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Quinta do Mouro Zagalos Reserva, Alentejano 2017
Red Wine from Portugal
A rich and savoury, full-bodied Portuguese red already showing the start of more complex secondary flavours, with smooth rounded tannins.
is no longer available
- Red Wine
- Now to 2027
- 14% Alcohol
- no oak influence
- Cork, natural
Quinta do Mouro
When Miguel Louro bought the Quinta do Mouro estate he found a dilapidated range of buildings and neglected farmland. The property had been forcibly expropriated from its original owners, the Zagalo family, by Portugal’s right-wing dictatorship in 1974 and upon its return to the Zagalos in 1979 they found it in such a bad state that they decided to sell it.
In stepped Miguel Louro, though at first it was not his intention to grow grapes and a variety of farming styles were tried. Finally Miguel decided that vines might be more successful than sheep, which is lucky for wine lovers everywhere.
Aragonês, alicante bouschet, trincadeira, castelão and cabernet sauvignon were initially planted though the castelão was later regrafted with touriga nacional. The latter has proved to be a singular success and has featured in all the premium blends made by Miguel since, as well as proving itself worthy of being bottled as a single varietal.
Over time more vineyards have been acquired and new varieties planted or grafted, with merlot. petit verdot, alfrocheiro and petite sirah joining the available pool for blending. The blends themselves are made to reflect the various terroirs of the property. Vineyard practices change from site to site as the soils and conditions in each vineyard vary greatly. Some areas are extremely arid to the extent that irrigation is permitted.
Deep crimson. Seductively rich, deep, dark-fruited aroma. Black cherry and blackberry with a little dash of vanilla without being overly sweet-smelling. On the palate, firmly, chewily tannic and yet the...Deep crimson. Seductively rich, deep, dark-fruited aroma. Black cherry and blackberry with a little dash of vanilla without being overly sweet-smelling. On the palate, firmly, chewily tannic and yet the fruit is so vibrant it is all in balance so that you could drink it now with food or surely keep it for some years in bottle. You can taste the blackcurrant of the cabernet but it does not dominate the more Portuguese character of the other varieties, including a mix of red and black fruits and the sweet spice of the trincadeira and alicante bouschet. Even after all that fruit, there is a lovely dry, elegant and long finish that is more about the texture than the fruit. Complex, characterful, fascinating blend with further ageing potential. Good value. 17/20
... although it's undeniably full-bodied, freshness courses through the rich redcurrant and black fruit, the green herb and graphite notes and the tannins are effortlessly smooth – so much so, that it...... although it's undeniably full-bodied, freshness courses through the rich redcurrant and black fruit, the green herb and graphite notes and the tannins are effortlessly smooth – so much so, that it works well drunk really quite cool, but equally it doesn’t go soupy even if it hits 18ºC. The blend of essentially indigenous Portuguese varieties, trincadeira (50%), aragonez (30%) and alicante bouschet with 10% cabernet sauvignon, is aged for a year in used French and Portuguese oak casks, so there’s no overt oak flavour. And while it’s pretty irresistible now at five years old, it will gain depth and nuance over the next five years. Quinta do Mouro is an estate in the large Alentejo region in the southeast of Portugal, which was planted with its first six hectares of vines in 1989 by current owner and winemaker Miguel Louro and now extends to 33ha of mostly indigenous varieties. The 2017 Zagalos goes well with meat – lamb especially – with sautéed chicken livers and with duck, but its easy smoothness and freshness make it a match for vegetable-based dishes, too, as well as hard and semi-hard cheeses (I enjoyed it with Chistéra, a goat’s and sheep’s milk cheese from the Pays Basque). And it would add lustre to any barbecue.