I happen to love great value wines, and love a lot of Portuguese wines, reds in particular. The Portugese have all the right attributes for making terrific wine - they have a rich history of viticulture and some of the finest native varieties out there. Commercially their varieties are relatively unknown which means the average consumer has difficulty with the wines because they are far more comfortable with things like Chardonnay or Merlot. Anyway I digress - I'm planning to post more on what I think Vini Portugal and the producers in the country need to do to take a greater part in the global wine argument.
The wine I'm drinking tonight is the basic wine from Herdade San Miguel called Ciconia (which is taken from the latin for Stork, which nest all over the region) from the Alentejano towards the southern end of Portugal. Made from a blend of Touriga Nacional, Syrah and Arragonez (Spain's Tempranillo) and costing somewhere around £7.50 a bottle it is really delicious.
A nose of raspberry ripple ice cream, with some nice spicy notes, very smooth in the mouth with great freshness but not astringent in the slightest. Medium to full bodied there is a nice degree of complexity for a wine that costs so little and for me it shows the extra warmth that Portugal has over France for instance with some real richness in the fruit character but is definately not as hot as Australia in that the fruit is much fresher but you get the point - for me that is what I love Portugal for - there is more guts to the wines that a lot of Northern Europe but they are more refined and have greater finesse than a lot of Australia. 89 Points.