Lagoalva Tinto, Quinta da Lagoalva, Tejo

Country : Portugal

Grape Varieties : Touriga Nacional; Castelao

A rich and warming red from Portugal's central Tejo region. Full bodied, ripe and spicy, with brooding dark fruits and velvety mouthfeel. Perfect for a cold winter's night.

Tasting Note : Spicy black fruits are evident on the nose. The palate is generous and rounded, with black cherry and blackberry fruit, spicy notes and hints of vanilla.

Food Pairing : Beef casserole; lamb tagine; vegetable lasagne; ripe cheeses; or with a burger at a barbecue.

More info : Located a short drive north-east of Lisbon, the Tejo region lies along the banks of the river Tejo (Tagus in English). The soils and microclimate of the area are ideal for growing vines, and this area is famed for being one of the first regions of Portugal to produce wine (back in Roman times) . Whilst many grape varieties, both indigenous and international, are grown here, the Lagoalva Tinto is produced from two classic Portuguese grapes, Touriga Nacional (also used in port production) and Castelao. After fermentation in stainless steel tanks, the wine is aged for six months in a mixture of French and American oak barrels, which brings complexity, spice and toastiness to the blend.

Winery : The Quinta da Lagoalva estate dates back to 1846, when it was acquired by the Palmela family. More recently, the estate was taken over by Sociedade Agricola de Quinta da Lagoalva de Cima. Although a massive 5,000 hectares in size, only 45 hectares of the estate are under vine; these plots are positioned on some of the best terroir of the region. There has been much investment in both the vineyards and the cellar, and young winemakers, Diogo Campilho and Pedro Pinhao have brought their experience of 'New World' techniques, combined with long-held traditions, to produce really fabulous 'new wave' Portuguese wines.