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2011 Monte Velho Red Blend 

Alentejo, Portugal

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$10-$11 Retail

This blend of Portuguese regional varietals not well-known to American wine drinkers comes from Esporao Estate Vineyards. Aragones — the same as Spanish tempranillo — adds dried cherry fruit flavors. Trincadeira, which is frequently used in port, offers body, color and herbal undertones, and castelao provides structure to the blend. The wine is fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and aged for six months in a combination of stainless steel and American oak prior to blending. The aromatic wine exhibits wild berries, spicy oak and dried herbs in its bouquet. On the palate, taste black and red cherry, plum, jammy red currants, cranberry, supple tannins and good acidity. Decant 30 minutes before serving for best flavor. Drink it with tapas, pasta dishes, chicken, pork, duck, chevre and charcuterie. Buy it at: Martin Wine Cellars, Terranova Brothers Superette and Whole Foods Markets. Drink it at: Cochon and St. James Cheese Co.


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