is home to large expanses of loam soils along with smaller parcels of granite and schist, which of course produce more sophisticated wines. The climate is consistently hot, making the average harvest fall, amazingly, sometime in August.

Modern Methods

Esporao, situated in the Reguengos DOC, was started by a football magnate who hired a consulting winemaker from Australia. This is a wine made with modern methods and attention to detail, with hand picking but also temperature controlled ferments, robotic plunging, and inoculation. These methods manifest in the wine as it does lack some character even while being tasty.

Big, With a Hint of Terroir

The wine is big and rich, like the region, with spicy and intense grape skin aromas and licorice. A bold wine, but with good length and despite the neutrality of the wine there is grape and terroir character here. It’s particular and unique without being extraordinary. But it is unmistakably Portuguese. These wines have a uniqueness to them that proves their grapes and terroir (the indigenous grapes Aragonês, Trincadeira, and Alicante Bouschet show through, but given the reasonable percentage of Cab Sauv, the terroir clearly has enough potency to prevent that dominant grape from overwhelming place) are worth noticing. But, at the same time these are not wines for everyone, even when they are well made.

I like this wine and many who enjoy bigger red wines with proper structure and acid will too. I can happily recommend it.

Very Good
$36 at everything wine

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