It’s no secret that Portugal produces great table wines. However, it is still good news that it also continues to roll out good, affordable everyday wines, especially from the Douro Valley and Alentejo, both very warm regions.
Seven of these Portuguese wines are noted below. To complete The Dozen, included are some quite nice wines from Sonoma County and the Rhone Valley.
2018 Quinta do Crasto Douro White Wine ($20). Mellow apples and quince, a touch of stony minerality, and a lightly tangy finish.
2020 Relvas “Saõ Miguel” Alentejano Rosé ($15). Light in body and acidity, but with pleasant honeyed flavors.
2018 Cartuxa “EA” Alentejano Red Wine ($9). I think this wine will either be loved or not well received by most folks – it’s that kind of edgy drinking—red fruits, a little spicy, with bitter tannins in the finish.
2019 Borba “Premium” Alentejo Red Wine ($15). Nicely done and lively red with fresh raspberry juiciness and a mellow finish.
2018 Carmim “Monsaraz” Alentejo Reserva ($16). Lots of herbal notes with almost tangy cherries and blueberries in the finish.
2016 Quinta do Crasto “Superior” Douro Red Wine ($25). Good fruitiness and green-edged savory notes should bring smiles to a lover of traditional Cabernets.
2016 Quinta do Crasto “Vinhas Velas” Douro Red Wine ($40). An old smoothie – mellow cherry fruitiness with good acidity and moderate tannins.
And now on to part deux:
2018 Chalk Hill Chardonnay ($33). Well-structured and quite refined, but perhaps a little too light on flavors.
2019 Domaine de Beaurenard Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc ($60). A lean but full Châteauneuf with Burgundy-like leanness to go along with its Rhone flavors of fresh herbs and exotic fruits. A great food wine.
2018 Chalk Hill “Felta” Chalk Hill Chardonnay ($75), Very juicy, very lively, and with a good mouthfeel. Lots of apples and with light oak.
2018 Domaine de Beaurenard Rasteau ($28). A lovely wine with mature fruitiness of Bing cherries and some prunes, all wrapped in a savory embrace with lots of dusty tannins.
2019 Sosie “Rossi Ranch” Sonoma Valley Red Blend ($43). Fairly light and mellow with lots of fresh cherries.
Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com. As more wineries are now shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.