Herdade Do Esporao Reserva Red 2019
Intense Ruby. Blackberry aromas, nutmeg, licorice and notes of black pepper. Rich and complex palate with notes of black ripe fruit and spices. Persistent finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This impressive wine layers tannins and dark fruits in a rich structure. The wine is powerful and concentrated; bold while still elegant. Drink this fine wine from 2024.
The 2019 Reserva red is a blend of Aragonez 30%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20%, Trincadeira 20%, Alicante Bouschet 15%, and dollops of others for the rest, all aged for one year in 25% new oak (60/40 American and French). It comes in at 14.99% alcohol. This is the first vintage of the winery's familiar Reserva listed as organic. The oak is a bit prominent now, but even that can't get in the way of the beautiful and expressive fruit here. Underlying all of that is fine structure and some notable power. This should age well, perhaps better than in the past. Once again, let's be a little conservative and take that in stages. On the other "start drinking" end of the window, it could use a year or two to come around and come into better harmony. Best after 2023.
Herdade do Esporão ("The Esporão Homestead") with nearly 700 hectares of organic vineyards and olive groves, proudly stands as the largest organic estate in Portugal. Located in the Alentejo’s, Reguengos Sub-Region, Herdade do Esporão produces full-bodied yet elegant wines that are rounded and seductive, due to the combination of poor, stony soils, and a dramatic climate. It is here, that Alentejo wines are most balanced, whilst powerful, appealing, lively and with good aging potential.
Herdade do Esporão boasts a rich history, with its boundaries that have remained unchanged since the year 1267. The winery is often represented by the iconic white tower, built in the 1400's which stands a symbol of the historical shift from Mid-evil to Modern times in Portugal. Today, Herdade do Esporão remains under the ownership of the Roquette family. Together, both family and estate represent a winery that is founded on sustainability and organic agricultural practices. These practices reflect a commitment to making the finest products that nature provides in a responsible and inspiring way.
Best known for intense, impressive and age-worthy fortified wines, Portugal relies almost exclusively on its many indigenous grape varieties. Bordering Spain to its north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean on its west and south coasts, this is a land where tradition reigns supreme, due to its relative geographical and, for much of the 20th century, political isolation. A long and narrow but small country, Portugal claims considerable diversity in climate and wine styles, with milder weather in the north and significantly more rainfall near the coast.
While Port (named after its city of Oporto on the Atlantic Coast at the end of the Douro Valley), made Portugal famous, Portugal is also an excellent source of dry red and white Portuguese wines of various styles.
The Douro Valley produces full-bodied and concentrated dry red Portuguese wines made from the same set of grape varieties used for Port, which include Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (Spain’s Tempranillo), Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca and Tinto Cão, among a long list of others in minor proportions.
Other dry Portuguese wines include the tart, slightly effervescent Vinho Verde white wine, made in the north, and the bright, elegant reds and whites of the Dão as well as the bold, and fruit-driven reds and whites of the southern, Alentejo.
The nation’s other important fortified wine, Madeira, is produced on the eponymous island off the North African coast.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.