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Two estates from the Aalentejo among the top ten wines of Portugal

Portugal’s best red wine comes from the Alentejo


The best red wine in Portugal was selected at the thirteenth Essência do Vinho, Portugal’s most prestigious wine event. The Grande Reserva Alicante Bouschet 2012 from Júlio Bastos (Quinta Dona Maria, Alentejo) has won the coveted trophy, awarded at the end of February in Oporto. Two out of the four wines nominated for this top award had been produced in the wine region Alentejo.

Alentejo Winemakers © Jeronimo Heitor Coelho
Winemaker Sandra Gonçalves and Júlio Bastos from Quinta de Dona Maria (c) Jerónimo Heitor Coelho

The ten best wines of Portugal were chosen by an international tasting panel at the end of February in the ‘Salão Árabe do Palácio da Bolsa’, out of a total of fifty-three eligible possibilities. The region Alentejo shared the winners’ circle with a white wine from the Douro and a Madeira. The victorious wine, Grande Reserva Alicante Bouschet 2012 (monovarietal), comes from Júlio Bastos (Dona Maria) from Estremoz in the Alentejo. The red wine that won fourth place was also produced in the Alentejo, Maladinha Nova 2013, from the estate Herdade da Malhadinha Nova.

Alicante Bouschet shows its stuff

It is certainly worth mentioning the parallel between the two winning Alentejano wines: both were vinified from the grape variety Alicante Bouschet. Although not an indigenous vine, the Alicante has found a new home in the southern Portuguese region Alentejo, where it is highly prized for its intrinsic qualities. Alicante Bouschet stands for high-toned robust, deeply coloured and opulent wines; its aromatic profile includes scents of berry fruit, cocoa and black olives. As of 2014 the variety counted for 12.5% of the total area under vines for red wine in the growing region Alentejo.

Alicante Bouschet among the 50 most exciting wines of 2015

Also – at the beginning of the year, renowned wine critics from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate picked the Alicante Bouschet 2012 from Júlio Bastos as one of the fifty most exciting new releases, praised for its quality, individualistic character and pure hedonistic appeal.


General information about the wine region Alentejo is available at: and

If you have an editorial interest in the Alentejo, please contact Caroline Derler at: or +43 369 79 90 14

PICTURES (downloadable)