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2011 Joao Portugal Ramos Loios Vinho Tinto 

Alentejo, Portugal

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$9-$10 Retail

Well-regarded wines from the Alentejo DOC (Designation of Origin) region have been at the forefront of growth in Portugal's wine exports. Alentejo is a hot, dry area in eastern Portugal, and vast acres are planted with cork trees. From the region's vineyards, red wines are primarily produced from multiple varieties of native grapes blended with the well-known grapes such as cabernet sauvignon and syrah. This bottling, made from indigenous grapes, is a blend of 35 percent each aragones and trincadeira and 30 percent castelao. The wine was vinified in stainless steel and touched no oak. It offers jammy aromas of berry fruit, and on the palate, one tastes red currants and more ripe, dark berry flavors, smooth tannins, good acidity and a lightly sweet finish. Drink it with grilled meats, red beans and rice, barbecue, fowl, pasta with tomato sauce, stuffed pork chops and sweet potatoes. Buy it at: Pearl Wine Co. and Keife and Co. — BRENDA MAITLAND

Email Brenda Maitland at winediva1@earthlink.net

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