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label Bela Fonte (Portugal) Jaen 1998
I was lucky enough to visit Portugal in the autumn, and apart from the wonderful Port wines, was very impressed by their fruity, vibrant reds from local grapes like Touriga Nacional, Periquita and the Jaen. In her Guide to Wine Grapes, Jancis Robinson is pretty scathing about the Jaen, describing most wines made from it as "rustic and undistingished". However, I've tasted only two single varietal Jaens and have thoroughly enjoyed both. The other, at around 10 a bottle is the Quinta de Maias, a beauty of a wine made entirely from 60-70 year old vines. For stockists, contact info@raymondreynolds.co.uk. Whilst not in the same league, the Bela Fonte is a useful introduction to the grape. It is rich and dark, full of creamy cherry fruit and dark, spicy tobacco and plum. This is delicious wine that could well be the ultimate match for pizza.
UK stockist: Safeway 4.99