2014 Casa Agrícola Alexandre Relvas Heredade de São Miguel Reserva, Vinho Regional Alentejano, Portugal
This Reserve wine by Heredade de São Miguel comes from the Alentejo region in south-central Portugal.
It is a red blend of Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Touriga Nacional.
After grapes were hand-harvested, fermentation was run with controlled temperature (22ºC-28ºC) in open vats (lagares) and automatic pigeages (punch downs). The malolatic fermentation was done in oak barrels before an 18month maturationg in 400L French oak wine barrels.
Alcohol: 15% | Total Acidity: 5,9g/l | pH: 3,52 | Volatile Acidity: 0,76g/l
This Portuguese comes is a very dark and dep red color. You can hardly see through the nearly-black darkness to the core, while the rim is of a deep red purple hue giving it great appearance intensity, and making it look very youthful despite its 3 years of age.
The nose is also intense, as well as deep and profound.
Profound notes of dark mixed-berries jam, are lifted by intense white and black pepper aromas. Touches of animal notes of reduction at first opening, quickly dissipated if you decant the wine like I did (give it at least half an hour of decanting prior to serving). Still, remains after aeration a savory edge to the smell, somewhat of a soy sauce feel, very umami-like aromas. Forrest mushroom come through as well, the positive and enjoyable type though.
Add a pleasing abundance of very well-integrated and fine (yet clearly present) notes of oak including deep clove, nutmeg, vanilla and caramel, and touches of wood smoke.
A fascinating wine to smell at, intriguingly deep and layered!
The palate is full-bodied, as we were kind of starting to seriously expect from the above. Rich dense and velvety tannins make for a soft and tight tannic structure, big concentration and power!
The acidity in here is also concentrated and give a mineral edge despite the immense red berry jam fruity opulence. It feels dry with solid acidic tension, yet smooth and round.
Like on the nose, the flavors are intense and layered, even more complex to taste that they are to smell at. Blackcurrant and redberry jam, dark cherry, jammy rich strawberry, are married to an abundance of oaky caramel and sweet spices.
Pretty long finish on sweet/savory notes of forest floor and sweet caramelized fruits.
A world-class Portuguese red we clearly have here. Deep, well balanced between rich body and dense smooth texture and solid acidity, with well-integrated oak, yet packed-full of it. The richness and ripeness of the fruit shines through with abundance and, paradoxically, opulent finesse.
Beyond the concentration and elegance, the layered complexity is an outstanding feature of this 2014 Heredade de São Miguel Reserva.
Suggested Glassware & Decanter for this Wine
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