Portugal’s Eastern Frontier – Wine & Spirits Magazine

Portugal’s Eastern Frontier

On a vast plain east of Lisbon, Portugal’s Alentejo is a land of horse farms, cork forests and close to 55,600 acres of vines. The vineyards, especially in the south, are often exposed to the hot winds coming up from Africa and across the border with Spain. But the climate is not homogeneous, ranging from the relatively cool mountain heights above Portalegre, to the shores of Alqueva, the largest man-made lake in Europe, where the desert blooms in Reguengos de Monsaraz, and south to Beja, a 115-mile drive in all. ―Joshua Greene, Editor

We held five blind tastings of wines from Alentejo, our panelists assessing 164 wines, of which they recommended 72. Joshua Greene, our critic for Portuguese wines, rated 42 as exceptional (90+) and 20 as Best Buys. Here, we present the Best Buys and top sparkling, white, rosé and red wines alongside vintage reports and features from the archive. Crisp up the pork, pickle the cauliflower, pop the corks and enjoy reading. ―Corey Warren, Tastings Editor


ALENTEJO TASTINGS

OUR PORTUGAL PANELISTS INCLUDED



FROM THE ARCHIVES

Marble Terroir

The Alentejo may be a hot, arid region, but a triangle of marble around the hilltown of Estremoz provides a cool zone for vine roots. Joshua Greene investigates one of Portugal’s most unusual terroirs. (W&S 04/17)

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Black Pigs & Wild Asparagus

Europe’s largest man-made lake is only one of the factors that’s turning Portugal’s Alentejo into a great food and wine destination. Jane Sigal went foraging for a taste of Iberia’s future. (W&S 10/18)

RECIPE

Pork Chops Migas

This recipe, which marinates the chops in roasted red pepper puree, comes from Carlos Teixeira, the chef of the restaurant at Herdade do Esporão in Alentejo.