Picked this up at K&L for 20$. Then I saw it at Costco for 15$, so I picked up another bottle of it. I figure if K&L and Costco are overlapping on something, it's probably a pretty good bet. Then I saw that this was the wine of the week in the LA Times. I'm not really a fan of Irene Virbila (personally, I find her to be picky and ridiculous...actually, no I think the right way to describe her is "too LA" for my tastes. She's certainly no Sam Sifton, Frank Bruni, or Ruth Reichl...although Ruth Reichl held the same job at one point.), but I have had a few of her wine selections and been into or fairly pleased with them. Wine Spectator gave this a 93...and although I certainly didn't buy the wine because of that, I'm sure that it's part of the allure for Costco and the status-conscious LA Times in particular. 93 points for 15$!!! OMFG!!! Anyways, there seem to be a lot of people that are into this wine.
I haven't had a lot of Portugese wine, but the ones that I've had have been interesting. The main thing that I've found interesting about the Portugese reds that I've had is how similar they taste to Port--which really shouldn't be surprising--but for some reason is. This wine has a similar thing going on, in that it's got lots of almost dried cherry fruit and spices. Nuanced and detailed, with great balance and a whole lot of grip, before leading into a savory earthy/herbal finish. Glad that I have another bottle of this wine. At 15$ or 20$, it's definitely something worth drinking. The only thing that I didn't like with this wine is that it seemed to be lacking a little bit in the complexity department, meaning that it came off a little bit one-dimensional, but one-dimensional in the sense that it seemed to be hiding a substantial amount of its' character. I would imagine with some more bottle age, this wine will get more compelling. Sarah liked this wine a lot. A-