Peter Morrell tastes a wine which conjures up the history of the land and the heritage in one of Portugal’s most beautiful regions
The Alentejo region of Portugal is one of my favourite destinations. From pristine beaches to the well-preserved Roman landmarks like the fish sauce factory at Tróia and the Temple of Diana at Evora, the region is a mix of natural beauty and a long and fascinating history. When you are there you don’t just see history, you get immersed in it. You can visit the Capela dos Ossos, the Chapel of the Bones and stand amongst 5000 skeletons. After sightseeing can relax and rest in Pousadas, hotels located in ancient buildings which have be re-purposed to cater for the modern day needs of visitors.
One of the links to the past is the rich culinary heritage which has been carefully preserved and can still be enjoyed by the hungry and thirsty traveller. I have recently been tasting a wine which is typical of the region, the Trinca Bolotas, a red made by Herdade de Peso. It’s a grape blend of 40% Alicante Bouschet, 16% Aragonez and 44% Touriga Nacional, the latter being almost the national grape of Portugal.
The wine pours a deep ruby red colour, on the nose are intense aromas of bramble fruits and plums, with strong floral notes. As the wine moves to the palate the vibrant fruit flavours remain and are joined by spicy tones which come from the 30% of the wine which has been aged in French oak barrels. The body of the wine sits between medium and full giving it a pleasant mouthfeel without being overbearing. The tannins are well structured which result in an exceptionally smooth and satisfying texture. A long, fruity, and persistent finish extends the pleasure of this wine.
This is an ideal wine to drink with steak, game casseroles and strong cheeses like Stilton.
Drinking this wine is almost a link to the past, it seems to embody both the land and the ancient culture of the Alentejo, and was a reminder that post COVID it is a place I must return to.
Trinca Bolotas is available in the UK from good wine merchants for around £13.00.