The one question I get most often is “Can you recommend a great red for under $15?” and the difficultly I have in answering is through no fault of serious testing. On a normal Tuesday night, I’m not sipping a Barolo or an aged Bordeaux, but usually looking for something pleasing to go with casual fare that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. The problem with most wine in this price range is that they’re either too sweet and extracted with plenty of fruit all at once and nothing else (hello New World) or too grungy and rustic (hello Old World). But once in a while there comes a wine that brings the sublime mixture of fruit, acidity, long finish and price that immediately has you say “I’ll take a case.” This is that wine.
As is usual with Portuguese wine the grapes are not the usual suspects: the awesomely named Alfocheiro is the base, backed up by Tinto Roriz (that’s Tempranillo to the rest of the world) and Touriga Nacional. The first sip evokes a mason jar of wild raspberry jam, followed by the structure and dryness that lengthens out the finish with more savory notes. It’s a little wild, but in the most enjoyable sense of the word—an amusement park ride more than a car wreck. Had I tasted blind I would have lost a mortgage payment had you bet me it was under $25. At under $15, it’s the best deal I’ve tasted in 2013
Cabriz Colheita Selecionada 2008