Alentejo hot summers make ripening easy, and sweet grapes mean rich fruit and lots of body. Alentejo reds are made from a variable blend of grape varieties, including Trincadeira and Aragonez, Alicante Bouschet and Syrah, Touriga Nacional and Cabernet Sauvignon. They may be inexpensive, rich, round and full, or very expensive, even richer, dense, and oak-aged, but still with a certain opulence and easy-drinking charm. Occasional other red wines from elsewhere in Portugal also fall into this rich, ripe style, from the upper reaches of the Douro, or the Tejo, for example. This top-quality red is made from local Alentejo varietals (Aragones aka Tempranillo/Trincadeira/ Castelao/Tinta Caiada), most of which are unknown to American wine drinkers – it’s far removed from Shiraz and Cabernet! Soft, elegant and very approachable with masses of full-flavoured summer berry fruits, a judicious touch of oak and ripe, soft tannins. It’s very food friendly, especially with Mediterranean or North African cuisine.