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The wines of  Quinta da Alorna, Ribatejo, Portugal

UK agents: Laymont & Shaw (tel. 01872 27 05 45; info@laymont-shaw.co.uk)

Quinta da Alorna is a large 3000 hectare estate in Portugalís Ribatejo region. Family owned, this was primarily an agricultural estate that did a bit of wine on the side, but fairly recently they decided to focus more on wine, and now have an impressive 280 ha of vines. These are planted on sandy soils, and there is no irrigation, with yields of about 6 tonnes per hectare.

The wines themselves are very impressive in a fruit-forward, almost new-world style. If this is your thing, then they come very highly recommended and offer good value for money. The Ribatejo seems to emerging as a really good source of well made, modern-styled Portuguese reds at attractive prices.

QA Castel„o 2000 Ribatejo
Nice clean cherry fruit on the nose with some lifted spicy notes. The palate displays firm berry fruit with some sweetness and chocolatey richness. Spicy finish. This is a very rich wine. Brilliant commercial winemaking. Very good/excellent (Folio Wines, Adnams £6.95)

QA Casa da Alorna Colheita Seleccionada 2000 Ribatejo
A blend of Trincadeira, Tinta Miuda and Castel„o. Lovely berry fruit nose with a spicy richness. Richly fruited, spicy, chunky palate. This has a lovely texture and is very modern and boldly fruited. Cherryish finish. Still distinctly Portuguese. Very good/excellent (£6.95 Selfridges, Lay & Wheeler, Villeneuve, Christopher Piper)

QA Trincadeira 2000, Ribatejo
Deep coloured. Very forward nose of deep, rich blackcurrant and berry fruit with a spicy oak edge. The palate is very rich and fruity with a rich oaky edge (from 6 months in American oak barrels). Very concentrated and modern, in an Australian style. Very good/excellent (£6.95)

QA Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 Ribatejo
Aged in French oak. Lovely rich tarry blackcurrant fruit on the nose, which is forward and modern. Chunky, very Australian-style palate with good density of berry fruit and attractive spiciness from the oak, which is less pronounced than in the Trincadeira. Delicious. Very good/excellent (£6.95)

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