Punching Well Above Its Weight: Esporao Reserva Red

Wow, there's a lot going on in the aromatic package of the 2018 Herdade Do Esporao Reserva Red Alentejo $25 (Sample): cedar, chocolate, Moroccan spices, dried brush, and violets. Super-fine tannins define the texture framed by a chalky outline. Prominent oak reminiscent of Rioja (and, strangely, Napa) is kept in check by black and blue fruit which, like its sibling bottling, still shows as young. Big, elegant, well-made, distinctive, and begging for grilled or stewed meats. Quite attractive and as pretty as it is brawny. This could easily compete with California wines twice or three times the price. 91 points.