After my earlier downbeat post, I didn't have to wait too long to get positive. The wine in question? Preta, the big brother of Sexy, reported on yesterday. It's an impressive high-end Alentejo wine, up there with the best - in fact, in style it reminded me a bit of Malhadinha Nova.
Preta 2004 Alentejo
A blend of 52% Touriga Nacional with 48% Cabernet Sauvignon from Bencatel and Fronteira, in the northern Alentejo. Crop thinning, hand picking and lots of selection. Spontaneous indigenous fermentation followed by post-ferment maceration of over 20 days. Aged in new French (85%) and Portuguese (15%) barrels for 12 months. 6000 bottles produced; Portuguese retail is 23 Euros. This wine has a fantastic, perfumed nose of sweet, ripe, pure raspeberry and blackberry fruit, with the richness countered nicely by a lively, fresh spiciness. The palate is sweetly fruited, but again there's a lovely counterbalancing spiciness, and despite the richness, concentration and alcohol (14.5%) the wine stays fresh and lively in the mouth. Hiding behind all this fruit is a delicious savoury, slightly medicinal sort of complexity, which makes it taste Portuguese rather than just simply fruity and new world in style. Finishes quite tannic. A really super effort. Vey good/excellent 93/100 (I think this will be available in the UK from Thameside Wines, who have simply the best selection of Portuguese wines - it's not on their website yet, though.)