Mary Dowey Discovers A Perky Portuguese Red At A Very Decent Price

Buy a FEW BOTTLES rather than just one and you’ll find that FLOR DE MAIO will carry you COMFORTABLY towards SPRING … 


Flor de Maio, Alentejo, Carlos Lucas 2015

Is Portugal on your radar yet as the source of an increasing number of delicious and distinctive wines – most of them at tempting prices? If not I think it should be, as this easygoing red all-rounder demonstrates.

Like Italy, Portugal has a rake of indigenous grape varieties that haven’t migrated to other countries as well as several that have. It also has a range of widely differing grape-growing regions where long-established traditions are being re-evaluated. The result? Smart, modern wines with unique flavours which should come as a welcome change to stuck-in-a-rut drinkers. (Most of us find ourselves wedged into that category from time to time.)

The grapes featured in this likeable blend from the Alentejo, one of Portugal’s most innovative regions, are Trincadeira, Aragonez and more familiar Syrah, spun together smoothly to give juicy berry flavours that leave a firm grip in their wake.

Carlos Lucas, the man responsible, was voted Portuguese Winemaker of the Year in 2007 and is now active in many parts of the country, so you’re in the hands of a talented maestro. Even so, the price is tasty. Buy a few bottles rather than just one and you’ll find that Flor de Maio (Mayflower) will carry you comfortably towards spring, matching most robust meat, cheese and vegetable dishes with ease.

Another excellent Carlos Lucas wine to look out for with a similar price tag is Jardim da Estrela, a red from the Dão region which was one of my top recommendations in the January issue of The Gloss. You’ll find this also in quite a few of the outlets listed below.

Alcohol: 13.5%

From Hole in the Wall, Dublin 7; Grapevine, Dublin 9; Michael’s, Mount Merrion; Garden House, Malahide; Power & Co, Lucan; Browns Vineyard, Portlaoise; O’Learys, Cootehill; Quintessential Wines, Drogheda &, usually €13.95.


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