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The wines of Casa Santos Lima, Estremadura, Portugal
Companhia das Vinhas de San Domingos
Quinta da Boavista, 2580-081
Adega Galega de Merceana
Tel/Fax: +351 263 760 621

Casa Santos Lima is located some 40 km north of Lisbon near the town of Torres Vedras. It's a big operation: the estate covers 280 ha, with 160 ha of vineyards, some not yet in production, and more than half of the vines here have been planted since 1990. Indeed, the first bottled wines from this estate were launched as recently as 1996. Current production levels are roughly 1 million bottles per year.

I'm enthusiastic about these wines. They are clearly made in a modern, extracted style, with long maceration and some ageing in new barriques (Portuguese oak is used here), yet they haven't lost their Portuguese roots. Perhaps most importantly, they offer very good value for money. And at the top end, some of the wines are really first-rate. My only criticism would be that some of the wines do taste a tiny bit overextracted, and lack a little finesse.

Quinta da Espiga Branco 2000 Vinho Regional Estremadura

A blend of local varieties, plus a little Sauvignon Blanc. Nice fresh, lemony nose. Palate is fresh and crisp with lemony fruit and good concentration. Modern but good. Very good

Pahla-Canas Branco 2000 Vinho Regional Estremadura
Modern, herby nose with a real freshness to it. Fruity, rounded palate shows good concentration and balance, with a touch of spice on the finish. Very good

FerŮao Pires 2000 Vinho Regional Estremadura
Nice nutty, herby nose with some attractive citrus elements. Ripe, modern, spicy, nutty palate is fresh and full. Very good+

Pahla-Canas Tinto 2000 Vinho Regional Estremadura
A blend of Periquita/Camarate and Tinta Roriz, with a little bit of Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional. A deep coloured wine with a nice smoky nose showing some herby notes. Lovely rich, toasty note to the ripe fruit on the palate. Very good+ (Sainsbury's £4.79)

Quinta das Setencostas 2000 Alenquer DOC
A blend of Periquita, Camarate, Tinta Miuda and Preto Martinho. An attractive everyday sort of wine, with a cherry/herby nose. Medium density with bright fruit on the palate, a nice smoky edge and good acidity. Very good (Stocked in Oddbins, c. £5)

Touriga Nacional 2000 Vinho Regional Estremadura
6 year old vines. Bright purple colour. Nice smoky/toasty notes to the nose, which shows rich, ripe fruit. Good density of mouthfilling berry fruit on the palate with a spicy edge and firm tannins. A chunky style; quite modern. Very good

Tinta Roriz 2000 Vinho Regional Estremadura
6 year old vines. Lovely deep, dense purple colour. There's a big blast of ripe fruit on the nose, which has a smoky edge. Firm rich palate with a roasted coffee character and a big tannic kick. Impressive concentration. Very good+

Touriga Franca 2000 Vinho Regional Estremadura
Opaque purple/black colour. Quite shy on the nose. Concentrated, tannic palate with a chalky edge, showing ripe fruit and spice. A big wine. Very good

Touriz 2000 Vinho Regional Estremadura
The estate's flagship red wine, this is a blend of 40% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinta Roriz and 30% Touriga Franca. Bold stuff, this is a bright red/purple colour. The nose is a bit shy, but the palate shows spicy, chalky, leafy fruit with a bit of roast coffee character. A tasty wine with good concentration and density; currently quite firm but with the potential for development. Very good/excellent

Syrah 2000 Vinho Regional Estremadura (cask sample)
2.5 ha of vines, 6 years old. Opaque purple/black colour with a lovely sweet, rich nose of herby fruit. Rich spicy palate is very fruity, with high acidity. Concentrated and tannic with a nice toasty oak edge, and firm acidity. Very good/excellent

Castel„o 2000 Vinho Regional Estremadura (cask sample)
Another inky, concentrated red wine, showing lovely juicy red fruit character and firm tannins. Very good+

Alicante Bouschet 2000 Vinho Regional Estremadura (cask sample)
Alicante is a 'teinturier' grape (with red flesh as well as red skins), and this example is an amazingly opaque purple colour. The nose is sweet and slightly spicy, leading to a dense, concentrated palate with rich, juicy fruit and high acidity. Very good+

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