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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Esporao 4 Quatro Castas 2011 - One-of-a-Kind

The Reverse Wine Snob: Esporao 4 Quatro Castas 2011 - One-of-a-Kind
A unique blend of four varieties produces a serious wine.

25% Aragones, 25% Alicante Bouschet, 25% Petit Verdot and 25% Syrah from Alentejo, Portugal.

SRP of $17 and available for as low as $14. Sample submitted for review. 60,000 liters produced.

From the bottle:
"In 2011, a mild summer with cool nights and a large diurnal amplitude allowed for a long and slow grape maturation. For this blended wine we separately vinified the 4 best varieties from the harvest 2011. Aragonez for red berried fruit aromatics, Syrah for body and texture, Alicante Bouschet for structure and Petit Verdot for elegance and balance.

14.5% Alcohol"
Today we have a unique wine from a producer we enjoy very much, Herdade do Esporao. The Quatro Castas blend contains four different varieties, each making up 25% of the wine. What makes it unique is that while this ratio does not change from vintage to vintage, the varieties do. And while some years are made up of rather traditional blends, I can confidently say that I have never tasted a wine with the mix of grapes contained in the 2011. Let's see how it does.

The 2011 Herdade do Esporao 4 Quatro Castas begins with serious aromas of dark fruit, licorice, a little oak and a hint of mint. Tasting the wine reveals a fairly big wine with prominent tannins, which I enjoy, but overall the wine is still a bit young. Give it some time in the glass to lose some of the oak and you'll find plenty of rich dark fruit and licorice. Better yet, give it another year or two in the bottle to develop and at this price it'll be quite the steal. It ends dry with lingering black cherry, oak, dark chocolate and coffee flavors.

Also check out these two other recommended wines from Esporao:

See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Taste Rating: 8              Cost Rating: 6
Overall Rating: 7.5




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