casa santos lima confidencialThis is the second bottling from Casa Santos Lima that I’ve reviewed this year. The first was the Touriga Nacional-dominated Colossal Reserva. Both are outstanding for the price, perhaps the best quality for price available anywhere. Casa Santos Lima produces about 40% of the wine coming from Lisboa and is one of the largest exporters of Portuguese wine. This is no boutique winery. They have  a massive wine list but the Santos Lima family is apparently committed to quality at a reasonable price.

This medium-bodied charmer, a blend of 10 varietals which are not named in their literature, shows juicy dark and red fruit aromas, blackberry and pomegranate, with fresh earth and hints of tarragon. It’s crisp, succulent,  and bright on the palate with high toned acidity resting on a layer of soft, silky fruit. Sneaky, refined tannins firm up the finish which is gradually freighted with a rocky, mineral dimension.

A versatile wine, structured enough to stand up to meat dishes but with enough finesse and life to pair with lighter fare.

The wine dances across the palate with vibrant energy and a carefree, lyrical personality like Brian Setzer’s Route 66.

Technical Notes: Macerated for 28 days with 6 months of partial ageing in 250 litre barriques of French and Portuguese oak, unusual for wines in this price range.

Score: 90

Price: $10 (Purchased at BevMo)

Alc: 13.5%