Azamor Vinho Regional Alentejano 2016  £13.95

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The family owned estate of Azamor was purchased by Alison and Joaquim Luiz-Gomes in 1998. Known as the "bread basket" of Portugal, the Alentejo has staked a claim as one of the country's most important red wine regions. It is renowned for its consistency of good quality, excellent value, fruit driven wines. Unlike many producers in the region, Azamor's vineyards are planted on low vigour hillside sites, which gives their wines more depth of flavour. Alison uses a mixture of local varieties like Touriga Nacional, Trincadeira and Alicante Bouschet, as well as international ones such as Petit Verdot, Syrah and Merlot.

The Azamor vineyards are unique. The 27 hectares of vineyards, situated at 350 metres above sea level, look out over a vast landscape including a breathtaking view of Spain. They are the most densely planted in the region of Alentejo; the north-south rows are planted 2.2 metres by 0.9 metres. The vines grow on clay soils with bedrock of schist, one to two metres deep.

The 2016 growing season was very difficult with a cool and wet spring. Temperatures only began to increase in June and quickly conditions went in the other direction, with six weeks of temperatures above 40ºC starting in July. This led to a 30% decrease in yields

All grape varieties were fermented in separate stainless steel tanks for up to ten days at temperatures between 22-24ºC. Fruit underwent a period of cold maceration prior to fermentation to help extract tannins and aromatics. Post-fermentation, the wine was then pressed off the skins before undergoing malolactic fermentation. It was aged for seven months in French and American oak barrels.

Beautifully aromatic with a lush, deep red fruit perfume. On the palate, the wine is well rounded with sumptuous soft fruit flavours. The finish is long, with ripe tannins.


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