Alianca Foral Douro 2013: Ruby-mahogany color; plum, raspberry-blackberry on rustic nose;
plum, ripe cherry, raspberry, blackberry, spice on the palate.
Smooth, easy drinker with plush tannin, restrained acidity, round, rich; tinta roriz (Portuguese name for tempranillo) calls the flavor shots, touring franca, tint barroca grapes play minor roles in effort that has Beaujolais similarities—fun, light for a red, fresh fruitiness, no tastable oak, dash of vanilla. When many think of Portugal, they think of corks and Porto (port), and Portugal is certainly famous for producing both of those, but it also has a wine tradition dating back to Phoenicians and deep into Roman history. The Douro Valley, from where this effort comes, is a UNESCO World Heritage region. In addition to deeply delicious wines, Portuguese pours are terrific values. Floral is shining example; you will be hard-pressed to taste a better-made, pleasing wine for this price from anywhere. Portuguese wines should be one of your ports of call on your wine journey. Alianca Foral is superb place to start. $11
Second photo is Alianca Winery.