Alentejo is Portugal’s preeminent wine region in terms of domestic consumption and produces the bulk of wine drunk in the domestic market of Portugal as well as producing half of the world’s corks. Winemaker Antonio Maçanita worked all over the world as a young man: at d’Arenberg in Australia, Château Lynch-Bages in Bordeaux, Rudd Estate in Napa, among others, before returning to his home country of Portugal. His mother was from Alentejo and his father from the Azores, but he grew up in Lisbon. Now in his forties he has two decades of winemaking experience and makes highly acclaimed wines all over the country: Douro, the Azores and Alentejo. He has a sizable estate but also works with talented growers and has control over the farming of every grape that goes into his wines. Sustainable agriculture of only indigenous grapes, native yeast fermentations, gentle, gravity-fed movement of the wines, minimal intervention in the winery and very subtle use of new oak makes wines that give a very clear picture of the region. This blend of 50% Aragonez (Tempranillo), 30% Touriga National and 20% Alicante Bouschet is a very traditional blend for the region. Spice, tobacco and violets, warm plum, strawberry and blackberry, with a lovely menthol and tarragon note. The medium tannins and fresh acidity balance out Alentejo’s naturally high alcohol levels. The hedonistic fruit, complexity and length are very rare at this price point! With this red it is more important than with most to put your bottle in the fridge for 45 minutes to an hour to try to achieve a serving temperature of 60 degrees. Serve with any red meat or strongly flavored dish.