Herdade do Esporão Monte Velho Red, Vinho Regional Alentejano 2019

Deep ruby color; blackberry, dark cherry on the nose; black cherry, blackberry, plum, blueberry on the palate.

Herdade do Esporão Monte Velho Red, Vinho Regional Alentejano 2019

Dry; light tannins; soft, juicy, fruity. Light body easy drinker. Simple, clean. While there is no depth or complexity, there is straightforward red fruit. This is inoffensive rather than complex, but at its price point it is value wine that works well as mid-week drinker with comfort food, or as second or third bottle at bigger event. Every red wine does not have to be massive and challenging. If you want fun quaffer that you can just knock back without thinking too much about it, this is your pour. The relatively restrained alcohol helps. 13.5% ABV

Blend of 40% aragonez, 35% trincadeira, 20% touriga nacional, 5% syrah, classic red grapes for value Portuguese table wines. Smooth. Light acidity that works fine with light tannins. Some oak and vanilla and chocolate, but—like this wine overall—it is demure rather than demanding.

Monte Velho vineyard

Herdade do Esporão traces its roots back to 1267, making it one of the oldest estates in Europe—the estate’s boundaries are virtually unchanged for 750 years. Upon purchase of the estate, Esporão fully restored Herdade’s medieval tower, which now serves as the symbol of the winery. João Roquette leads the second generation of ownership; David Baverstock and Sandra Alves are the winemakers.

Herdade’s medieval tower and vineyards

The winery is a major player in Portugal and consistently produces excellent wines that are astonishing values—even their cheapest wines work well. This is an example. The chief winemaker is Australian-born David Baverstock, Sandra Alves also participated in this vintage.

Herdade do Esporão Monte Velho Red, Vinho Regional Alentejano 2019 is simple palate-pleaser that will go down smooth and easy. Don’t expect depth and complexity at this price point, but there is no bitterness or over-extracted plonkiness. Good QPR (quality-price ratio) when you want something to wash down laid-back fare. Can pair with grilled beef, but better match would be meatloaf, burgers and sliders, meat-lover pizza; lamb; veal, baked and rotisserie chicken. $10-12

Herdade do Esporão website

Herdade do Esporão winery entrance
Monte Velho region
Winery owner/manager João Roquette
Esporão winemaker David Baverstock
Esporão winemaker Sandra Alves