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wine of the week 04/01/2009

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  Casa Santos Lima (Portugal) Quinta de Bons-Ventos 2006
This chunky, honest and delicious Portuguese red comed from the Estremadura region. Not to be confused with Extremadura in southwest Spain, Estremadura lies on Portugal's Atlantic coast around Lisbon, many miles from its Spanish namesake. It is not one of Portugal's renowned wine regions, with most of its production being consumed locally and cheaply. But a few names are making wines of real quality, like this example made from the all-indigenous grapes Castelão (Periquita), Camarate, Tinta Miúda and Touriga Nacional. The wine has a lovely nose of deep, ripe berry fruits like brambles and blackcurrants, but it is infused with an earthy smokiness too, helped along by a few months ageing in barrel. The palate delivers a big, chunky mouthful of wine that is powerful and rich, with a hearty quality of robust fruit and food-friendly, meaty tannins. Acidity is good too, but the wine maintains that juicy fruit quality into a dark, liquoricy finish. £5.49, Oddbins, or three for £15.00.

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