Casa Agrícola Alexandre Relvas Alentejano Ciconia 2012

Casa Agrícola Alexandre Relvas Alentejano Ciconia 2012: Inky-dark ruby color; violet flowers, black fruits, raspberry, dark cherry nose;

plum, raisin, dark fruits, wild berry, flowers, chocolate chip, sweet oak on the palate. Adequate acidity. This is tasty, juicy, muscular red with blackcurrant tang on fresh finish; 100% touriga nacional grapes, the preeminent red grape in Portugal; the grape’s parallel is cabernet sauvignon in Bordeaux. Excellent value play for those who enjoy robust cabs at fraction of the price; that is joy of Portuguese wines—delicious Old World varietals or equivalents at fractions of the price. Pounce on these values; there is no way they can last; the world is catching on to Portugal’s fabulous values. To understand the label, “Ciconia” is Latin name for the white stork with the main habitat in Portugal where this wine is produced. Awards poured upon this effort and subsequent vintages (that’s how it works; score big once, tasters return, score you good again—although they tend to hold back a point or two to demonstrate the awe-inspiring brilliance of their palate to parse the difference between an 88 and an 89). Spare me this pretension. If you enjoy a robust, assertive tannin, full-body, big-boy wine, this should be on your wine purchase punch list. Great price, good taste. $12 Casa Agrícola Alexandre Relvas Alentejano Ciconia