Pioneiro – Vinho Regional Peninsula de Setubal Tinto 2018


I’ve lifted the following from the website of Chain Bridge Cellars, a McLean, VA retail store and online presence. See what you think. “Portugal’s wine fame rests on the light, fresh, whites of Vinho Verde and the darkly intense and powerful reds (both sweet and dry!) of the Douro Valley inland from Oporto. But value seekers know that Portugal’s dizzying variety of unfamiliar grape varietals and wine regions also turn out some terrifically exciting red wine values too. Like this Washington Post#1 'Bargain Wine' of 2021.

“It's from the Peninsula de Setubal wine region, a bit south of Lisbon and partially jutting out into the chill Atlantic Ocean. The main red grape here is Castelao (also known as Periquita), a varietal planted all across Portugal that achieves its greatest ripeness and power in Satubal's sandy soils and generous sunshine.  Here, 60% Castelao is blended with 30% Aragones (Tempranillo) and 10% Syrah, all aged for five months in French oak to soften tannins and add some spice and then a bit more in bottle until fully ready to drink. The result is a terrific all-purpose red, ideal with grilled and roasted meats and sausages but still supple enough for solo sipping.”

According to Washington Post wine critic Dave McIntyre: “#1 Wine Bargain of 2021!  Portugal should no longer surprise us with its value wines. And yet, this one gobsmacked me with the complexity it offers for this price. Boysenberry, blueberry, tobacco leaf and autumn leaves seemed to swirl in my glass, even on the first night. More impressively, the flavors developed and became increasingly intertwined over the next several days. Setubal is in central Portugal, just south of Lisbon, but this wine made me think of an unfortified port. . . . This wine would make a great case purchase to be your house red for the first months of 2022.”  

So, what do you figure such a wine should cost? $15? $12? $9? How about – no fooling -- $5.98 when purchasing a case. Which I did, and am delighted to have done so. Can a sub $6 wine be any good. Oh, yes! Yes, indeed.

I suspect that Chain Bridge Cellars will sell out. If so, try Wine Searcher or Google (Pioneiro - Vinho Regional Peninsula de Setubal Tinto 2018 $).

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